Modern House | By AGI Architects | Secret House ,Kuwait

Project Secret House
Type Residential
Area 2600 sq.m
Location Shuwaikh, Kuwait
Project Year 2007-2010
Architecture Design Firm AGI Architects
Principal Architects Nasser B. Abulhasan

Joaquin Pérez-Goicoechea

Architectural team Bruno Gomes

Raquel Soeiro

Sharifa Alshalfan

Hanan Alkouh

Daniel Muñoz

José Ángel del Campo

Engineering Babu Ibrahim

Walead Fawzy El Demdash

Furniture manufacturer & supplier Gunni & Trentino
Photo Credits Nelson Garrido


  • Silver A’Design Award 2013 – “Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category” –
  • Cityscape Awards (Architecture Emerging Markets) 2011 – First Prize “Residential Built”
  • International Property Awards (IPA) 2011 – 5 Stars Award Arabian Residential Property Awards “Architecture –
  • Single Residence” – World Architecture Festival Awards (WAF) 2011 – Shortlisted “House – Private House/Medium

The owners of this land located in Shuwaikh, to the northeast Kuwait City, are a young couple and their three children, who have a close relationship with European and American culture.

Aware of the potential of a site located in a prime location overlooking the “skyline” of the city and concerned about the limitations of his former residence, decided to build another house that would improve their life quality, placing it on the same site as the old.

Main client’s needs

The old house did not meet the aesthetic desires and the needs of the client program, so that Secret House was planned as an expression of current conditions but, in turn, as a space capable of accommodating the future desires of the client.

Therefore, Secret House is posed to solve these customer needs, enhancing the intimacy and the idea of internal transparency. The new house is closed to the outside and is very visible and communicated to the garden, giving the pool a major role. AGI architects devised, therefore, a house that looked inwards and that only by achieving the highest levels, it turned as a viewpoint to the “skyline” of the city.

The challenge of AGI architects has been to devise a home-garden, intimate and introspective, focusing on life inside the outside.


This house develops in different levels where different degrees of intimacy are achieved.

On the ground floor there is a garden, pool and all areas where most public activities take place. Upon entering the house we get into the main garden which is on an upper bound to the streets to ensure privacy. Once inside there are two areas; Guest meeting area, as an independent pavilion, and family meeting room which connects to the pool and central garden. This area works as an open space where dining room and the open kitchen dialogue and reinforces the concept of family life.

On the first floor it has been developed more intimate spaces / private home. Here are the three rooms, located according to its size and privacy, alternates with areas of daily family living. The master bedroom has a superb location enjoying views from the main facade.

The children’s rooms are raised above the garden, where each unit is shown on the other respecting certain independence to preserve the family unity. As a meeting space between different rooms, there is a lounge, which extends outward to a private and secluded backyard, protected from views from the central garden.

From this level, and by a staircase facing the courtyard, you reach the second floor, where the most exclusive areas of the house are placed. Gym / massage, lounge, and large covered terrace that opens onto the main facade. The panoramic terrace is located on the roof and allows a closer relationship with the city and the sea, where enjoying a splendid view of the skyline from a private and quiet.

Researching report

In the urban area of Kuwait, most of the city consists of isolated single-family homes, a clear example of Sprawl-City. To adapt to the desert climate the distances between the built volumes are minimal, resulting in shaded spaces between houses. These spaces, which work as passive temperature controllers, generate on the other hand, facades with little privacy and limited views. This creates an increased difficulty to create pieces with their own personality, not only based on a Façadisme exercise.

Given these circumstances, Secret House focused as a home to express its own needs, clearly marking the succession of filters, these codes could be understood by guests or any passerby. There are obligatory courses, hidden and exposed areas, and all is expressed by itself, without any other sign than the architecture itself. We tried to make the volume appear as a solid block, permeable but not transparent, private and friendly.

Physical filters can be seen in different degrees to prevent the passage or views, until the grand opening of the upper terrace is shown where you can see through the entire house. From the inside, the filters become the volumes that open onto the guest, the rooms that spill from a dominant height, volumes above the visitor creates invisible barriers.

In search of understanding between the Islamic culture of the family and the Western lifestyle, has worked overlapping concepts and the relevance of the major pieces in the facade, privacy and sun protection.

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