2009 – House of Arts and Culture _ Beirut Lebanon
Project Arts and Culture House
Program Library, theaters, movie theatre, cafeteria…
Place Beirut, Lebanon
Surface 16 000 m²
Team Eric Cassar, Marwen Belkhiria, Eva Biguères, Alvaro Alzereca, Paul-Arthur Heller
General Principles We want to dedicate this museum of Arts and Culture to a Re-Birth : the re-birth by arts of a united population which is rich of its differences
The project is surrounded by tall buildings (towers representing Beirut today) and is facing the ring. From the ring, it informs the passer-by of artistic events thanks to a big screen facing the city. This screen is a support of information concerning manifestations, and also a media allowing to broadcast art videos in public space, in the city.
We enter into the building going down in a public place which is situated 11 meters below ground level. From this place, climate is getting cooler thanks to a fountain. We can sit, discuss, have a tea or eat – cafeteria opens directly on the place and acts with the information hall as a prolongation of the public space.
The building gets organized around a central element gathering vertical flows and allowing to serve every element of the program. On the uppest floor, we achieve to the library connected to an outside oriental garden and to the film library. The cinema is situated at the summit of the building under the dome of gold volume, which rises toward the ring.
Besides, on the ground floor, part of public space crosses the plot and the building in its center, before proposing again to go down to the place. This urban walk allows to join the ring and Ghalghoul street.
1 – Rise of steps
2 – Passage between the shells (concrete and gold), looking like petals, squeezed passage
3 – Aspiration towards the sky cut-out and view on the big hall of exposition space.
4 – Arrival on the promontory with view on the place down below
5 – Going down by a ramp between trees with views on outside exhibition spaces reserved for sculptures or temporary artistic installations.
The museum plays with shade and light. It gives the opportunity to experiment several spaces through various ramifications, each one reinterpreting in its way color and oriental sensuality which had never disappeared.