Urban Design and Landscape

B-Port, The Reborn of Beirut

Daniel Sancha, Gabriela Pinheiro, Ece Boysal , Mai Hisham , Miona Vuleta
Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Project idea

During the second semester of 2021, the proposal of the studio was to create a master plan which could reflect the reborn of Beirut after the blasting that happened in 2020.
Our principal aim is to grant Beirut’s citizens a new use of the port area, with a real connection between the people and the land. Creating connections with transport and also making the port available to its locals and visitors, giving a fresh new dynamism to the city.
Besides the master plan design, each member of the team designed individually a facility of value. These new functions seek to boost vitality within the whole territory.
We believe Beirut’s cultural legacy and history are extremely important for the whole country and the new port area should reflect not only its history, but also the strength and resiliency of its inhabitants.

Project description

The masterplan design includes the solution of different parts of the port which were destroyed or neglected previously. These areas with no use, now are rebuilt, following a strategy of unification.
All along the coastline of the port, a green corridor traverses the space, which configures all the type of buildings and sequence of functions. Moreover, this corridor arranges the transportation systems within the port complex and links with the city centre.
The industrial and cargo zones keep unchanged with the previous location, which is optimum. Furthermore, a roll-on, roll-off area has been added which allows ferrys' docking and maritime transport of vehicles. Connections of the industrial area have been reinforced, permitting a faster access to the highways and the rest of the port.
Union of the existing urban fabric with the new planned areas is a crucial point. That is why the closer neighbourhoods along the port have been bonded through passages, bridges and ways till reaching the new functions, available for the citizens.

Technical information

The foundations of the proposal are aimed at invigorating and stimulating what the Port has to offer. It provides emphasis on various commercial, residential, and leisure sectors aimed to be employed and expanded for the utmost utilization of the Port’s strategic and prominent scene. The overall layout establishes the Port’s core commercial functions as well as tries to maximize the potential unrestricted use of the available site. From the core branches a complex of mixed-use formations. It takes on the form of a modern variation of traditional Mediterranean markets, whilst allowing other functions to contribute. This commercial core holds the key to attract both locals and tourists to the site as open and accessible to all. The main essence of the proposal is providing as much pedestrian access as possible and easing commute around the site through a main tram line running through all major junctures. It was important to retain the humane identity, providing indiscriminatory access and expanding Beirut’s greenery along its mesmerizing waterfront. North-west of the site hosts a mixed-use complex that endeavors to complement both oriental and otherwise unconventional styles. With both commercial and residential opportunities, it intertwined through traditionally reminiscent commercial alleyways intersected by promenades leading to the waterfront
The memorial amidst the newfound landscape hopes to signify revival and hope, carrying from the past the reminders that encourages moving towards a better future.

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