Partner in Charge: Youssef Mallat
Architect in Charge: Sandra Richani
Team: Nada Assaf, Nadine Harake, Richard Kassab, Layal Aoun, Samer Bazzi, Nikolina Vranic
Two elements were fundamental to 109 Architectes’ proposal for Living Megasystem, an office building for two corporations: the urban fabric of the site, and the identity of the clients.
Set on the border of Beirut, Dekwane – where the project’s plot is set – is a prime example of an evolving industrial neighborhood. The area lacks cohesion. Large blocks of factories, warehouses and government buildings are developed as autonomous units, and often walled or fenced in.
Though occupied by two companies, Living Megasystem functions as one large entity, a reference to the disjointed blocks that surround it. Within the single structure exists a network of self-sufficient fragments connected by an airy, open-space platform and various meeting points that encourage interaction. The structure of the project mirrors the clients: two independent organizations unified under one owner, with an ever-changing internal structure that adapts with the business’ success.
Living Megasystem is a skeleton-like structure covered in lush greenery and colorful climbing vines. Acting as an envelope on the sites borders, it hides interior, exterior and negative spaces that are plugged into the shell. This puzzle-like plan allows for maximum flexibility; as certain aspects of the business grow, some offices can expand while others downsize as necessary. The envelope also hide an internal courtyard that offers multiple connections to the street.
Living Megasystem intends to improve the quality of experience and create a sense of community among employees, but that sentiment may have a ripple effect. Because Dakwene is on the edge of a residential area, there is potential for the neighborhood to evolve beyond its industrial identity. The project’s permeable shell defies the current trend of cutoff plots and projects an inviting image, while ground-floor Showrooms and a cafeteria are set to make Living Megasystem a destination.
Electro-Mechanical consultant: Barbanel
Structural consultant: BET Mattar
Sustainable design: ECO Consulting
Renders: Tony Antoun
Client: Unifert & OCP
Project area: 8000 m2
Project status: Competition Finalist;