Urban Design and Landscape


Eric Tolaba, Ana Belen Juarez, Emilia Gutierrez, Lujan Cordero
Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Tucumán

Project idea

The overall concept starts from the need to connect the fragments of the city of Beirut, historically divided not only by physical barriers, but also by religious, economic and political issues.
The Beirut in Network project seeks to activate the existing urban structure through the creation of different equipment and infrastructure networks, to act as a vehicle for spatial transformation and connectivity at different scales.

Project description

To this end, three types of networks are proposed that seek to generate synergies that will restore competitiveness and productivity to both the city of Beirut in general and its port in particular. The first is a network of public spaces with different levels of hierarchy according to their characteristics and area of influence. The second network of urban fabric and activities aims to link existing activities with new proposals that encourage the revitalization of neglected sectors. Finally, the connectivity and mobility network were designed to link the port of Beirut to its context (both distant and nearby), creating interrelationships between the different economic activities in the region.
In this way creating a master plan with the pedestrian as the protagonist of a city historically governed by the automobile. The plan starts from the need to restore the port sector as it is of great economic, social and cultural relevance for the Lebanese capital, so it was decided to make two strategic moves in order to empower the city.
First, the "Charles Helou" Highway and Bus Terminal was re-functionalized and expanded, improving the streets that form the urban fabric to achieve the integration of environmental infrastructure and public transportation, by means of an architectural piece of urban character, which was called "the elevated garden of Beirut".
Secondly, a commemorative axis for the tragedy of the explosion was proposed with the intention of generating a memory center where educational and cultural activities are developed, respecting and emphasizing the identity traits of the Lebanese society. To this end, the old silos building was reconstructed and refunctionalized, standing as a monumental element that with its centrality dominates the composition of the city and represents a historical landmark for the Lebanese.
Concluding with an overcoming proposal that seeks to create a unique and harmonious relationship between the new urban elements and its symbolism with its built environment, bringing a lively diversity not only to the port sector, but also to the whole city.
Going into what is the proposal of the Elevated Garden that is located in what would be the Charles Helou highway and bus terminal, catalogued as an "urban barrier", it was designed to transform the most vital road of the city into a center of urban revitalization, the "Beirut raised garden" project was proposed as a response to the lack of functional public spaces and sustainable outdoor spaces; besides being thought to host a large number of activities that allow the economic and social development of the city.
It was conceived as a dynamic and emerging urban center, focused on creating a rich and diverse, economically and socially oriented public sphere. It also represents the key element of how the city will naturally grow and develop in the coming years.
As a result, a series of urban flows were obtained, ranging from the fast pace of the underground, to the medium pace of the streets, to the slow pace of the elevated garden.

Technical information



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