Our approach to this project stems from our reading of Spears Street as a special urban artery in the capital city of Beirut. It holds on its southern limit an impressive collection of 1940's, 1950's and 1960's buildings, stretching from Al Sanayeh Garden to the beginning of the Ring Boulevard. The same applies, to a certain extent, to its northern edge, even if it is more interrupted by more contemporary structures and services (parking lots, gas stations, etc..).
Lot 1808 occurs at the very end of this stretch, and, therefore, we viewed it as a perfect occasion to contain this movement and type of construction. We saw a “book end" concept with the towers "holding up" these buildings at the eastern end of Spears Street.
The architecture of the residential towers follows a stepping approach in the 21,000m² of sellable area. They are 25 and 30 floors high (from east to west), but reaching the top follows a stepped approach to break up this verticality and create a playful elevation. This also reacts very positively to the "book end" approach since the very first break occurs at a level which is much lower than the legally allowed level at spears streets. This stems from our intent to create a set of towers that relate to their context and do not come in and impose themselves. Their skin, which breaks down into a lace like texture, also works in that "Optique", which speaks of dissolving the mass of the towers into a series of shades, shadows and solids, which become a shape rather than a mass, an elegant silhouette, terminating a vintage axis of the capital city.
The south side of the project works along strict urban guidelines. The towers setback from the south street enough to create a 1,000m² space, in the center of which a garden is planned. In the remaining section of the plot, we have inserted a 2,000m² structure, stretched onto four very generous levels in height, housing a gym. The form and setting out of this structure "cleans" up the urban fabric around it, and locks in the geometry of the rectangular garden.
This project aims at presenting a context sensitive solution and to integrate a set and heavy areas built up in four elegant slender towers.
We believe it to be mature, contextual and respectful of its immediate environment as well as aiming to become a signature project for the city of Beirut, especially being set less than 80m from the iconic Burj El Murr.
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