Celine Tarabay, Joelle Youssef, Elias Lahoud
USEK - Holy spirit University of Kaslik
Urban Design and Landscape
Idea: Renewal of an underused central space through revamped accessibility, mixed-use functions and a cultural approach. Globalization and modernism,… more
Architektural & urban design | landscape & post-industrial design. more
Dear Celine Tarabay
First of all, congratulations on your bold and ideological approach to the project. The broad perspective and the attempt to find answers to many local problems is commendable. I would like to suggest a few things related to both the listing of your work and its substantive content.
It would be very helpful to capture a wider urban context, the jump between the scale of the city area and the plot is quite drastic and makes it difficult to capture the intentions of certain compositional or communication decisions in the project. Probably it would show greater value of Your proposal too. Perhaps communication (bicycle highway, other forms of linear communication structures, but of the nature of public space) could be a link with other areas of the city and a platform for spreading Your idea (represented in the concept). Young people are strength and momentum, but referring to tradition and identity (what you do), we must consider the bond between them, maybe the weight of your proposal is shifted too much towards the contemporary - international character of the city's transformation. This is great for the beneficiaries of a good education and the lucky chosen ones, but it can run the risk of being rejected and marginalized to others. So I would consider the balance between public functions and, for example, social housing, but also co-housing, or the house-studio formula - mixed use, maybe penetrating the surrounding area with that – dragging others into the center, induce to participation, provoke some collisions between old and new. Basically, urban design (and architecture) could be the instrument to implement this integration. Other thing - the proportions of public spaces - more informal, not directly related to a specific object and its function, could be more present, both in terms of size and typology (park, square, garden ..., water?).
The multi-level (layered) nature of your proposal is a great value and a value that can be developed on the architectural and urban (but also social and economic) level.
I hope Beirut will flourish soon and wish you to be a part of it. Congratulations.
Idea: Renewal of an underused central space through revamped accessibility, mixed-use functions and a cultural approach.
Globalization and modernism, alongside zoning and poor city planning have led Beirut to be an ever-growing metropolis lacking a defined identity.
The site is in the area of Medawar, a secluded island, which has been overlooked and neglected for decades. The locality is characterized by a dominant industrial aspect, a complex social structure and a mix of nationalities. After thorough analysis, we deduced the following problematic:
How to make Medawar attractive again without gentrifying the neighborhood, while preserving public spaces and the existing social tissue? How to achieve a successful formula of equity and diversity in the revitalization of the locality?
The three main points that gave rise to the development of the proposal are: link, unify and flexibility. The proposed project aims to densify and activate the Medawar area expected to become a catalyst for the development of Beirut, with economic opportunities and cultural facilities designed for the local population. It proposes the visual and architectural unification of context and landscape with building, revitalizing an area that has previously caused spatial rupture. In this sense, pedestrian flow simplification, previously interrupted by automobile prioritization, is considered necessary. To this end, a new bridge crosses from Mar Mikhael towards Medawar. This bridge will reflect the spatial union of the context with the building, consolidating itself as a vector with movement along the surface of the public space, creating spatial and functional correlation.
The final proposal resembles a campus heart, a learning center within the city, playing with direct context and allowing permeability between the surroundings and the project to be built. The new library, nestled underneath a large plaza, becomes a floor at the heart of the area, open to everyone, a non-visual contrast element for the community, consolidated by a plant cover allowing a fluid movement for passers-by. So, this somewhat paradoxical work is not about creating objects. It's about creating places.
Accompanying this strategy, an existing architectural complex is rehabilitated into public and educational facilities, generating activity and job opportunities specifically based on the needs and qualification of the community.
After crossing the highway, the bridge gets a lookout above the trees and observes the urban landscape of Medawar. The new Library Plaza maintains its original character and hierarchizes the connections between existing warehouses and the new additions while articulating what was fragmented before due to a generalized overcomplexity. A transit platform is conceived in the existing warehouse, democratizing public space and acting as an entrance to the area, the monumentality of the structure is thus recalibrated and humanized.
Civic plazas and connecting elements are also part of the strategy. Amid the existing buildings, an urban forest takes place and a void for the people makes transition to a view of the Design Lab framed by an Architectural Promenade.
An Urban Project: Dynamic (commercial, educational and cultural facilities); Compact (with high: density and connectivity); & Egalitarian (with commerce and job opportunities for both men and women).
With a local library, cultural facilities, a handy work learning center that we called Design Lab, and restaurants operated by hotel management students, all specifically based on the needs and qualifications of the community.