Beirut.com posted these beautiful artistic graffiti found on the streets of beirut. An artist by the name of Ginane Makki Bacho has taken the issue of discovering local street art in her own hands. Although Lebanon’s walls are more known for political messages, I actually loved the colors and compositions in these specific works. You can check Ginane’s page and Beirut.com for more.
It seems irregular shapes in architecture is the trend nowadays. This is a project located in Beirut on the Fouad Shehab Highway, which is a convenient and beautiful location. The best part about the location is that it overlooks downtown Beirut, and unlike most other areas in Beirut, the view can’t be blocked.
The design focuses on “stacked glass boxes” with an additional aim from its design, maximizing buildable area.
The view from this building is amazing, you can see the best of Beirut, i.e. downtown and the sea at the same time, that’s mainly due to the location of the area on a somewhat higher level. The panoramic glass blocks have shading louvers to provide privacy and shade from the excessive sunlight.
Its important the main view was one sided, as the area behind the building is still to a great extent still abandoned and with no great views whatsoever.
As much as I’m thrilled with the idea that one of the world’s top architecture firms are designing a project in Beirut, Lebanon, I’m a bit disappointed its another residential and shopping project locals can’t afford. But let’s look at the bright side, finally we’ll have a Foster + Partners signed project .
From Foster + Partner’s website:
3Beirut – the first project designed by Foster + Partners to break ground in Lebanon – is revealed today. Responding directly to the site and culture of Beirut, the scheme will create a sustainable residential and retail development of international quality. The development will also strengthen Beirut’s role as a center for tourism, commerce, retail and entertainment while providing new green spaces at ground level for the city to enjoy.
Located in the Beirut Central District, the scheme forms a part of the prestigious Sector B of the Solidere master-plan and is designed to enhance this area as a thriving and celebrated part of the city. Particular consideration has been given to the public realm and the creation of an attractive environment accessible to pedestrians. Established around direct pedestrian routes across the site, its design will connect the historic city center to the harbor at the Mediterranean. The podium level and surrounding external spaces will provide a cluster of shops, cafes, restaurants, a gymnasium, an art gallery and public gardens. The glazed north side of the towers will provide spectacular views of the harbor, while the south facing side steps down in height, integrating the towers into the urban grain. 3Beirut will be the first towers in the city to have green roofs, creating a unique residential development. Foster + Partners’ vision for the interiors is to create apartments that are based on elegant and functional layouts, allowing the occupants to inhabit them in a number of different ways, while also enhancing the appeal of this distinctive location. The interiors will be signified by calm, uncluttered space and the passive environmental strategy will maximize natural light and ventilation. Luke Fox, a senior partner and design director at Foster + Partners, remarked: “I am delighted that our first project in Lebanon is under construction. 3Beirut will be a significant addition to the city and I look forward to it contributing to the emerging success of Beirut as an international destination.”
Fady Nammour is a Lebanese photographer whose talent can not be missed.The way he captures landscape and natural scenery is just breathtaking. I selected a few of my favorite photos from his collection to share them with you.
Through his lens you get to relive the moment he captured. There is no need to say much, checking out the photos is enough to take you where they took me.
This project in particular has sentimental value to me. The Ghazale Residence is three-story villa which is a collaborative work between architect Gilbert Zarka and myself, Sahar Ghazale.
Located in Chtoura, in the beautiful Bekaa Valley in Lebanon, this residence stands out in terms of design. It is the only such architecture in the area, as opposed to the traditional designs surrounding it.
On the exterior facades, we used Basalt stone in both white and grey, and Béton brut (architectural concrete). You will notice several volumetric elements such as concrete pergolas, a 13m high chimney and high glass structures allowing as much light as possible into the house. One of the main features of the garden is the shallow pool with fountains and teak wood pergolas.
In more than one area there are double height voids and skylights. Even the basement enjoys natural sunlight through a garden continuing from the exterior to the interior. The main entrance boasts a long runway of stamped concrete in two different grey tones with contracting white sea stones flanking from both sides leading to a 3meter high solid walnut main door.
The owner is a person who loves his garden and cherishes every single plant, thus requested numerous water features and a beautiful olive tree he raised on a separate hill. Palm trees which are usually synonymous with humid and hot areas such as the gulf, composed a large portion of the plantation in the garden of this villa, something which is unusual for this specific location.
The interior design is a continuation of the exterior. The basalt stone continues to the inside on numerous walls. A red wall supports the main staircase. Apart from that all finishes are in neutral tones indicating luxury and simplicity. Wood used on the ground level is Palisander which contrasts beautifully with the dark tinted walnut doors. All doors were in the form of panels reaching ceiling height.
Most of the furniture used was from Roche Bobois, which is the owner’s favorite brand. Ceiling design is very simple. Lighting is mainly in the form of indirect lighting, halogen spotlights highlighted certain areas for warmer color effect. In future posts I will be introducing more interior photos of the different rooms on the upper floors.
For further information you can contact me directly on my contact page or email.
Mher Krikorian is a young talented photographer from Lebanon. I came across his work after following him on twitter and realizing his passion for what he does best, hang around Beirut and “Shoot with his Canon”.
His input is very touching, through his “Life is Awesome” collection, not only did he attach pamphlets with his own words, he spread them in a way that made passersby smile and even if for a moment, think of how “awesome” life is.
Almost every city has its icon building or skyscraper making it the symbol of the city if not the entire country. Kuwait has its “Kuwait Towers” but now this might change, a new iconic tower is emerging. Like everything so big, controversy arises, many people are against it due to the high cost and its “alien” character in a city where no proper city planning has been done, others however are thrilled to have such a monument that would draw international attention. The AlHamra tower is 412m high, one of the 10 highest towers in the world, however this is not the main special characteristic of this tower, its pride resides in it being the tallest “sculpted” tower. It is about time we appreciate design and form over just height. This tower captures it all.
Its southern wall acts as the backbone of the skyscraper, yet it is designed to decrease solar radiation. In a country as hot as Kuwait, creating such an aspect that protects the building against harsh environmental conditions is essential.
It’s a pity how the area around it is very primitive with old 1 and 2 story structures that are an eyesore for everyone passing through the city. In addition to the unfortunate surrounding, the angle at which the tower is situated does not allow much ability for passers by to view the entire monument, it can only be seen fully from a distant angle.
Instead of criticizing the AlHamra tower for being among these buildings, instead, I think its a step to find a solution for everything that should NOT be there.
Below are images taken from AlHamra website, the video from Discovery’s “Build it Bigger” , and the last one from my phone’s camera couple of days ago to show the tower’s recent status.
For details, floor plans, and images please refer to the tower’s web site.
Paintings are very personal; their addition to any space can transform its entire character. An interior designer feels the project is complete with these valuable additions especially if they reflect a character or tell a story. In our modern times, with the advance and appreciation of forms and colors, well established proportions are essential in every artwork, if not done properly, could cause an eyesore and mess up the entire feel of the space.
In this post I will be mentioning two young Lebanese artists I had the chance to see their work evolve in the past few years. Their work is abstract yet full of emotion and character.
Paula Chahine is an artist I know personally, her work is very inspiring. Her display of the human body and its movements in addition to the vibrant colors and beautiful lines has made her very popular among those who have an appreciation for the young spirited art. The selection below is among my favorites, as an added service she does custom-made paintings, “l’art sur mesure”, to accommodate a client’s color or theme preference while maintaining her own style.