Situated on the 11th floor of a lively neighborhood, Apartment H is a young couple’s house that has a unique view on Beirut’s urban landscape.
We had the opportunity to work closely with the main contractor who was still in the construction phase of the building enabling us to change the plan layout according to the client’s lifestyle. Here, we wanted to offer an adaptive layout while creating a clear separation between the public and private areas.
Starting at the entrance, the public area includes the kitchen, dining room and living room organized in an open continuous space that adjusts to the inhabitants’ needs. In the initial layout there were walls between the kitchen and the living space. Inspired by the idea of Japanese shoji, rather than walls, translucent sliding doors separate the kitchen from the living space allowing each to have an independent atmosphere and its own privacy while driving natural light into the space. Providing visual continuity and hierarchy was made possible by the creation of two main cabinets: the first around a structural column assembling kitchenware and needed appliances and the second, going from the living room to the kitchen. A monolith that flows along the wall, subtly carrying multiple appliances and ending on a discrete door leading to the private section of the house.
While entering the door, the ground finish shifts from a colder white Carrara marble to a warmer Oak wood parquet. The master bedroom is configured for two people to coexist with minimal friction and a polyvalent space, separating the kids’ room from the latter and can evolve with time to accommodate the family’s needs in its different phases. There are no walls separating these spaces but rather sliding doors. These accentuate the adaptability of the space creating, overall, a simple yet flexible house to live in.
Julia’s was a refitting and relocation of a restaurant to the corner of Saint Nicolas’ stairs, connecting Sursock to Gemmayze.
The brief was about remodeling the existing to accommodate for both a French restaurant and a Tappas bar. Our intervention dealt with space strategy and organization. How do we provide a dual space that caters for both slow and fast visit customers? How do we work with an existing space and unfold its potential to accommodate the vision?
We started off by moving the Entrance to the corner of the building, allowing for better circulation, access and visibility. We then used the existing structural pillars at the center of the space to mediate between the Tapas bar and the restaurant. Cladded with mirrors, they inflate the room and diffuses light across it while also providing key service space for better flow and operations. The kitchen’s wall is knocked down and replaced with the tapas bar, that allows for much needed light to enter as well as the creation of various atmospheres within the same space. Finally, the banquettes made to order, were used to push most seating to the peripheral walls freeing up the room and maximizing seating spots. The Materials were used to code the space, and distinguish its different offerings.
Set on the rooftop of a five (5) story industrial building overlooking a military base and the impressive cranes in the port of Beirut, Nacthvesen is the second major nightclub in Lebanon we got the commission to do. Building on the methodology that drove our work on the Garten, here too the context is paramount. While the brief required us to use a pre-existing metallic structure, we had full design control over the nightclub. Set up as coliseum all with its arena, viewing deck and stages, the space ends with quite an experimental façade, 300 meters of welded metal with suspended glass panels, a window to an unknown place, that draws you in and out of focus.
It frames the port but also anchors you being in a space room. The new bars and Dj booth, contrast and bring to light both the retro and futuristic aspect of the space and inject a living aspect to it. In addition, perhaps not visible but surely at work is the organization of the plan to insure seamless circulation and service for customers and staff. The details have been thought of as to allow for better operations and a polyvalent space. Overall we are proposing an alternative approach, flexible yet anchored and coherent to its context.
Underground is fine, but we are going over ground here. Back to space. Not darker than night.