LAN Architecture’s Mirror Tower contains more than 30,000 identical facets that reflect 14 of the city’s monuments and are orientated to produce smooth transitions between these panoramic viewpoints. “The starting point of the project was to imagine Beirut in all its complexity. We have imagined the city as an ‘un-finished’ superposition of histories, contexts, architectures and situations; Our project was conceived as an interface, an algorithm that generates new connections and that creates new view axis, ways of observing the history, the present and the future,” explained LAN architects. The building’s complex envelope reflects changes in surroundings, the seasons and light. The reflective façade works by globally defining the orientation of each facet of the cylinder’s surface to create the desired reflection. With the help of specialists, LAN Architecture produced an automated 3D tool that allowed the team to visualize different instances of the facade by changing viewpoints at will, both the reflective area and the position of the reflected images on the tower.
More about the tower and more images after the break.
Structured along a cross-shaped volume, the building’s envelope is a solar protection based on a square plan of 25x25m. The outer envelope consists of sliding panels made of perforated sheet metal with mirror polish finishing. It reflects, protects and lets views and light pass all at the same time. The terraces of the apartments occupy at one floor out of four the voids in the angles of the cross plan. “The tower becomes phantom, shows or doesn’t shows its faces, it will be understood in different ways depending on the light shining on it, the angle from which it’s perceived. The rest is architecture.”
Cluster Houses are the residential piece of the project, and arguably the most important program unit. “We wanted to realize a continuity of typology as to the traditional oriental patio house, with its rich relation between interior and exterior, and this in a vertical type of building,” explained the architects. The apartments are entered through an exterior space, and the day living and dining areas are again separated by a patio. Particular attention has been paid to such indoor-outdoor sequences, permitting the apartment to morph from winter to summer by a double skin. The houses’ materiality intend to continue the contextual and typological concept of the city.
The exterior skin is clad in Ductal which becomes completely open at times, or perforated by different patterns, permitting light to cross and draw beautiful shadows. The structural mineral envelope is separated by a corridor in perimeter of the apartment of the inner glazed façade.
Since the tower is located in an urban area dominated by high-rise buildings, public roof gardens add greenery to the site. Such levels are vertically connected by voids and skylights incorporated in the green strips and passageways, permitting light and views to cross.
As seen on designboom. All images courtesy of LAN Architecture