Project Name: Amman Villa

Location: Amman, Jordan

Date Completed: 2019

Interior Designer: Staffan Tollgard, Tollgard Design Group

Architect: Raed Abillama

Construction Company: Al Tabbaa

Amman Villa tells the story of vibrant family life designed into a contemporary monolith: a minimal stone masterpiece in a Jordanian cityscape.

For Staffan Tollgård, former filmmaker turned designer, ‘heartfelt minimalism’ became the tag line for this epic script as he worked with award-winning Lebanese architect Raed Abillama and a team of contractors and craftspeople to create a bold and dynamic presence in a historic location.

Raed’s tour-de-force reconfigures vernacular materials to break with cultural traditions. Equally, the iconoclastic brief for the interiors enabled Tollgard Design Group to play with expectations of home and to challenge the domestic scale. 14,000 square feet of home: the generous canvas of which the clients requested spaces for family growth as well as sweeping vistas for entertaining: a desire for prospect as well as refuge.

The material palette for the interiors became a red thread to bind these juxtaposed elements of public and private life and to ground the design. The house is literally set in stone: Jordanian limestone and Omani marble run through the 4-storey building, the metal and stone-clad staircase a vertical binding line to connect the volumes. Natural wood and metal accents intersect in considered geometric intervals.

Just as the material palette speaks with one voice, so too does the joinery, furniture and fabric design that adds softness and interest through texture. The guiding principle was a minimal, neutral and natural red thread that allowed the voice of the architecture and the art to resonate clearly through the four floors of the building.

Flexibility was a key requirement throughout the public ground floor, where areas needed to be closed off for smaller functions, or opened up to entertain at a grander scale. Floor-to-ceiling doors concealed in structural columns are clad with timber veneers that allow the creation of smaller, more human-sized spaces (the refuges within the vistas). The interior’s ability to provide both prospect and refuge create a house with multiple possibilities: one that adapts to suit the changing needs of its family.

The final design layer was the curation of an art collection comprising strong, bold works; pieces that would stand the test of time and become as important to the interior as the building blocks of the architecture.