Public Library_ Sodeco_ Beirut_ Lebanon_ 2012_ Concept Phase

The site holds a story of an old building burned down by the war in Lebanon. With time, the Sodeco area healed itself and regained its vibrant activity, while the lot remained dormant. Due to the centrality of the site within its neighborhood, a public library project would've been an advantageous way to link it back to its context. The fire that originally destroyed the building was used as our main tool of design.

As a conceptual phase, the project began with the reading of the surrounding, which resulted in the formal simplicity of the volume. In contrast to this simplicity, we created a very dynamic communal ground floor that goes hand-in-hand with the building’s public program. By reading along the lines of the site’s historical event, we addressed fire from another perspective and chose it as creator of the public space. The resulting negative space was unexpected. Brutal yet subtle, it created equilibrium in the building’s posture on site. To compensate for the massiveness around it, the library retreats backwards leaving room for a large public plaza that animates the neighborhood with space for public activities. This urban carpet then extends underneath the building, leaving a carved hovering building above.

Concept Model_ Scale 1:200