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John Robertson beats stars to win Beirut bank contest

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London’s John Robertson Architects has seen off Paris’ LAN Architecture and Thom Mayne’s Morphosis to win the competition to design a new 16,400m2 headquarters for BANKMED in Beirut, Lebanon

The practice was the only British firm on the shortlist of five which also included Architecture Studio and US-based Pickard Chilton Architects.

According to the practice the scheme ‘will become a landmark in Beirut and provide an innovative, stimulating and practical environment for employees, executives and the bank’s customers.’

The winning concept for the headquarters in the Mina El Hosn district features three interconnected office pavilions stepping up in height from nine to 19 storeys.

Describing his firm’s winning design, director John Robertson said: ‘The architectural challenge has been to design a new bank headquarters that will make a real contribution to the regeneration of the urban fabric of Beirut and to create an innovative office building where people can enjoy work.

‘At a civic level the building is ‘levitated’ above a new open internal piazza. Articulated façades to the pavilions above provide transparency, and both openness and privacy. Internally the building allows users a variety of enjoyable experiences in their daily workplace.’


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