The project is an addition to an exciting office building of the 60s located on a prominent site on the northwestern side Beirut’s Center. The building follows a setback typology based on a regulation envelope that defined most of Beirut’s buildings during this period . Our intervention challenges this typology and deals with it by placing a thin metal roof as a closure.
The architectural intervention comes with a dual language with a exciting language, it tries to create a relationship with it rather than being in conflict. On the other hand it is affirmative of a new program and a new strategy with different materials and identity instead of being deceptively a continuation of the existing.
The additional floor is a totally glazed restaurant bar placed as a “lighthouse” facing the port from one side and the city from the other, at the same time it’s a glass pavilion functioning like an arena for all the city to see its “heroes” with their exuberance and their lifestyle totally exposed.
The project tries to deal critically with the social aspect of nightlife in Lebanon while challenging the contextual situation in relation with the existing structure and the urban fabric.
STEREOKITCHEN uses a simple design strategy to create complex spatial possibilities and perceptual effects.
The metal roof slab is a cantilevering structure with a 2cm edge running the whole length of the facades
wrapping the rounded glass
volume celebrates the two opposite conditions of the crowded urbanity and the
stretched wide horizon while creating ambiguous relations with the inside:
one engages and perceives the “glass pavilion” in multiple ways depending on the light and time of the day or night, it could appear as a solid volume peeling open, revealing its interior or maintaining a certain amount of “opacity” and intrigue while the glass becomes once a window of display case of the people inside or a display case of the facing city.
STEREOKITCHEN’s appeal might not only lie in its array of effects but also in its program and utility.
Within its limited footprint, its uses and possibilities are unlimited.
The circular glass pavilion is conceived as a “gladiator” central space which has dining tables during the week for those who like to be seen and is emptied during the weekends to become a dancing floor with stools.
Around this run three rings, arranged in ascending steps divided by circular concrete bench/walls. Circulation is easy yet squeezed to allow interaction.
The ceiling is deliberately low playing on perception. The space is low yet horizontally very wide and transparent, we wanted to focus on the ambiguity by highlighting the sensation of infinity, we can sense it mostly by being the closest to the ceiling and experiencing the fluidity due to the unity of the ceiling with no interruption between inside and outside and the repetition of pattern in the design of the metal roof. We also want to play on the idea of lightness and pressure of a low and dark ceiling with very few columns.