On the grounds of the Tripoli International Fair (Rashid Karameh International Exhibition Center) in Lebanon, one finds one of the five largest exhibition centers in the world. The 15 structures, designed by legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in 1963, remain unfinished due to the project's abandonment during the country's civil war in 1975. Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and World Heritage in Danger List, on January 25th, 2023, the 70-hectare site is located between the historic center of Tripoli and the port. In 2022, the renovation of one of the structures on the site, the Niemeyer Guest House, by East Architecture won the Aga Khan Award.
Tripoli: The Latest Architecture and News
Oscar Niemeyer's Unfinished Architecture for Lebanon's International Fair Inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage in Danger List
“Turning Challenges into Opportunities”: In Conversation with East Architecture Studio, One of the Winners of the 2020-2022 Aga Khan Award
This year, one of the winners of the Aga Khan Award was the Renovation of the Niemeyer Guest House by East Architecture Studio. The project is located on Tripoli’s outskirts in Lebanon, and it is part of the Rachid Karami International Fair (RKIF), an unfinished masterpiece by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. ArchDaily’s Managing Editor, Christele Harrouk had the chance to sit with Charles Kettaneh and Nicolas Fayad, founders of the East Architecture Studio, on-site in "the Niemeyer Guest House Renovation" project. Talking about modern heritage and the challenges of renovations, the architects opened the conversation about the role of architecture in building platforms for change.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) announced the winners of the 2022 edition. From a pool of 463 projects nominated for the 15th Award Cycle (2020-2022), the six winners show examples of architectural excellence in the fields of contemporary design, social housing, community improvement and development, historic preservation, reuse and area conservation, as well as landscape design and improvement of the environment. Two projects from Bangladesh, one from Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, and Senegal, will share the UDS 1 million award, one of the largest in architecture.
The international competition for the design of the Knowledge Innovation Center (KIC), part of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone (TSEZ), selected the proposal of MDDM, a Beirut based architectural firm, as the winning project. Taking place in the Rachid Karami International Fair designed by Oscar Niemeyer back in the ’60s, in Tripoli, Lebanon, the imagined intervention had to be functionaly and conceptually compliant to specific requirements.
As part of Tripoli’s economic revival plan, the International Union of Architects (UIA), in collaboration with the Lebanese Federation of Engineers and Architects (on behalf of the Tripoli Special Economic Zone / TSEZ), the Union of Mediterranean Architects (UMAR), and the Lebanese Government, have launched an international architecture competition to create a Knowledge and Innovation Center in the northern city of Lebanon.
The proposed site is situated on an empty lot within Oscar Niemeyer’s abandoned Rachid Karami International Fair, a modernist exhibition complex that has yet to see the light of restoration. The objective of the competition is to create a technology and business hub which will foster and promote start-up businesses and entrepreneurs, attracting students, young graduates, local and international companies to Tripoli and the neighboring region.
Lebanon is home to several outstanding structures, influenced by centuries of architectural styles. However, one of the most intriguing projects in the Middle Eastern country lies in the northern city of Tripoli, a culturally-rich historical city with structures once inhabited by Romans, Crusaders, Phoenicians, and Ottomans. The Rachid Karami International Exhibition Center, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, reflects the slow deterioration from Lebanon’s pre-war golden age to post-war depression. The country's iconic modernist site has suffered after years of neglect and reportedly will require upwards of 15 million dollars to restore.
Henning Larsen Architects has won an invited competition to design a new headquarters for the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli. Inspired by Libyan vernacular architecture, the structure will occupy two existing site excavations. The first, and largest, excavation will be transformed into a “shaded oasis” that serves both the bank and Gurji district by providing areas for operations, an education center, restaurant and hotel. The second will allow vehicular access to the treasuries.
Located in a very rich part of Tripoli where street cafes are full, public gardens are lavish, and pedestrian pathways are bursting with everyday life, it is the perfect setting to tell a piece of Libya’s history. Therefore, the design strategy of Consolidated Consultants/Jafar Tukan Architects consists of embracing this rich surrounding for this history museum. More images and architects’ description after the break.