In Progress: USJ Campus de L’Innovation et du Sport / 109 architectes

© Patrick Helou

Architects: 109 architectes
Location: Beirut,
Client: Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
Partner in Charge: Ibrahim Berberi
Architect in Charge: Nada Assaf TEAM: Rani Boustani, Etienne Nassar, Emile Khayat, Naja Chidiac, Richard Kassab
Collaborating Architect: Youssef Tohme
Project Area: 57,000 sqm
Photographs: 109 architectes

This new campus takes a contextual approach, integrating physically, culturally, and historically with Beirut’s urban tissue. Conceptually an urban block with sculpted voids, the building’s hollow spaces define six autonomous blocks and construct multiple viewpoints across Beirut, connecting students to their dynamic setting.

© Patrick Helou

The voids also generate a street-level meeting space, which flows fluidly to the top floor in the form of a massive staircase. It concludes at a landscaped terrace overlooking the city.


Light is a vital element in oriental architecture and one that shapes its style and identity; the campus exposes alternate light qualities through Moucharabieh-inspired perforations and a polycarbonate volume. Such manipulation presents a striking contrast in filtered light and luminescence. A stylized random-opening treatment is a snapshot of the Lebanese War, lending a poetic glimpse into the reality of destruction and violence.

Site Plan
Cite: Jett, Megan. "In Progress: USJ Campus de L’Innovation et du Sport / 109 architectes" 22 May 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Katsudon

    Wow the real project is so attractive!
    Magnifique! Congratulations

  • up_today_arch

    nice concrete cladding… looks very to the point in this city…

  • Archimaniak

    Looking forward to seeing how the translucent block will look like once built!

  • longborn

    i saw other designs the website of this studio 109 and they have a very unique style… inspiring to know that in a country where war destroyed loads of buildings , a young dynamic architects are behind this project. Keep up the good work guys

  • djioui9

    would like to meet you 109 for a proposal , you should , i will send you an email , great great looking building