Project detailsProject type: Home
Location: Zefta, Lebanon
Lighting Design: Alta Light
Architect: Simone Kosremelli
Client: Bahjat Darwiche
Photographer: Bahaa Ghoussainy
In 2014, a fire ravaged Dar Zefta, threatening the history of a 100 Year old architectural gem conceived in 1911 by Hussein Beik El Darwiche with the help of Italian and Oriental Architects.
Thanks to the efforts of Simone Kosremelli, an architect and urban planner, the house was restored using durable, natural materials, bringing the garden inside the house and prioritizing natural light.
Alta Light was hired by its current owner Bahjat El Darwiche to bring life at night to the vast history of the façade and its intricate details.
To illuminate the arches, uplights from the London based brand Phos were chosen due to their small size yet powerful light. The optic was carefully selected to highlight the arches, the ornamented stone ceiling and to wash the back wall.
In order to achieve the desired effect, the beam angle and intensity had to be tested and re-tested countless times.
For the remaining walls of the facade, a dramatic play of light and shadows coming from bushes and trees was achieved with spike projectors from the Brand Exenia.
History of the Façade:
The Italian influence is evident in the classical Roman architecture of the Dar. The Dar is elevated, and its façade is somewhat symmetrical. The Italian influence is also visible by the baroque style façade that uses exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur.
The Ottoman flag, carved in stone, occupies the central place of the roofing and greets the visitor of Dar Zefta.
The variety of ornaments collected in Dar Zefta speaks lengthily of this convergence of cultural and graphic influences justified by the geopolitical situation of this country.
The capitals of the columns in the arcade are ornamented with lotus flower designs. The Lotus flower is legendary to many ancient civilizations such as in ancient Egypt where it signifies rebirth and regeneration or even in Buddhism where it signifies fortune, purification and faithfulness.