Architecture City Guide: Beirut

© 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…

Flashback: B 018 / Bernard Khoury Architects

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B 018 is a music club designed by Bernard Khoury Architects, a place of nocturnal survival. In the early months of 1998, the B 018 moved to the “Quarantaine”, on a site that was better known for its macabre aura. The “Quarantaine” is located at the proximity of the port of . During the French protectorate, it was a place of quarantine for arriving crews. In the recent war it became the abode of Palestinian, Kurdish and South Lebanese refugees (20,000 in 1975). In January 1976, local militia men launched a radical attack that completely wiped out the area. The slums were demolished along with the kilometer long bordering wall that isolated the zone from the city. Over twenty years later, the scars of war are still perceptible through the disparity between the scarce urban fabric of the area and the densely populated neighborhoods located across the highway that borders the zone.

Achrafieh 732 / Bernard Khoury Architects

© Bernard Khoury Architects

Architect: Bernard Khoury Architects
Location: ,
Project Year: 2008
Photography: Bernard Khoury Architects

   

Plot 7950 / Bernard Khoury Architects

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Architect: Bernard Khoury Architects
Location: , Lebanon
Project Year: 2010
Photography: Bernard Khoury Architects

   

Plot #183 / Bernard Khoury Architects

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Architect: Bernard Khoury Architects
Location: , Lebanon
Project Year: 2009
Photography: Bernard Khoury Architects

   

Plot 4328 / Bernard Khoury Architects

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Architect: Bernard Khoury Architects
Location: Kferdebian,
Project Year: 2010
Client: Loft Investment
Photography: Bernard Khoury Architects