LAN Architecture designed the 486 Mina El Hosn, The tower that looks at Beirut
The 486 Mina El Hosn project conceived by LAN Architecture will offer the city of Beirut a new vision of itself.
All information, images and plans courtesy of LAN Architecture; © by LAN Architecture; detailed credits at the end of this post
LAN Architecture, Paris have sent us their latest project in Lebanon – we share it with you on desMena:
486 Mina El Hosn, Beirut
The starting point of the project was to imagine Beirut in all its complexity. We have imagined the city as na ‘un-finished’ superposition of histories, contexts, architectures and situations;
This wish has been traduced in three different approaches, corresponding to the program demands as to the diverse scale units of the project.
1. The topographical / territorial and spatial scenery: the BASIS
The project is located in proximity of the Marina and Solidere district, alongside Omar Daouk and Fakhreddine Street, a zone marked by its high-rise buildings.
Our answer consists in resolving different conflicting elements being the pedestrian flow coming from the port and the significant car traffic on Fakhreddine Street, this on top of the height difference of the plot, 8 meters approximately.
Combining public roof garden, retail gallery and pedestrian passage, the various spatial answers add up to an entity at the scale of the pedestrian inspired by existing urban morphologies of Beirut.
The levels are vertically connected by voids and skylights incorporated in the green strips and passageways, permitting light and views to cross.
The BASIS is a genuine interface between the different elements composing the project.
The CLUSTER HOUSES, sheltering 35.000 m² of residential area, are anchored in the BASIS hatched according to its banded pattern. Their volumetry and position is axed on three elements, light, views and scale. The higher part of the cluster shifts backwards to adapt to the scale of the BASIS and building restrictions.
From the CLUSTER HOUSES the BASIS is seen as a green carpet, an important quality in terms of view especially for the residences situated on the lower floors of the cluster houses.
2. The continuity of housing typology: the CLUSTER HOUSES
The residential part is the most important program unit and without a doubt the most fundamental event of our reasoning. We wanted to realise a continuity of typology as to the traditional oriental patio house, with its rich relation between interior and exterior, and this in a vertical type of building.
This housing type, structured around a central patio assuring a natural ventilation and distribution of the different living units, and so this indoor-outdoor succession has been the starting point for the CLUSTER HOUSES.
A particular attention has been paid to these special indoor-outdoor sequences, permitting the apartment to morph from winter to summer by a double skin.
The exterior skin realised in Ductal, includes the structure permitting the interior to be free of any columns and therefore even more generous. This skin is at times completely open, at times perforated by different patterns, permitting light to cross and draw beautiful shadows.
These CLUSTER HOUSES materialize the contextual and typological concept, by their very mineral look, literally a continuity of the city of Beirut.
3. Hyper-contextuality and meta-territory: the TOUR
The tower represents the central element of the project, and was envisioned as the most literally translation of the idea of a connecting interface.
The project is to be more than a formal object, it has to override its specificities and become bearer of a new meaning. We therefore decided to make use of the primary idea of meta-territory. The notion of ‘look’ and ‘perception’ has helped us to go even further…
The materiality of the tower consists in Beirut itself, its light, its images, its districts, its future. We replaced the idea of the monument by its antonym, the anti-monument that changes, transforms, and is renewed according to the very fragile equilibrium between object and ‘regardeur’.
The tower shows as a catalyser of the city, it restores the concentration of history, culture and spaces.
The architecture of the tower translates in successive layers the complexity of the dichotomy materiel – immaterial – disappearance.The building is structured along a cross-shaped volume, its envelope is a solar protection based on a square plan of 25x25m. The outer envelope consists of sliding panels made of perforated sheet metal with mirror polish finishing. It reflects, protects and lets views and light pass all at the same time. The terraces of the apartments (duplex and triplex) occupy at one floor out of four the voids in the angles of the cross plan.
The tower becomes phantom, shows or doesn’t shows its faces, it will be understood in different ways depending on the light shining on it, the angle from which it’s perceived. The rest is architecture.
Level +00.00 Level +04.00
PROGRAMME: Housing – Offices – Retail Area