The Beirut National Museum has lost the essence it had in the 20th century due to the rise of urbanization and the consequential increase in traffic that has been escalating especially on the crossroads. As a result, the plaza has been disrupted and the access to the museum has become increasingly difficult.
In the 21st century, the concept of the museum has changed: It no longer constitutes just an exhibition, but became a site of exchange.
The Beirut National Museum has lost the essence it had in the 20th century due to the rise of urbanization and the consequential increase in traffic that has been escalating especially on the crossroads. As a result, the plaza has been disrupted and the access to the museum has become increasingly difficult. A new vision is thus inevitable to design a new approach to access the building and its extension, hence the creation of a public space that invites university students as well as people passionate about history and tourists, etc... to the museum and its additional facilities.
According to Hegel, a German philosopher, the absolute knowledge of the spirit takes place through a succession of scenes. With history being the origin of all scenes, the phenomenology of the spirit should thus begin with the history in order to reach the present to finally discover an absolute knowledge of the future. This scenography is introduced by Hegel in the creation of contemporary museums.
A connection problem exists between the present museum and the territory located on the other side of the crossroad. Two solutions for this are valid:
1. A connection on top of the street
2. A connection below the tunnel
Inspired by the philosophy of Hegel and after studying the urban context and the site, the design begins with keeping the ground floor free of any construction so that it remains an open space for people to meet and for it to be used for outdoor exhibitions as well as for other events. Above the ground floor, we are forming a new layer that represents the 21st century which stimulates public curiosity. This layer demonstrates the urban context, which is historically rich: it represents the Ottoman and French epochs through the city.
In order to properly delineate our plaza, we are forming a green plaza in an inclined plane facing the residential buildings that are surrounding the terrace. This helps illuminate on the functions of the basement according to the desired ambience.
Master plan, floor plans, 3d visualizations, elevations and drawings