Urban Design and Landscape

Beirut, The City Of Hope

Pia Maria Saber
USEK
Lebanon

Project idea

Beirut is often described as a region that has mythically risen from its ashes several times. On August 4, 2020, a double explosion hit the port of Beirut. The Explosion must therefore serve as a wake-up call calling for rapid and systematic change while uniting all Lebanese together. My goal is to create a project combining architecture and science and which will be the driving force that generates its environment.
Regarding the theme developed, I took into consideration the four elements of nature. Earth, air, water and fire. Beirut has experienced a multitude of dramas but also victories. So the point should reflect its image while keeping the hope in a victory of a green city. “When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope”, this will be translated by the presence of several sheltered places, far from traffic and urban hustle and bustle, creating a public space where the Lebanese can relax, surrounded by greenery, away from the stress and noise of the city and providing another important stop on the journey of scientific discovery. Memory is forever carved in stone. This is the concept where the architectural walk begins upon arrival at the memorial, dark, inviting us to live the experience with overhead lights that will define the trajectory to follow throughout the underground memorial.
In addition, the walk is followed by a succession of eternal flames, which are present to shed light on what has happened and to, through the transmission, illuminate the future. Once the walk is completed, we arrive at the destroyed silos which will be rebuilt virtually, forming a festive space symbolizing hope and new life. Hence, the intention of making visitors experience a metamorphosis between the drama of the memorial and the hope of the silos of festivities. Concerning the circulation, it bypasses the project, to ensure a dynamic architectural and cultural promenade, inviting visitors to the various functions present in the project.

Project description

This Project is divided into different zones.
The marine terminal, designed for travelers to enhance the tourism in Lebanon.
The Water zone, that offers exclusive rights to explore, exploit, preserve and manage resources. As well it allows encountering with marine species. This area is defined by an aquarium, an informative experience space, a play area with water fountains for children and themed snacks on different levels so as not to block the view of the Mediterranean sea.
The Land zone: Nature is a common good of humanity; it should therefore, be respected by all, because it has a unique heritage value. Ephemeral and temporary exhibition, allows the Lebanese to familiarize themselves with nature and the area is dedicated as well to planting and picking. So this land space is to plant the seeds of peace and hope.
The Air zone, represented by the footbridges, the ecological meeting follies as well as the passages, all surrounded by the flying animals.
The Fire zone, the location of the explosion defined by the silos of festivities, the underground memorial and the eternal flames passage.
And finally, the industrial zone, the private working area, allowing the shipping designed within an ecological system.

Technical information

The destroyed silos which will be rebuilt virtually, are made within a movable system, so it goes up and down, as desired, forming a festive stage, the backstage with its background symbolizing hope and new life.

Documentation

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