- Architect In Charge:Rabih Geha Architects
- Client:Images d'Orient
Text description provided by the architects. In line with RG/Architects’ mission of ‘creating spaces for people to inhabit, work, play and experience,’ the practice crafts a home for the oriental vagabond to dock. After travelling the world to over 50 countries, Images D’Orient – a concept dreamt up by brother/sister duo Charbel Raphael and Peggy Raphael Dabbar in celebration of past civilizations – is housing their products and conceiving new ones in a space signed RG/Architects.
Extracting from the Mediterranean architecture and the brand’s aesthetic components, the space echoes Images d’Orient’s embrace of diversity and its alliance of modern and ancient through a composite of cultural footprints. Hosted in Ashrafieh, one of Beirut’s oldest quarters, the space has a dual use: it mainly acts as a shop but also as a studio. It opens on a façade of successive arched windows that puncture the boutique revealing the continuity of arched doorways and display once inside.
The space embraces a lost in translation approach, where explicit traditional references evolve into contemporary form; this is felt through the use of modular lights with aluminum glossy reflectors, display in brushed stainless steel and brass details, and white undulating and perforated steel mesh. Hues reminiscent of Mediterranean archetypes dominate the space; grey Aggloceppo terrazzo flooring, bright white walls, blue arched openings and a vibrant red ceiling.
The main shop area is a large rectangular space with 4 different types of display, the first is the central Statuario counter top, the second is the L shaped Stainless steel shelves fixed to the wall, the third is the series of linear shelves embedded inside the blue painted arches and the last display is the almost flat elements fixed on hidden storage cabinet doors. Through the stainless steel shelves fixed inside the arched openings, one can glimpse the narrow passage behind.
The display gallery acts as a backdrop curtain to the shop with white perforated undulating metal sheets for cabinet doors allowing translucency. Images d’Orient products and unique pieces are showcased, offering a “piece of Lebanon for anyone and everyone to hold.” To the back of the ‘Gallery’ ,one of the repeating white mesh panels opens to a small kitchenette and restroom. The space will also serve as the creative launching pad for to come, delivering the richness of the Mediterranean heritage heralded by Images d’Orient.