Issam Fares Institute – American University of Beirut / Zaha Hadid Architects

01:00 - 12 June, 2014
© Hufton+Crow
© Hufton+Crow

© Hufton+Crow © Hufton+Crow © Luke Hayes © Hufton+Crow +39

GM Architects Cut Through Beirut's Multicultural History at 2014 Venice Biennale

01:00 - 2 June, 2014
A view of the museum from the monolith. Image © GM Architects
A view of the museum from the monolith. Image © GM Architects

Lebanese design firm GM Architects will be presenting its “Museum of Civilization” at the Time Space Existence exhibition of the 2014 Venice Biennale. The firm will be the only group representing Lebanon at this year’s exhibition. Their museum design addresses the Biennale’s theme of fundamentals by exploring the historical basis of architectural culture in the rich and varied context of their home country.

Stereokitchen / Paul Kaloustian Architect

01:00 - 29 May, 2014
© Joe Kesrouani
© Joe Kesrouani

© Ieva Saudargaite © Joe Kesrouani © Joe Kesrouani © Ieva Saudargaite +21

Mitsulift HQ / Raed Abillama Architects

01:00 - 9 February, 2014
© Géraldine Bruneel
© Géraldine Bruneel

© Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel +22

Morphosis Architects to Design New U.S. Embassy in Beirut

01:00 - 1 November, 2013
Beirut, Lebanon. Image © VOA/V. Undritz
Beirut, Lebanon. Image © VOA/V. Undritz

Morphosis Architects has been selected from a shortlist of three to design the new U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) chose Morphosis over Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam with AECOM after conducting a series of presentations and interviews in the third round of the international competition. 

"Morphosis presented a strong, cohesive team with over 50 years of collaborative experience. Their presentation demonstrated the management and design approach required to successfully execute this project, as well as a thorough understanding of the importance and impact of an American Embassy in Beirut.

IXSIR Winery / Raed Abillama Architects

00:00 - 10 July, 2013
Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects
Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects

Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects Courtesy of Raed Abillama Architects +23

Architecture City Guide: Beirut

00:00 - 9 May, 2013
© Flickr User Omar Chatriwala
© Flickr User Omar Chatriwala

Following a brutal 15-year civil war that tore the city apart, Beirut has recovered remarkably; it was voted the number one destination to visit by the New York Times in 2009, and, more recently, received a similar title by Frommer's. The city is in the second phase of one of the biggest urban reconstruction projects in the world, run by Solidere, which has brought architects like Steven Holl, Herzog & DeMeuron, Zaha Hadid, Vincent James, and Rafael Moneo to the local scene. In less internationalized parts of the city sit the landmarks of the 1960s and 1970s, Beirut's pre-war glory days, including buildings by names such as Alvar Aalto, Victor Gruen, and the Swiss Addor & Julliard. With a city growing as fast as Beirut it is impossible to have a final city guide, so we look forward to hearing your suggestions and building on this over the years.

Photos and a map of Beirut's most exciting buildings after the break...

Fidar Beach House / Raed Abillama Architects

01:00 - 25 April, 2013
© Géraldine Bruneel
© Géraldine Bruneel

© Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel © Géraldine Bruneel +20

The New 'Context' in Architecture: Learning From Lebanon

00:00 - 5 April, 2013
The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut's Historic Campus. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects.
The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut's Historic Campus. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects.


Context in architecture has become a subject bloated with discussion and debate over the years. And, as a matter of fact, it has come to matter very little in its formal and typological sense. Take, for instance, the fluid forms that compose Zaha Hadid’s hundreds of projects around the world, or Frank Gehry’s exploding compositions seen from South America to the unmistakable Guggenheim in Bilbao. The form architecture takes in these cases, and countless others, is in itself a deliberate disregard towards context in its literal sense.

But is this disregard for context a mistake? Observers would often say so, though I would like to disagree. It has become frequent that projects like these, largely formal and not politely accommodating their historic surrounding, actually take greater interest in social urban issues that have a direct impact on the city dwellers. Quite simply, successful architecture today is one that serves society culturally and practically, addressing tangible problems of 21st century cities and dealing with context in a solution-oriented manner, going beyond aesthetics (whose value is only temporary) and into future-invested urbanism. Case-in-point? My hometown: Beirut, Lebanon.

