Architecture

Living on the edge: Casa Brutale combines brutalism with Bond villain-chic

It's early days yet, but the initial stages of construction have begun on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
It's early days yet, but the initial stages of construction have begun on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
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The home will face northwest into the Lebanese landscape and not the sea as shown in the renders
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The home will face northwest into the Lebanese landscape and not the sea as shown in the renders
Love or hate its striking styling, it's certainly a change from the norm and is sure to prove an engineering feat
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Love or hate its striking styling, it's certainly a change from the norm and is sure to prove an engineering feat
It's early days yet but construction has begun, with ground recently broken on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
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It's early days yet but construction has begun, with ground recently broken on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
The home will face northwest and be built at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
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The home will face northwest and be built at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,249 ft)
It's early days yet, but the initial stages of construction have begun on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
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It's early days yet, but the initial stages of construction have begun on the Faqra mountainside outside Beirut, Lebanon
Demco Properties CEO Alex Demirdjian commissioned the project
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Demco Properties CEO Alex Demirdjian commissioned the project
Access is gained either via a long concrete staircase or elevator from the home's three-car underground garage
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Access is gained either via a long concrete staircase or elevator from the home's three-car underground garage
The pool doubles-up as the roof - hopefully there will be blinds installed of some kind and significant earthquake protection
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The pool doubles-up as the roof - hopefully there will be blinds installed of some kind and significant earthquake protection
Taking a swim in Casa Brutale's roof pool
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Taking a swim in Casa Brutale's roof pool
The glazed facade will face the Lebanese countryside
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The glazed facade will face the Lebanese countryside
The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete
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The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete
There will be a total floorspace of 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft)
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There will be a total floorspace of 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft)
Inside Casa Brutale
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Inside Casa Brutale
Fill the pool with sharks and you've got yourself a Bond villain's secret lair
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Fill the pool with sharks and you've got yourself a Bond villain's secret lair
Love or hate its striking styling, it's certainly a change from the norm
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Love or hate its striking styling, it's certainly a change from the norm
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
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Architectural drawing of Casa Brutale
The area in which the home will be based
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The area in which the home will be based
The area in which the home will be based
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The area in which the home will be based
Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
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Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
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Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
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Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
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Architectural plan of Casa Brutale
The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete
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The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a super-villain searching for the perfect secret lair. You could do worse than Casa Brutale: a remarkable project that combines brutalist muscle with James Bond villain-chic. More than mere fanciful rendering, it's about to begin construction in Lebanon and is expected to be completed in 2018, with an estimated budget of US$2.5 million.

Casa Brutale is the work of Greece and Netherlands-based OPA (Open Platform for Architecture). The project initially started out as an exercise in conceptual architecture not unlike Modscape's Cliff House. However, the firm was contacted by Demco Properties CEO Alex Demirdjia, who wanted to commission it, so engineering firm Arup was duly enlisted to help make it happen.

It's early days yet, but the initial stages of construction are about to begin on the Faqra mountainside, outside Beirut, Lebanon. Based at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,249 ft), the home will face northwest toward the Lebanese countryside, though not toward the sea as shown on the renders (the project was originally imagined for Greece).

Some other minor changes may take place too, but the overall form of the home shown in the renders will be maintained.

The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete
The interior decor is dominated by unfinished concrete

Structurally, the 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft) Casa Brutale will be defined by thick concrete slabs left unfinished even on the inside, the cold effect softened only by some aged wooden beams. The home will be topped by a reinforced glass pool that doubles as a roof, and fronted by a large glazed facade.

Access to the home is gained either from above via a long concrete staircase or from beneath, via an elevator inside the home's three-car underground garage. The interior includes four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a lounge area, dining area (with concrete dining table), and kitchen.

There will be a total floorspace of 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft)
There will be a total floorspace of 270 sq m (2,906 sq ft)

Love or hate its distinctive styling, Casa Brutale is certainly a change from the norm. Its construction is sure to prove an engineering challenge too, especially taking into account issues of structural integrity and the worry of an earthquake damaging its large rooftop pool. We'll check in on this one for more details as the build develops.

Source: OPA

8 comments
sk8dad
The reason cliffs are cliffs is because of catastrophic erosion events...pieces breaking off. Anyone who has ever watched a Looney Tunes episode involving an annoying and curiously oblivious terrestrial bird and an unfortunate but eternally hopeful desert predator would be keenly aware of the repercussions of a calving cliff face. I suppose such worries might be moot within the Bond-villain demographic. Arguably the likelihood of the self-destruct button being pressed by some uninvited do-gooder would far exceed the probability that the piece of cliff on which the hideout is built calving into the void below. Different strokes for different folks I guess.
gybognarjr
No! Thank you, but the Building Code does not allow such dangerous arrangement! Sleeping/Living area under a glass bottom pool. Earthquake, Hurricane, other natural disasters have to be designed for. However if the Lebanese people want to live in danger, power to them, this could not be built in the US and for many good reasons.
Paul Anthony
Why?
James Donohue
How do you land a helicopter on the roof, with the pool there?
Einer
As terrifying and dangerous living on the edge of a cliff would be, This house is incredibly beautiful! I hope safety measures have or will be established to prevent the pieces of cliff the house is attached to from falling and caring the house with it.
DanielSifrit
Think you are wrong, Gybo... they might have issues with conservationists and greenies, but not building code. A pool is not any heavier than another living level or two would be, and its fairly simple to design the lower level to have a slight drain to the living level. Thick enough glass (or acrylic) is harder to damage than you would think. Go visit one of the BIG aquariums sometime. Most places that you would build this are not inside a city so permits aren't even an issue. If they have an elevator/garage underneath it then its not as high up as the rendering indicate either.
WilliamBLivion
Secret Lair supposed to be **SECRET**.
XtineCKarman
OPA must be a pun, after Dutch archtect Rem Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture, OMA.