Arab Modernism — Helal New Moon Residence by Steven Ehrlich Architects

Helal New Moon Residence by Steven Ehrlich Architects, United Arab Emirates — 35,000-square-foot residence, located in the Persian Gulf. Searing temperatures and ample desalinated water allowed the desert site to be transformed into an oasis with pools and landscaping.

Sheathed in shimmering aluminum, a massive curved roof shelters and unites the compound’s series of two-story buildings. The canopy forms a crescent moon, the symbol of new life that tops the minarets of Islam and is supported by stone-clad columns. The whole structure suggests a giant Bedouin tent, with the football-field-sized roof, cantilevered 30 feet on each side, casting a giant swathe of shade.

The main entrance is approached through date palm grove aisles. A reflecting pool, which flows indoors and provides cooling, surrounds the front façade. A traditional lattice sunscreen filters direct sun. Gardens, fountains, shady courtyards, and terraces surround and penetrate the buildings, making it a desert paradise.


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