When standing towards the highway, one is faced with speed, openness and horizontality. However, the more one goes to the inside the more he feels secured and faced with the verticality of the space due to the density of the buildings. Going deeper into Mar Mikhael’s demographics one realises that the area is actually targeted by many citizens. It is next to Achrafieh where the day life is (offices, malls…) and situated at the end of Gemmayzeh, the night scene of Lebanon with new high rise buildings popoing up each year, following the high rise invasion from downtown.
Due to the saturation of these three regions, Mar Mikhael has become the ultimate and wanted destination. Therefore, the prices are increasing and locals are selling their property because the rent didn’t go up as well. The gentrification process has already begun, pubs are invading the local’s businesses, and locals are losing their routine and habitual life. Plus, towers are rising: Mar Mikhael is going to be the future city center. Why not? But what about the local’s shops and life? Creating an urban hub where the shops are revived in the context of the new comers flowing to Mar Mikhael. A tower hosting offices, residences, restaurants, and public functions is accompanied by the local’s shops and agriculture. To the opposite of the public and green spaces in Lebanon, “vertical corridors” brings in all social classes.
The tower is designed as a combination of two streets bringing the different horizontal street experiences but vertically. The two vertical streets are brought together to create intricate interconnections manifested at the intersection of the streets (slabs) where the different heights create diverse interactions manipulated according to the functions hosted at each floor. The tower is also scaled down by a three dimensional play of rectangular grid.