Farshad Farahi

Farshad Farahi

Bethesda, MD, USA



The ALFA House is located on an Ocean front property in Bethany Beach, DE, a site dominated by three major natural elements: Sky, Ocean, and Sand. Together, these symbolize the three elements of Air, Water and Earth, and form a potent natural environment for the site.
Defining the dialogue among these natural elements and a man-made structure became one of the major challenges for the project. Another was achieving harmony with the neighborhood’s character and its urban pattern, especially the open view corridors made up from existing houses’ mandatory setback.
The resulting two-storey house is sitting on piles which transfer its weight to the bedrock through the sandy plot.
The spatial organization of the house is centered on a narrow intermediate space which defines the shape of adjacent spaces, and is placed between the two segments on the North and South side of the building. These parts are connected by two bridges on the second level. Functionally, the Northern section provides services to the Southern segment of the building.
The house is wrapped by a continuous surface. Integrated into one cohesive piece, the shell start from the North façade continues to compose the roof and ends on the South side of the design, shaped by metal (aluminum) colored panels.
Tactically-positioned windows and skylights bring in daylight in different amounts, and at different angles during the day, creating unobstructed perspectives throughout the inner space and into the outside world. The mirrors expand the space by superimposing the inside and the outside, or the real and the virtual. They help form an extraordinarily dynamic living area, where views from the Ocean become part of the inside scenery, and offer a rich diversity of ever-changing possibilities across form, space and time, generating images of pure fantasy.
The Burgundy color of the house has been purposefully used to add the fourth element to the site symbolizing “Fire” and power. The Eastern and Western facades’ exposed fiber cement burgundy color coatings, continue on the inside walls of the in-between space.

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Status: Built
My Role: Designer