THE HOUSE OF ARTS AND CULTURE, BEIRUT
The urban concept envisages a clear geometric volume, which stands assertively on the plot. The facade of the building is conceptualized as a transparent theater curtain of columns: a rhythmic composition that turns the building into an expressive and recognizable element in the urban texture. The juxtaposition of three perimetral layers of columns - different in height and with varied separations in between them - generates a filigree texture of lines, creating moving compositions of shadow and light along all facades during the course of the day. In the warm end enjoyable climate of Beirut the wide spaces behind the colonnades generate cool terraces in direct relation with the interior program. Towards the city these in between spaces are generously wide, while towards the Avenue a more closed composition serves as an acoustical buffer.
The interior diagonal void with its sculptural zigzag staircases forms the vertebral connection through the building and permits day light to filter through the whole volume. Its wide galleries accommodate additional program such as lobbies, bars, lounges and waiting areas: a true place of encounter between the House and the visitors. The inner organization, a result from the buildings specific section, defined a ‘house of rooms’: a varied topology of spaces different in size, dimensions, light and materials who make the spatial experience of the building an exciting passage through different atmospheres.
Colaborators: David Ortega (project leader), Diego Escamilla, Gerardo Ramirez , Carlos Salas, Ivan Villegas / Location: Beirut, Libanon / Type: Open competition - Cultural Infrastructure / Surface: 15.200 m2 / Date: February 2009