House of Arts & Culture Competition

Beirut, Lebanon

Status: Competition 2009

At an urban scale, the project aims to be a transition between modern Beirut and the more ancient one; a transition between urban chaos and the more rational planning of the French mandate. On the Ring side, a huge arch acts as the stage of an urban theater, attracting drivers. It covers a big plaza designed as an open air theater where people can sit and watch street artists. The plaza floor is glazed with opaque skylights that bring a soft light to the workshops. By night, the skylights create a pattern of light adding dynamism to the plaza.

In contrast with the big Arch which is clad in dark grey Alucobond, the building is clad with beige stone, in harmony with the BCD buildings. The backstage tower acts as a huge billboard to promote the building’s various activities.