Final Review  (Jan 2013):

Guest jury:

Dr.Nelly Marda, Associate Professor, National Technical University of Athens, department of Architecture
Christopher Burns, Visiting Assistant Professor, LAU Beirut
David Kuelby, Part time faculty, LAU Byblos
Cindy Menassa, Part time faculty, LAU Byblos
Sandra Frem, Part time faculty, LAU Byblos
Chantal El-Hayek, Part time faculty, LAU Byblos

please see below some final projects by scrolling down 
make sure to click on older posts at the bottom of the page to see more selected final projects

Mohammad Berry / May Khalifeh - Conservatoire Nationale

            Conceptualizing an urban intervention in an aged area like Mar Mikhael does not signify a reinterpretation of past shadows. One could easily fall into the trap of recreating what was once there, neglecting what the area now starves for. The main design approach should be sensitive to certain elements of the site such as parameters on the micro and macro scales; a program that reflects the needs of Mar Mikhael which are elsewhere available within Beirut. Mar Mikhael became the receptor of young artisans who have a lot to give. 
3 main elements: cars / souk / commercial uses
            From this perspective, we are designing as to point out the dynamism of an area full of memories. From kids laying down stones on an empty lot to make their own football court to activists settling down creating a base to send out their message, the area is interactive on many levels, this is why we decided to create an "Urban Stage". Here you are always seeing and being seen, the ambiance is amiable, generations merge together creating harmony within the beat of the city.
            Someone once said "you can't learn music from Books, it's out there". Extending the flow of people into the site is eliminating boundaries on various directions. The need to open up to the port and break the monotonous agglomeration of Mar Mikhael's city fabric seemed almost inescapable.
            Through the intertwining of circulatory pathways, both pedestrian
and vehicular flows start blending and revive the urban fabric related to the city of Beirut; instead of only being concerned with the ephemeral
nature of the local diverse building typologies.

“ Architecture will change but people will never stop moving ”
park view
circulation + public spaces

programmatic distribution
mass plan
ground floor plan
first floor plan
second floor plan
the "worm" at night and day time

Leen Shamlati / Ghinwa Maki - The others

Throughout Mar Mikhael, the street, the buildings, the balconies, the dead spaces, create a certain rhythm, that is carried through the site designated. Against factors of history, time, and change, this rhythm is altered by the story of the ghost, by which every building that exists ends at some point; the ghost is the memory of an existence, it is the impact that a building leaves on its neighboring building, it is because of the shared spaces in Mar Mikhael. This mark on the new building is the coexistence of the new and the old, a reminder of the ephemeral.

A souk naturally forms itself on the pins and boards against a big inclined wall, when this is done with, the people of the souk leave their hangers and pieces of clothes and products on the wall; consequently this prepares the ambiance for the fashion runway that takes place on a path along the side. A pool of water forms near one of the entrances and provides a soothing place for the passers by and the dance school, and when this water is taken out or evaporated, the plaza it leaves becomes a performance area.

qualitative physical models

"the ghost" : the existing transformations of the surrounding buildings / neighborhood
A street leads to a ramp that gives a progressive look at the design workshop happening underground, and then takes the user to the souk , where the work is exhibited and to the public plazas.The functions are based on the memory of the previous function.

view of the park

ground floor plan
first floor plan
cross section

long section
final model

Fady Haddad - Super Human Enticement

The Pa-Ra-Site is treating genetic anomalies or after birth mutations and amputations not as "flaws" or taboos, but as a chance for redesign / optimization through artificial members and prosthetic procedures.

Since Le Corbusier and the modular system was used as a main type for modernist building, where structure, skin and circulation are three independent units placed together to create the building.

In this studio my project was mostly an investigation based on theoretical readings (Hive minds; Parasite; fold, bodies, and blobs …)as an approach to a an architecture where skin, structure, and circulation start to intertwine between each other’s and to work within one system where one can never exists without the others, a Body.

Based on aggregation, deformation, stimulation and accumulation of one unit [1] (genetics similarities as Greg Lynn cited in his book), a system of accumulation generate the texture through the assembly of this unit.

1  - This unit is generated based on combining circulation, skin and structure within the context. (Circulation Core of Bernard Khoury’s building in Mar Mikael)

Sandra Simon / Nour Mezher - Mannered dramatics

Turning a blind eye to the needs and wants of the people that actually live there, Mar Mikhael has gone through great changes over the past few years and these changes in turn affected its demographics profoundly, turning it into another cold-hearted city we do not need. That is exactly what we wanted to avoid. Our intervention focuses mainly on the people living in Mar Mikhael, and on the people visiting it. What do the residents really need? What do the visitors really enjoy? What will our proposal really give back to Mar Mikhael? We proposed several programs, one that was strictly connected to the great difference in percentage in the demographics. By introducing low rent housing, we will ensure that the young will stay in Mar Mikhael close by to their parents. 

qualitative diagrams: the existing theatricality within the city grid

The second is related to Cinema Vendome, one of the landmarks of Beirut that was torn to the ground due to political and personal “Profit” gain. Including an amphitheatre, cinema, and a theatre in an effort to create what was a great loss to the Lebanese people. And of course others programs such as daycare, dance school, co-working, bars and restaurants that could benefit both the residents and visitors during the day and night. Moreover, during our visit to the site, we realized that there were a lot of abandoned lots, a result of the edges of the surrounding buildings and even topography. 
qualitative generic diagrams
design process diagrams
People took it into their own hands and made those spaces their own “Public Garden” or even “Play Area”.  We targeted those specific areas and came to a conclusion: my partner and I (intruders) became part of that area as if we belonged to that neighborhood. Walls that were once considered as a separation between interior and exterior or between public and private have become transparent to us. Theatricality overtook those areas, where the audience became spectators and spectators became the audience. That kind of interaction and communication has to prevail in our project specifically because we are proposing diverse programs for everyone.
view of the park
ground floor plan
first floor plan


final model
interior view