Allies and Morrison rebuilds a war-torn central Beirut plot
Allies and Morrison’s redevelopment scheme for a one hectare site in central Beirut, Lebanon, is now under construction and scheduled to complete in 2015
The scheme, District//S, is part of local urban regeneration company Solidere’s masterplan to rebuild the Lebanese capital, which was ravaged by civil war for 15 years until 1990.
The design, covering a total built-up area of 42,300m², comprises 106 family-sized apartments and eight penthouses, spread across 22 buildings. It features two courtyards and a central piazza.
Alfredo Caraballo, project architect at the practice, said: ‘All of the buildings are background [to the overall theme]. There are no prima donnas here, just a well-assembled chorus of buildings creating complex and rich spaces.’
The scheme’s 360 balconies and 155 roof-top loggias aim to meet Beirut’s demands for al fresco living, while ‘clues from the surroundings’ and an ‘incredibly rational’ modelling technique crafted the vistas and alleyways. Caraballo’s seven-strong team worked for a year on the project.
‘This is a thesis of a type of city, a city of the type in which we live,’ he said. Ground-floor retail units front the public realm and beneath the development are six storeys of underground parking.