Zaarour Club Competition

Fact Sheet

  • Project: Zaarour Club Competition
  • Category: Touristic
  • Location: Zaarour, Lebanon
  • Client: Mr. Gabriel El Murr
  • Built-up area: 55,000 sqm
  • Budget: N/A
  • Year: 2012
  • Status: Second Prize Competition


  • Partner in Charge: Youssef Mallat
  • Architect in Charge: Richard Kassab
  • Team: Michel Semaan, Rami Nouhra, Layal Aoun, Raffi Santourian, Richard Azzam, Nada Assaf, Joy Trabouls, Aline Chahine, Sandra Richani


  • Renders: Tony Antoun
The inherent character of the site’s environment is unique.
The location allows various relationships to the larger environment through views, pathways, trails and landscapes. Our aim is to take advantage of the natural setting while creating a distinctive yet subtle project identity. Hence the challenge with the Zaarour Resort is to construct the density required while still respecting and incorporating the rich natural environment.

Urban Scale:
Initiate: To create a breathtaking first impression of the Zaarour Complex, the pedestrian and vehicular entrance is enlarged bringing the stunning backdrop of the ski station to the forefront. 

Distribute: The hotel, a mixed used and continuously animated building is the heart of the complex and is surrounded by various programs. 

Connect: Pedestrian pathways swell and contract to produce a circulation network across the site. Several interior and exterior common spaces punctuate them creating vibrant atmospheres and scenic promenades.

Integrate: Fragmenting the buildings grants the massing flexibility to follow the site’s undulating topography, which reduces the impact of the buildings and blends them into their natural surroundings and also allows for the optimization of the multiple views.  Landscape penetrates the spaces produced in between creating multiple pocket gardens. The natural materials of the buildings, stone walls and pitched wooden roofs support its integration into the environment.

Building Scale:
The Hotel fragments are of diversified directionalities ordered by the various picturesque mountain views. Each space the hotel contains has a unique vista of the areas surrounding. 

The Parking is partially concealed below the ground level reducing its impact and distance to the station. 

The Station acts a suction device in between the street and the slopes.

The club Chalets are scattered across the sites edges, reframing the lush landscaped basin.  The integrity of the basin is respected as a unique landform condition.  

A Youth Inn also finds its place on the side of the basin. It is conceived as a stratum that rises to connect the basin to the chairlift creating a dynamic space that skiers flow out of and into. 

The Chairlift covers are designed as natural folds in the terrain blending into the scenery.

At the summit, the existing structure is demolished and instead a Restaurant is “plugged in” to the slope overlooking the entire project.

The lake zone is designed to highlight the regional flora and fauna that thrive in fluctuating water levels and changing seasons. As water naturally evaporates decks and new stone paths are revealed. This unique space of transformation includes a floating platform that may be used as a stage.

The other group of Chalets are scattered along the topography lines and visual corridors creating an organic external space. A vibrant and warm interior space is produced by the openings to the picturesque views and wood roof slopes.  

The project’s identity is formed by a humble approach towards the site and an ability to look beyond architectural trends.

Project Gallery