The site for this project has its longitudinal side open to the highway connecting Beirut to the North. This highway has become the spine on which an infinite number of developments are stacked, linking Beirut to towns that are more than 20, or even 30 kilometers away, in an endless urban sprawl. All the projects compete with each other in ingenuity to attract the passersby, topped by large, flashing advertisements, both printed and digital. Our design for this boutique hotel joins this race for visibility.
The combined lots that make up the grounds for the project cover an area of 2,700sqm. The site is fronted to the west by the highway, to the north by a wide street, and to the south by a service road connecting to landlocked properties. The first decision was to detach the building from the fourth side to completely isolate it, and at the same time expose it.
We gave it an elliptical form and positioned it to the North West to allow for most visibility to the ground floor, which ends up benefiting from 140 meters of frontage on all three sides.
After a few trials and discussion with the client and the operator, we reached a consensus on the program composed of a small boutique hotel with 25 keys, as well as a generous banqueting facility, a roof top lounge venue, and a couple of food outlets; the ground floor is occupied by a main "Epicerie Fine" style boutique, utilizing the full ground floor and leaving just enough to allow for two escalators to drop people off onto the main hotel lobby level, completely open onto the highway.
The total above ground BUA is estimated to 8,000sqm, while the surface exploitation is limited to 50%, hence forcing a stacking of the functions, and the reliance on elevators and escalators to connect between the functions.
The vertical stacking was an evidence in the functioning of the project (Epicerie topped by the hotel lobby, topped by the banquet, topped by the hotel rooms, and culminating with the roof top venue). We chose to express this stacking in the external geometry of the project, where each of the volume takes a slightly shifted setting in relation to its lower or upper floors. This achieves two objectives: it serves to visually identify functions from outside, and at the same time creates a highly distinguishable and visible architectural treatment.
The project is served by a series of basements, housing back of house functions, as well as technical spaces and parking.
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