The residence is sited on the west bank of the Nile River, across from the city of Luxor. The large, private house is designed for the part-time use of the architect-clients and embodies the architectural concepts upon which they hope to develop their practice. The making of the residence was an experiment in building. By investigating a mode of rural construction traditional to Egypt, the architects intended to become familiar with existing conventions in mud brick technology. Using Hassan Fathy's work as a point of departure, they intended to explore the technology's potential with the intention of applying their experience to subsequent projects.
The design of the residence was shared by the architects. The house was to serve as a retreat, a place for relaxation, and study. The type and number of spaces were discussed and accordingly translated into a plan. Key in the planning was the incorporation of various spanning and finishing techniques. The outer walls that enclose the residence roughly define a square. With regard to the structure's internal geometry, open and enclosed spaces are irregularly distributed. The massing reflects an architecture in which each room is constructed as an independent structural unit enclosed by a domical or vaulted span. Most living activities take place in the courtyards and roof terraces. Each courtyard has been given an architectural identity through its particular iwan or its built-in seating area.