Palm City is a waterfront residential village, some 20 kilometres from Tripoli. The chosen site in Janzour is right at the water’s edge. Palm City boasts 1.3km of coastline. It has set the standard for expatriate accommodation throughout Libya. Today, Palm City is a cosmopolitan “home away from home” for over one thousand.
The project responded to a growing need for expatriate family accommodation in a country just about to take off economically. Before Palm City was conceived, expatriates seeking a long term dwelling solution had to resign themselves to compounds with no real sense of “home”. The team learnt that to many expatriates, home is where the family is. Green, self contained and secure, with ample space for recreation, Palm City was thus made to be a family-oriented project.
Libya’s naturally north facing orientation towards the sea allowed the back façade of each dwelling to be fully open to natural sunlight. This established a relationship between each living quarter’s interior with its own private, sea facing garden. Palm City was purposely designed with winding avenues fringed by subtle street lighting, where rays of light bounce off trees branches and onto the street. Given the nature and unique quality to be found in each and every garden, there exists no repetition in the design of each private outdoor lighting scheme. Much of the projects’ success is owed to forethought regarding places where the community can meet. Besides its central piazza the project, to date, includes tennis courts, a seven-a-side football pitch, an indoor and outdoor pool, a squash court, a gym, a spa, treatment rooms, a dance studio, and a grill house on a private sandy beach.
The level of detail to be overseen made it an absolute necessity for DeMicoli & Associates to set up its own on site office.. Having the site office enabled a good relationship with the client’s representatives in Janzour, professionals of other disciplines, and site workers. It also proved crucial during the selection of local materials. By working in close collaboration with professionals in a foreign country, DeMicoli & Associates gained unique insights. In Palm City, a European standard of living was partnered with local sensibilities. The practice gained much from its experience in Libya, working closely with both client and future users to attain high standards.