Dunes of Beirut

Irene Santi, Leila Chatt, Davide Piffer
University of Trento

Idea projektu

Our teamwork chose the DUNE concept to the purpose of connect it with the geographic area we are operating in and because this concept allows us to use an organic aesthetic in the best of ways; we want our project to give an idea of “back to the origin” and “gaze at the future” at the same time. Doing this we expect the site the be lived and enjoyed for long periods of time without our operation resulting heavy or invasive.

Popis projektu

We tried to respect the requests in the announcement as faithfully as possible so the group approached the site both with a cautious mindset and innovation spirit. An example of our consideration to the old port (and for the city of Beirut of course) is the decision to maintain a limited highness for the new buildings, not more than 15 meters overground, in order to not induce on the skyline. About the few buildings we decided to built or to recover, the group think the best solution is to treat them like small oasis inside the enormous redevelop we want for the old port. Shortly we want the new buildings to be small but essential exceptions.
Our choice to not use much concrete come from the fact that the city of Beirut is already studded with empty or forsaken buildings and we don’t want to make the situation even worse. All the current buildings that are inside our project area will be torn down or retrieved to host new functions.
Our group observed the city and we thought it is right and proper to think a green area, to which we gave the purpose of glue between the city and the new port. Moreover we planned the green area like a urban park always available for the citizen and rich with native plants. The walkway inside follows the mark of the original coastal border of Beirut.

Technické informace

Considering this announcement was published to fix the damages aroused by a tragic event our team thinks committing a space to honor the victims is opportune.
Regarding the memorial zone we didn’t build something new in order to not pollute the memory of what happened: instead we are sure it is convenient to maintain the only silos left near the explosion area, the same silos that became icon of the terrible event in the port of Beirut. The memorial itself will be placed inside the silos and the names of all the victim will be engraved on its internal walls.
The strong point of our project is a walkway lifted almost all over the entire area available. The height of the path is variable and it connect all the important areas on the site. To get on and get off the path some points of it touch the ground or it is possible to use small buildings to layover. The drawing of this path two-dimensionally marks position and extension of green oasis.
As the announcement request we preserved some function of the old port: we kept the container terminal, the park for heavy trucks (but we changed its viability) and the passengers terminal was moved on the west side of the container zone.
With the idea to provide revivification to the old port we set up new piers to host personal boats in the basin on the east side of the memorial. Owners can access the area through partially public bleachers lit by LED lights. A flight is integrated with the steps for the guests in need.
We placed all the nautical function on the east side of the port and then we planned the west side to be entirely at citizen’s disposal. Between the protrusion of the memorial and the breakwater a split made of buoys will be placed to divide two of the basins from nautical traffic. These basins will be converted in beaches and privacy will be guaranteed to both of them tanks to local trees little forests in the direction of the city. On the beaches changing rooms are available too. The necessity to built new structures and our will to not concrete was an unavoidable dispute for the new commercial area. We found the solution in treating the new buildings like separate oasis inside the great redevelop we want to bring to the port, at the same level of indispensable and convenient exception. Among the new functions we integrated we can find new administrative offices for the port, a luxury mall split in two different buildings, an open theatre, a sport center, a butterfly reserve. Moreover our group thought to integrate a covered pedestrian path along the actual breakwater. We intervened on the section next to the port in west direction and we decided to use it partially as a lengthening of the commercial area and partially redeveloping it with clubs and attractions to make it an enjoyed destination for the city.
The green filter set between the new commercial area and the highway has two main purposes: the first and more obvious is to serve as acoustic filter against the many cars that run on the highway; the second one is to give a urban park to the north part of the city because it is totally devoid of green.
After analyzed the abundance of sunlight and its intensity we thought it is convenient to entrust majority of electric production to a solar system. In particular we want the photovoltaic module to line with the breakwater on the side of the Mediterranean Sea.


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