The homes of three families are contained behind the smooth stone facade of this building in Kuwait by local architecture studio Massive Order.
Named Box House, the three-storey apartment block is located in Rawoda, Kuwait, and accommodates a trio of separate homes, all organised around small glazed terraces.
"The idea is to give each family a unique and private spatial experience, hence the program was divided volumetrically and each volume overlooks a private courtyard," said Massive Order, which is led by architect Muhannad Albaqshi.
Externally the building can be read as a large mass of stone. There are very few windows that don't sit within recesses, and balconies are also set back behind the outer walls for shelter and privacy.
"The stone cladding is to be read as a crust that wraps all three families," added the studio.
"In order to achieve the perception of a crust, the thickness of the stone is revealed around all openings on the facade. The inside of all openings are finished in stucco to emphasise both perceptions of the crust and the volumes."
The first and largest of the three homes occupies the majority of the ground floor and a small section of the storey above.
Its main entrance sits on the left-hand side of the facade, leading through to a large open-plan living space. Two floors of bedrooms sit just behind, connected by a staircase that winds up behind a double-height window.
The other two residences can be accessed using a second entrance on the right-hand side of the facade. The smaller of the two is located on the middle floor and features a double-height living space, while the third occupies the entire upper level.
In this home, two matching courtyards separate the living spaces from the bedrooms. One contains a small water feature, while the other has been filled with plants.
Photography is by Nelson Garrido.
Principle architect: Muhannad Albaqshi
Design team: Reem Al-Jalal and Eman M Kassem.
Project manager: Faisal Al-Hawaj
Construction manager: Hamad Al-Kharaz