The Lebanese American University Campus in Byblos. Image © Nadim Asfar The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Saint Joseph University Campus of Sports and Innovation. Image © 109 Architectes The Issam Faris Institute at the American University of Beirut's Historic Campus. Image © Zaha Hadid Architects. +12

Beirut Terraces / Herzog & de Meuron

01:00 - 2 April, 2013
Courtesy of Benchmark
Courtesy of Benchmark

Beirut Terraces rethinks the concept of the skyscraper, creating a vertical village composed of thin, elegant platforms layered in a playful formation. By offering lavish outdoor spaces, breathtaking views, and meticulously composed lofts, architects Herzog & DeMeuron bring an unprecedented way of living to crowded and dense Beirut.

More on these contemporary living spaces after the break...

Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark Courtesy of Benchmark +7

i-SKI /

01:00 - 11 February, 2013
Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP
Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP
  • Architects

  • Location

    Faqra, Lebanon
  • Lead Architect

    Elie ABS
  • Design Team

    Charbel Karam, Elie Mattar, Rita Tedy
  • Client

    OMBA
  • Area

    1100.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

    Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP

Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP Courtesy of ACCENT DESIGN GROUP +13

NAAS Springs - FFA Proposal / Hapsitus Architects

03:00 - 23 January, 2013
Courtesy of Hapsitus Architects
Courtesy of Hapsitus Architects

The design proposal for NAAS Springs, a well-known wellness center and place of relaxation in Beirut, is formed by a series of walls projecting into nature. They alternate between large living spaces with roofs for residences and uncovered elongated spaces for the passages, which form an extension of nature. Designed by Hapsitus Architects, the architectural landscape is created in the spirit of water following down a sloped terrain. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Beirut Multi Art Use (MAU) Project Proposal / Dina Hadi

11:00 - 18 January, 2013
Courtesy of Dina Hadi
Courtesy of Dina Hadi

Designed by architect Dina Hadi, the proposal for the Beirut Multi Art Use project represents a total art mass from the city with different rhythms and patterns. It becomes a live scene from local artists that is captured into this box. With a focus on art as a foundation base for cultures, this project becomes a model for global art beyond. Her study was also awarded the best prize at the Oslo School of Architecture under the title, ‘Excellence in Professionalism’. More images and architects’ description after the break.

BANKMED Headquarters Winning Proposal / John Robertson Architects

23:00 - 15 January, 2013
Courtesy of John Robertson Architects
Courtesy of John Robertson Architects

John Robertson Architects (JRA) just won an international competition to design a new 16,400m2 headquarters for BANKMED in Beirut, Lebanon. Located at the center of the Mina El Hosn district and near to central Beirut, will become a landmark in Beirut and provide an innovative, stimulating and practical environment for employees, executives and the bank’s customers. Their proposal includes three interconnected office pavilions, which step up in height from 9 to 19 storeys. More images and architects’ description after the break.

House 0614 / Simpraxis Architects

01:00 - 15 October, 2012
© Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou
© Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou
  • Architects

  • Location

    Nicosia
  • Architect in Charge

    Marios Christodoulides, Christos Christodoulou
  • Design Team

    Christos Pasadakis, Maria Karydou, Stelios Zenieris, Stella Parpa
  • Construction

    Hadjivassilis Construction LTD
  • Structural Engineer

    Platonas Stylianou
  • Mechanical Engineer

    Kikis Hadjifrangiskou
  • Electrical Engineer

    Loukianos Raftis
  • Area

    339.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2011
  • Photographs

    Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou

© Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou © Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou © Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou © Marios Christodoulides, Christos Papantoniou +42

Residence Staircase / .PSLAB

11:00 - 1 September, 2012
Courtesy of .PSLAB
Courtesy of .PSLAB

Designed for Bernard Khoury of DW5 for a private residence in Beirut, .PSLAB’s aim for the staircase in this space is to highlight the distinguishing features and shape of the staircase, all the while offering a distinctive experience. inspiration in this project came from the staircase’s main characteristics. The aim was to create a lighting concept that would not only mirror these distinguishing features but also complement the structure. The constraints encountered came not from the space but from the lighting fixture itself which required special handling to turn a concept into reality. More images and architects’ description after the break.

CMA-CGM Headquarters / Nabil Gholam Architects

01:00 - 28 August, 2012
© Geraldine Bruneel
© Geraldine Bruneel

© Richard Saad © Richard Saad © Richard Saad © Geraldine Bruneel +26

Architecture Research Center / Petros Konstantinou, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

01:00 - 28 December, 2011
© Agisilaou and Spyrou
© Agisilaou and Spyrou

© Agisilaou and Spyrou © Agisilaou and Spyrou © Agisilaou and Spyrou © Agisilaou and Spyrou +41