Beirut. A residential vessel that foresees the future

In the northern periphery of the Lebanese capital, Bernard Khoury designed a building that mirrors the site’s distinctive features.

Bernard Khoury, Plot # 1282, Beirut, Lebanon, 2017. Photo Ieva Saudargaite

Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury completed a residential project in the northern periphery of Beirut. Plot #1282 celebrates the present state of its environment, marked by the city’s abandoned and unused railway terminal, military barracks, leftovers of agricultural land and a 30‐meter wide highway. The design responds to the actual context, and to a possible future development of the area. The total surface of 25,800 sqm hosts 95 industrial lofts with surfaces ranging from 100 sqm to 650 sqm, featuring high ceilings of 5.3 meters and the least possible interior partitions. The floor slabs are organized around nine exposed cores, each core feeding a maximum of two apartments per floor.

In its current state, the site enjoys unobstructed panoramic views on all orientations, through the totality of the perimeter of the plot. As a result of that, all proposed loft spaces enjoy full transparency of their facades with openings that span from floor to ceiling on all exterior elevations. Nevertheless, the design takes into account an unforeseeable future of gradual densification, through setbacks on the totality of the perimeter that guarantee generous breathing corridors and terraces.

Bernard Khoury, Plot # 1282, Beirut, Lebanon, 2017
Bernard Khoury, Plot # 1282, Beirut, Lebanon, 2017. Photo Ieva Saudargaite

“In many sectors along the periphery of Beirut, relatively high exploitation factors are applied on zones that are still undeveloped,” the architect explains. “In the absence of a master plan, the rapid gentrification of these sectors has led to catastrophic urban conditions. In most cases, the general guidelines of the very complex and archaic municipal building laws are the only leading rule and reference on which developers build their schemes. In such situations, it is becoming increasingly difficult to define the integration of a project and its relationship on the long term with the neighboring sites. Our proposal for Plot # 1282 does not only celebrate the present state of its environment, the absence of buildings and the scarceness of the urban fabric on which it sits, it also anticipates the future expansion of its surroundings.”

Plot # 1282
residential building
Beirut, Lebanon
Bernard Khoury
25,800 sqm

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