The Secret Gardens

Fact Sheet

  • Project: The Secret Gardens
  • Category: Residential
  • Location: Farqa Club, Kfardebian, Lebanon
  • Client: Benchmark Development
  • Built-up area: 16,500 sqm
  • Budget: N/A
  • Year: 2012
  • Status: Competition


  • Partner in Charge: Youssef Mallat
  • Architect in Charge: Sandra Richani, Nada Assaf
  • Team: Richard Kassab, Joy Traboulsi, Layal Aoun, Garin Boghossian, Abed Baytamouni, Aline Chahine


  • In collaboration with: Sustainability & Energy Conservation Measures: SEEDS
  • Renders: Tony Antoun
The elite Faqra resort, set high in Lebanon’s mountains, is the epitome of mountain luxury. In an area where big plots and big houses serve as status symbols, big mystery has refreshing allure.
109 Architectes designed the Secret Gardens as a hidden haven, a respite from the overt glitz and glamour of the surrounding area. But even those with a key to The Secret Gardens must peel back its layers. 

The project is set off from the community by a road, which encircles the plot like a moat. One building consists of 39 houses, linked together in a wall-like structure that resembles a fortress, obscuring what lies beyond it. Once inside The Secret Gardens, poplar trees define a leafy threshold that leads to another world, with an enchanting lake and common garden at its heart.

Individual households keep yet another secret: each residence has the luxury of a garden concealed from its neighbors’ view. Brief glances are granted through perforations between houses, and as residents open their shudders to the street, seducing Faqra residents with endless temptation. When everyone else wants to see and be seen, there is allure in mystery and privacy.

Faqra Club currently consists of single-family detached homes that form a community, each with its own plot. This development project, with a shared plot, requires a new typology; one unified building with private, secluded gardens was the solution to this challenge. 

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