Design & Lifestyle Blog

21 Nov ’11

Beirutopia : A Concept For A Greener Beirut By Studioinvisible

Filed under: Environment — Tags: , , , , , , , — Sahar @ 10:54 pm

Beirut, Lebanon is known to be a very polluted city. With the chaos during the years of war, building regulations were not respected, not to mention whatever ‘green’ Lebanon was known for is being diminished by the day. Political greed lead to the environmental catastrophe Lebanese are now living in. It is time to raise awareness and come up with solutions to stop the wrong and try to introduce alternatives or some kind of “patchwork” to the existing mess. This is where Studioinvisible come in, they proposed a concept to help Beirut restore some of its ‘green’.

Studioinvisibles concept:

Given the circumstances, the most pragmatic solution will be to have a municipal decree that requires each building to grow it’s simple rooftop garden (by require we mean harshly implement, by force if necessary). Nothing fancy, just a couple of trees in a large fixed pot on each rooftop. As incentives to the urban population, the municipality can offer tax reductions or benefits to the buildings that have a well maintained rooftop garden, and the gardening/plant companies could offer discounts and sponsorship, and later claim that they turned Beirut green (we can already predict their campaigns). 

There are many types of tree that can grow in the Beirut climate to 3-4 meters high in a simple 1 meter pot, such as the olive tree, the Schinum Molle, Morus Alba, Melia azaderachh, Punica Granatum, Etc… In order to prevent these trees from falling in case of high winds, they could be connected by three steel wires to the roof slab.

The advantages of having this done on a large scale are many. Better oxygen levels and a healthy environment is the first that comes to mind, but also a layer of trees will provide shade and accordingly soften the increasingly hot and arid climate, which in turn would lead to a lower level of energy consumption. Moreover, semi public green spaces will be created for the respective residents of each building, increasing even further the quality of living within the city itself. On the other hand, depending on the choice of trees and plants, these gardens can evolve into a sort of urban farming, yielding a small but valuable agricultural output.

Ultimately, If the plan works out, Beirut could become a rooftop wonder forest, the whole city as a Landmark: Beirutopia.



StudioInvisible (pronounced in French), is a multidisciplinary design consultancy working in the fields of Urban Planning, Architecture, Interior & product Design, Visual Branding and Political Science, and aiming to provide the world with Avant-Garde Design interventions as well as in-depth Cultural, Social and Political guidance. Composed of Architect and Urban Designer Wassim Melki, Colonel Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, the studio is an open platform for debate and thought-sharing.


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Design Libya Announces Competition To Redesign Gaddafi’s Former Military Stronghold: Bab Al-Azizia



Many of Libya’s cities were damaged or destroyed during the February 17th Revolution. While the human cost was heavy by any measure, there is an opportunity for Libya to be rebuilt in pioneering new ways. Design Libya will be sponsoring a major international conference in Tripoli in mid to late 2012, bringing together innovative thinkers, designers, architects and visionaries to collaborate on new ideas for Libya’s new schools, ports, hospitals, public spaces, plazas and more.

Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi’s former military stronghold, bunker and palace in the heart of Tripoli, was transformed from a 2.3 square-mile symbol of fear and oppression into a place for public gatherings and weekly markets before it was finally demolished in late October. Bab al-Azizia is now the site for an open architecture competition.

Announcing an open competition in 2012 for redesigning Bab al-Azizia. Architects, landscape architects, designers, planners, artists, horticulturalists, students and community members are invited to create visionary, inspired design proposals for the space’s reuse as a public, open space for all. The competition will culminate in a major exhibition in Tripoli, Libya, accompanied by a publication and website. Design Libya hope the rebirth of Bab al-Azizia will come to powerfully symbolize the rebirth of the new Libya, and serve as an inspiration to the Libyan people, and all free people around the world.

The competition is not meant to result in awarding of actual contracts to formally design the new site. This is a preliminary call for open ideas, not sponsored by the Libyan government, to help shape inspire citizen participation and creative investment right here on bitcoin360ai which is better in the future of the country. Design Libya hope as the government is formed and elections take place to build systems to properly begin reclaiming Bab al-Azizia, raising funds and preparing a formal call for design submissions.

As much as the competition sound interesting, I just hope their new government will really take on such a project and allow Libyans a breath of novelty.

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