Lina Ghotmeh’s new tower for RED sal in downtown Beirut emerges with an architectural form that translates as a sensitive spatial reading of the city’s worn, town history.
Beirut is permanent archeology. Buried seven times through the ages, the city tells the story of our ancestors.
Currently, its built landscape reflects its recent history.
Ruined buildings invaded by wilderness juxtaposed with red-tiled roofed traditional houses that still bear witness to the architecture of this Mediterranean city.
Located in the port area, “Stone Garden” materializes the architect’s perception of her birthplace.
Taking its roots from its context, the new tower portrays the capacity of architecture to act as a healing tool and an active player in building resilience at times of crisis.
Transforming tumultuous events into a creative opportunity, the tower appears as a sculpture drawn on an urban scale.
Amorphous, it translates the form generated by the urban regulation.
Its openings, of various sizes, hold the memory of the city and offer multiple framings of the sea from the inside. Inhabited by trees and gardens, windows invite nature to climb up to the sky of Beirut.
The variety of their sizes individualize each residential floor generating new forms of communal spaces.
The project appears in the city as an earthly emergence, its skin is custom designed. It is all labored and crafted by the hands of the many workers fleeing the neighboring wars.
Projected earth, cement, and fibers, the building’s skin is combed, and its making process is the result of incremental experimentation. It invites artisans to participate in the emotional realm of architecture, transforming architecture into a curing tool bringing people together.
Today, the tower had survived the major explosion in the city.
It rises as living archeology, a host of life, memory, and nature.
It houses living spaces as well as the Mina Image Center an art platform dedicated to image, photography, debates, and reflections on the Middle East.
Project: Stone Garden Housing
Architects: Lina Ghotmeh Architecture
Developer/ Constructors: Pegel Lebanon sal, Pegel Lebanon sal
Client: RED sal
Photographers: Iwan Baan and Takuji Shimmura