The Amman Villa is a story of a young, vibrant family building a life in an incredibly modern building set against a Jordanian backdrop. ‘Heartfelt minimalism’ became the tagline for the script, as we worked with Lebanese architect Raёd Abillama and a team of contractors and craftsman to create a bold and dynamic interior presence in a historic location. His architectural tour-de-force reconfigures vernacular materials to break with cultural traditions. To allow the architecture to resonate indoors as well as outdoors, we then designed the joinery, kitchens and furniture in an elegant yet minimal way, only allowing strong colours in the bold artwork around the galleried spaces. Unlike many galleries, that can feel cold and that exist only to house and light the artwork, this is a warm space framed with natural materials: a gallery for life.
We played with a minimal palette to give focus to the architecture and create a light canvas for our client’s vibrant art collection. The entertaining spaces on the ground floor are gracious yet not intimidating, while the more private spaces on the floors above reflect the lives and passions of a creative and connected family.
The artwork became one of the most striking threads woven throughout this dynamic interior. Our goal was to curate a new art collection for the client made up of strong, bold works that wouldn’t drown in the large spaces; pieces that would stand the test of time and become as important to the interior as the materials of the building and the furniture inside. Pieces that you would remember if you visited for a party and equally be happy to come home to after some time away.
There is a striking, colour shifting, piece from Zhuang Hong Yi which always makes the transition from reception room to formal dining room an interesting one. We have a Ruth Waller and Lee Hewett large scale circular tryptic on the same floor whose simplicity, using interior textile surfaces, has captured the homeowner’s as well as visitors’ hearts. In the entrance we have a wonderful, typically whimsical, and colourful piece by Susan Shup with a personal message from the family. In the entrance there is also a human scale version of the sculpture “The Visitor” in bronze by artist Guido Deleu welcoming other visitors to the house.
The furniture pieces commissioned for the Amman villa had to reflect the changing scales of the family home. Our brief was to create a family home for five, as well as a venue for entertaining that could elegantly seat twenty-four at a formal dinner. Our solution for the dining room sees two bespoke tables that can be pulled apart, set together, or interleafed to create a single table nearly six metres long. The design for the decorative lighting above had to be equally flexible, resulting in a cloudscape of lights above the dining area below.