David Kijanovic
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Architecture, Belgrade, Serbia

Project idea

With the sentence "Ideology represents the imaginary relationship of individuals to their real conditions of existence" in his notes "Ideology and State Ideological Apparatus" Louis Althusser explains the concept of ideology. With that statement, he abstracts the concept itself, but by its manifestation in real human conditions, he concludes that "ideology has a material existence."
A major port like the one in Beirut is a crossroads and a key place of consumption and exchange of capital and culture needed to establish a functioning civilization. The area of ​​Lebanon itself was once upon a time, in Antiquity, a key stronghold for the trade of ideas and goods. From the original settlements of hunters and gatherers, a far-reaching trade civilization of the Phoenicians developed, which continued to play its role as a stronghold throughout the centuries, no matter how many times it was conquered. That role remained important in the modern and contemporary era, making Beirut a key point of such exchanges in the Mediterranean area.
Admittedly, the key obstacle to such a place of prosperity arises precisely when ideology develops and neglects the existential needs of society and the individual. The result of this can be seen in the long-standing conflicts that have brought the territory of Lebanon to a position of political, economic, cultural (and other) destruction that ignores the basic conditions of human existence. The personification of such events is the explosion that occurred on August 4, 2020 in this port due to inadequate communication and organization of the state apparatus, bringing the entire system to the breaking point. It represents the culmination of conflicting imaginary relations that go beyond the needs to establish a stable social order and its function.
This project represents a proposal for the reconstruction of the port in Beirut after its destruction.

Project description

The project concept proposes a stronger connection between the city and the coast, whereby the part of the port intended for cargo traffic is moved to the east. This move frees up a large area of ​​the port that will be used for passenger terminals and public and cultural facilities.
The main segment of the relationship between the port and the city consists in designing a channel along the entire length of the port, which at first glance represents a barrier. However, in certain parts, the canal penetrates towards the city, thus realizing the idea of ​​intertwining the port and the city. In the parts where the canal penetrates towards the city, footbridges are planned that follow the direction of the penetration, while there are no footbridges on the eastern side (intended for freight transport), because this zone is not intended for the public.
On the port side of the canal, a linear park is planned, which has the role of connecting all areas of the port, while on the other side, it is directly connected to the cultural and historical core of the city. In the central part next to the silo, at the place where the explosion took place, a memorial zone with different types of public content is planned.

Technical information

With my solution, I propose repurposing the port into a point of inflow and outflow of culture, social prosperity and life, not just goods and capital, where it represents an ideologically untainted and abstract functional stronghold. It is directly connected to the city and the central core of social and economic life, where the content of the port penetrates, influencing its changes and needs.
Such a potential is necessary in this environment - the abstraction of a place whose function is to invade the system that has come to the limit of breaking.

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