Architects: nARCHITECTS Location: Beirut, Lebanon Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Principals); Tiago Barros, Stephen Hagmann, Hubert Pelletier (Project Architects); Seung Teak Lee, Julia Chapman, Christopher Grabow (Design Team); Competition Phase: Alice Wong (Project Designer), Dominique Gonfard, Adam Vana Architect of Record: ABC Technical Team: Lamia Jallad, Bascir Muhanna, Johnny Salman Client: ABC S.A.L. Structural Engineer: BRM Lighting Designer: DEBBAS Landscape: ZMK Project Year: 2011 Project Area: 50,000 sqm Photographs: Courtesy of nARCHITECTS
nARCHITECTS’ 500,000 sqf ABC Dbayeh department store, a landmark for Beirut’s most prominent department store brand, is currently under construction. This project provides a 250,000 sqf addition and a new facade for the existing 200,000 sqf building.
Turning various constraints into opportunities, the project creates a cohesive assembly of disparate parts: four volumes step down the sloped site, terminating in an LED backlit laser cut aluminum screen on Lebanon’s principal highway bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The screen will shade the department store and reduce heat gain on the building’s western exposure.
At night, the aluminum panels will transform the store into a luminous icon. Waste from the aluminum cut-outs on the westernmost volume is being used as a cladding element throughout the remaining three volumes. The double skin varies in depth from 0.5m to 2.5m to accommodate new displays, entrances, glazing, and canopies. Completion is expected late fall 2011.