Designed for a sandy beach site on the island of Djerba, this Mediterranean house for an American client combines the building elements of two cultures - the vernacular forms of North Africa and the architecture of the West - to create a unique image.
The house is formed by two components: a stair and a cube. The exterior staircase, which was inspired building traditions of the region, wraps and protects the cube. The cube, following the principles of European architecture, is classical in plan and proportion, modern in appearance.
Inside are columns that rise two stories to support the master bedroom, which covers a court; a metal stair connects the levels.
The exterior staircase contains a loggia, music and dining rooms, kitchen, and service areas on the first floor; guest quarters on the second; and bath and dressing areas for the master bedroom on the third. The plan derives from a local building type in which connected rooms surround a courtyard. Providing entry at every level of the cube, the exterior staircase ascends to a terrace and belvedere overlooking the dunes and ocean.