Restitching Beirut - Sea to City

Landen James, Sananda Sobie, Adhira Ravi, Griffin Upton, Tej Raja and Connor Hyndman
Laurentian University, Laurentian University School of Architecture, Sudbury

Idea projektu

Following the tragic blast of the Beirut Port lands on August 4th, 2020, this project aims to strategically pave the way for the economic resurgence of the city and its adjacent communities. The primary way in which the proposed design is carried out is through the reconnection of the affected areas, such as the northern edges of the city, with the relatively intact south of the city.

Popis projektu

This re-connection specifically intends to promote the introduction of new residential, educational, commercial, and public recreational areas along the coastline of Beirut whilst respecting and seamlessly integrating it into the delicate yet highly active ecology of the portlands and surrounding communities. Our team attempts to provide attainable urban and social development strategies rooted in sustainable and culturally responsive design decisions. The approach itself prioritizes three main locations along the existing portlands. These ‘zones’ each provide key revival opportunities while staying connected through carved-out pedestrian-friendly paths of travel.

Technické informace

Zone 1 develops a series of new waterfront communities hosting mixed-use multi-story residential and commercial infrastructure in conjunction with educational campus expansions and new schools with the purpose to increase the city’s access to education and grow its economic development. Coupled with sustainable development strategies such as clean energy harvesting infrastructure, natural vegetation implementation, and promoting citizens’ health & well-being through the introduction of pedestrian right-of-way routes, this new neighbourhood evolves into a central anchor within the city of Beirut.

Zone 2 describes opportunities on how to tie the redevelopment of the portlands back to the adjacent neighbourhoods of Beirut. It is important for this zone to remain an integral part of the economic functioning of the port while remaining an accessible junction that connects the shoreline's promenade with the city's urban core. Central to this zone is the development of a memorial landmark that is reminiscent of the silo remains from the port’s incident. The rebuilt silo serves as a symbol for the reconstruction of the port infrastructure that is newly engaged to support a new narrative in industrial, pedestrian, and sustainable regrowth. The use of the Cedrus Libani national Lebanese tree creates a symbolism of power and longevity that allows the barren blast zone to once again become natural and rejuvenated with life. These trees were used sparingly to create a groove within which allows life to return to the silo and the heart of the blast.

Zone 3 proposes the revival of the old shoreline of Beirut by reintroducing ocean water to the everlasting vegetation through a canal that follows the profile of the old shoreline. This canal being solely reliant on the tidal behavior of the ocean creates a dynamic landscape for community activities and events to take place over. In the broader sense, remembering the beginnings of Beirut as a Port city.
Facilitating the flow of cleaner ocean water into Beirut is the regreening initiative planned for the mouth of River Beirut. This would ensure the water entering the city through the canal is safe for humans to come in contact with.
To further integrate the cultural and religious history of Beirut, the damaged southern corner of Karantina has been transformed to also include motifs and other architectural embellishments, aligning with the colonial and cultural past of Beirut alongside visually offsetting the edgy feel of Karantina.

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