Urban Design and Landscape

The Missed Potential of Beirut’s Port Interface

Antanios Habib
USEK - Holy spirit University of Kaslik

Project idea

After dealing with urban problems and anarchic urbanization in Beirut. And the chaos that has created social and spatial inequalities in certain places and in particular in the Medawar area which constitutes the penetrating north of the capital and a neglected potential of a port interface on the north side of the Charles Helou highway.

Project description

In fact, the proposed motorway that will connect Linord with the capital in the future will cross this district and divide it into three zones. And as a lack of green space is present then it is conceived to increase the percentage of green, hence the idea of ​​creating an urban park connecting these three poles of interaction. In addition, the decision to take this highway into consideration will be justified: 1. to avoid urban problems and fragmentation during the future execution of this highway especially now that the land is raw and ready. 2. by a possibility of transforming Avenue Charles Helou into a Boulevard fitted out with service areas and paths for pedestrians and bicycles ... consequently an opportunity to offer spatial equality to this place and has amplified its potential.
Thus, after the analyzes: In zone 1 is the government hospital and the technical layer which is in relation with the port then a polyclinic function and the regrouping of the port laborers will be designed with a translation of the barracks of firefighters and Sukleen. In zone 2 which is predominantly residential then cultural and family functions are developed; especially in the building of the fire station which has architectural significance from the colonial period; as well as three office buildings in connection with the port are designed to follow the architectural development of the south side of the motorway. Zone 3 or the "inner circle" zone which constitutes the heart of the park and the district with economic and commercial importance and a strategic location in relation to the metropolis.

Technical information

a desire thus to work on the facade of the boulevard and to give the exhibition area a brand image and to accentuate this penetrating by the new expression of the Forum by giving it a character of openness, internationality and icon. So a more dynamic and appealing concept of "City Gate" "outside city standards" and a new reading for exhibition areas which are no longer closed areas. As a result, the forum, the start-up building and the artists' house are reconstituted around an axis to create a place of activity and exhibition independent of the park but can be connected. Likewise A reconversion of the buildings in the Sleep comfort zone on the ground floor into pubs and restaurants to form part of the new urban composition.
Likewise, this multifunctional green platform is not monotonous but in metamorphosis, and changes according to each function. Hence the rationale for the "sunken piazza" either to ensure a protected space for children or an exterior extension for the artists' house with a safe underground connection for children by connecting all the components of the park.

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