Architect: Bernard Khoury
Firm: Bernard Khoury / DW5
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Project Type: Residential
Status: Under Construction 2009
Copyright / Photographers: Bernard Khoury (See List of Images)
Plot # 4371 is the first development of its kind in Lebanon. The project aims at providing non-typical working/ living lofts for the emerging creative scene in Beirut.
It is located at the proximity of the NBT railway station, at the vicinity of the Damascus highway, the national museum district and the intersection of the major east/west and north/south road networks of the city. The site consists of a 1.200m2 plateau in a district that is in the process of gentrification and urban renewal, attracting alternative programs and activities such as the “Beirut Art Center” which just opened its doors to the public as well as new developments that consist of rehabilitating old industrial structures into residential apartments.
Undeveloped government property runs along the western edge of the site and beyond, giving way for unobstructed view corridors across the Palace of Justice complex on the southern orientation and through the Sioufi hills on the north western orientation.
The project is implemented in the center of the site, allowing for generous setbacks from the property limits on all sides and enabling open exposures on all orientations.
The circular floor slabs are organized around a central circulation core which is defined by an octagonal void that runs throughout the building. A 30m2 rotating platform moves vertically within the void and acts as a freight elevator which serves all the studios individually providing direct vehicular access to every loft for moving large scale works of arts, musical instruments, collectors cars… When not in use, the moving platform rests at ground level giving way for a large central atrium that provides natural light and ventilation to the landings at all floors.
The 360 degree glazed façade allows for full exposures on all orientations. With clear floor heights of 4m40 and 5m50, and wall to wall, floor to ceiling openings, the spatial quality of the proposed lofts is reminiscent of artist studios from the early modern period.
Despite the radial configuration of the apartments on the floor plates, an orthogonal geometry governs the individual layouts of all the interiors.
The eight storey building consists of 24 types of apartments on a total of 29 units. The types range from 110m2 duplex to 435 m2 panoramic loft.
Ample vehicular parking is provided at ground floor and below ground where additional storage spaces are also provided for every studio.