This is the site where the tragic explosion of August 4 , 2020 occurred in Beirut. In Memory of the lives lost , and in the sprit of rebuilding Beirut into an equitable 21st century sea port city , our proposal reimagines the 2.1 million sq. m parcel as a New Spine of cultural , economic and accommodation hub for the city .
It is a place to gather with ‘Trust’ of one another, secure and welcoming. It is a place where commerce thrives. It is a place where diverse culture is celebrated. It is a place where science , education , music & performing art has a home. In other words it is a place to live _ a place to Thrive conflict free !Envisioned like a sail of a boat the Condotel becomes the dominant landmark / light tower on the shores of Beirut.
The design is driven by an algorithmic script where the torque of the building is used to counterbalance the sail mass of the tower
The Residential & Office Tower complex is staged by the center piece ‘A’ Frame Towers, which literally becomes the gateway to Beirut harbor. The inclined hovering red accent mass is suspended over the entry waterway.The Three Cultural Anchors act as a triumvirate that marks the book ends of the development _ The oceanic Aquarium as the furthest post of phase 2 development, while the Exhibition Hall & Symphony Hall as the edges of Phase 01.Architecture of the Aquarium: The Beirut Aquariums (Phase 02) are a ‘never seen before’ aquarium type in the world.
The large aquarium tanks are essentially ‘Water Blocks’ exposed to the outside ie sunlight. The visitor galleries are within the tanks accessed by a subterranean concourse. The roof of the tanks are green lawns which are accessible by the visitors affording great views out to the city & the sea .
Such a schematic for an aquarium also
has the advantage that people can leisure view the tanks while strolling the parks without ever going into the formal exhibits. The lanes between the ‘water blocks ‘ are reminiscent of the streets of old Beirut. Emerald Blue glow of the tanks during day time seen from within and seen from outside during the evening hours is itself a land feature.
Architecture of the Symphony Hall: The Performing Art Center and Symphony Hall (Phase 01) will be the anchor program that would promote Lebanese performing art and culture.
The identity of a society is rooted in its culture, & it is through nurturing a cultural identity that the identity of a society evolves, matures. And for a post conflict society, celebration of identity, harmony & pride are quintessential. Thus a Performing Art Center is a coalescing program for a healing society.
The architecture of the Performing Art Center & Symphony Hall plays off the image of the curtains of a performance stage. The Façade ‘Drapes’ the structure , creating a stunning , yet not over the top architecture. Entrances to the concourses are through the gaps in the curtains. The façade are lined up with LED strips that are modulated as per the music of the symphony i.e.
are a virtual graphic equalizer display that functions to the tune of the symphonies in real time.
Architecture of the Exhibition Hall: The Exhibition Hall (Phase 01) marks the natural programmatic border between the shipping container dock yards and the Phoenix Development. The Exhibition Hall / ‘Messe Beirut’ reflects the trading heritage that Beirut enjoys with the rest of the world.
The large Messe halls are composed of a series of arch like, sail like, wings of dove like façade that though contemporary looking, yet has distinctly middle eastern architectural flare. For economic prosperity and trade advancement, an established culture of Trade Fairs would make Beirut a premiere trading hub in the Middle East.
Economic prosperity is key to sectarian unity for a society as divided as Beirut.