Building & Investment (Jan - Feb 2016) (Jan - Feb 2016) - Page 68

Design Feature Creative designer transforms a garden flat into a ‘villa’ Designer ROHD goes all out to turn a flat in the posh neighbourhood of Rabieh, Lebanon, into a luxurious dwelling. HAV I N G T H E v i s u a l a p p e a l a n d sophistication of a villa, this ground floor garden flat is an eye-catching trompe l’oeil that draws from interior architecture master tricks that command—besides the inevitable amazement—scrutiny. Roland Helou Design (ROHD) is behind the interior design marvel for this flat whose intriguing design will delightfully bemuse even the most philistine eye. ROHD is a Beirut-based (Lebanon) interior architecture and multi-disciplinary design studio that rests on the aesthetic sensibility and design expertise of Roland Helou, a master graduate of the University of the Arts London. The garden flat has no dull corners or any detail left to whims or spontaneity. Everything is thought-out and even the silent spaces are studied. Conceived for a young professional 64 Building & Investment | couple, the garden flat stretches across 300 sq metres of ground floor space in a building located in Rabieh, Beirut’s most affluent suburb, nested on a hillside to the north of the city. Seamlessly blending with a quaint outdoor garden, the flat appears like a villa. This result is achieved through clever execution of curtain glass and a terrace serving dual usage: annexed living space in winter and an extension of the garden in summer. Luxurious fittings abound, such as the Onyx marble and black lacquered wood lit bar that protrudes to the outdoor area, serving as an organic connection along with the large curtain glass doors. Another impressive piece is the black basalt built-in chimney of the main living room. Made of volcanic stones, it radiates a distinctive blend of elegance and dominance, like that of the central jewel of a