OPEN HOUSE OPEN SPACE - BEIRUT 2009
The House of Arts & Culture, Beirut, Republic of Lebanon
The House needs Open Spaces
The site is small; it will be locked tightly between high rise towers to the east and west and is closed by a motorway to the south. To the north is a diminutive hotel, the Bacri House facing a small garden. This little building & garden are prominent through their almost insouciant under-use of prime land. Our project follows suit copying and stretching the hotel’s footprint to create a large plaza bordered in one side by a thin low House in the projected footprint of the hotel. Thus the garden of the Hotel becomes an extension of the House and vice versa.
Ramps and Open Spaces
The whole site is ramped from downtown on the south side to the Avenue General Fouad Chehab creating an Upper and a Lower Plaza. The Performance Halls and other spaces such as the cinema and meeting rooms which by their nature are closed to the exterior and demand climatical and acoustical controls are placed underneath.
Ramps running perpendicularly to this main movement snake sinuously along the hotel side moving towards the Avenue GFC and back to downtown intertwining with the ramped plaza. This thin volume relates directly to the Hotel and links the plaza to its garden. It contains spaces such as Restaurants, Shops & Exhibition halls which need natural light and direct contact with the city and the outside. The thinness of the volume allows the spaces to be naturally lit and ventilated.