The House of Arts and Culture in Beirut

Client : Lebanese Ministry of Culture

Location : Beirut, Lebanon

Competition: Att. International Architecture Competition for the House of Arts & Culture

Year : 2009

Similar to its City, Beirut, the Project (House of Art and Culture) represents a Porous & Permeable Sculpture that emerges from the Ground and Extends into the City.  The Project, with its porous character and independent spirit represents a metaphor for the City Beirut (The Porous City), which had been for ages a hub and a refuge for creative critical thinking, Arab intelligentsia, and alternative artistic expression in the Arab World since the early decades of the 20th century, famous for its publishing houses, café culture, free press, transit harbor, literature production, alternative art and music, audiovisual production, political freedom and active public sphere . 

The Project, with its porous and permeable indoor and outdoor spaces together with its multiple extensions into the City represent also a metaphor for Beirut's progressive transformations from the Nahda period of the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the City's entering of Modernity and the subsequent manifestations on Beiruti architecture and urban spaces of the City.  One particular example is the innovative typology of the Central Hallway Dwelling (3 Arched House), another more recent example is Beirut's version of Modernity culminated in a progressive public sphere represented in its Hamra District with its Modernity buildings and public life extending into the sidewalk and the intestacies spaces between buildings.