Beirut Exhibition Center (BEC), is the first structure dedicated to contemporary art in the new waterfront development area. Designed by L.E.FT, the BEC responds to its location, a constantly shifting context, and contributes to a new skyline for the city. Simultaneously the interior is in constant motion with the shifting of exhibitions and as L.E.FT described, “the architecture is trapped in a dynamic state of limbo.”
Follow the break for photographs and design description by the architects.
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Team: Daniel Colvard, Makram el Kadi, Karine Yassine, Ziad Jamaleddine, Cindy Moon, Mahdi Sabbagh, Karie Titus
Landscape Architects: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
Contractor: Target Engineering
Project Area: 1,200 sqm
Project Year: 2010
Photographs: Courtesy of L.E.FT
L.E.FT described the exterior skin and its corresponding interaction with Beirut, “The skin, designed in custom corrugated anodized mirror aluminum, becomes an index for the growth of the city, a place holder that derives its identity from that of the ever changing context. The city becomes a work of art, an abstract expressionist painting in motion. Beirut finally sees itself in the mirror. The mirror cladding refutes shadows to further accentuate the placeless nature of the building, and the emphasis on the surrounding, a heterotopian condition that provides a space for self reflection and a new critical view to the city.”
Working with the topography, the building sits in a reflective pool of water that further reflects both building and context into an immaterial state, just like the city that will ‘become’, but ‘is’ not yet. A bamboo grove to the north and a sculpture garden to the south frame the building and with the wind create a constant movement of a second nature.