residential towerBeirut, Lebanon
INNER CITY LIVING
The design for Mdawar 67 consists of 32 micro studio apartments, on top of a commercial plinth, situated on the corner of Pasteur and Gouraud street, in the lively Mar Mkhayel district in down town Beirut.
With the concept design we explicitly focus on the question how to fit in a relatively high tower in this dense city area, close to adjacent streets and buildings. Relating to the smaller scale of the existing buildings and street profiles around we suggest to break up the tower volume to smaller units, creating a more articulated building on this sensitive location.
As requested in the client brief all apartments have double high space, up to 5,1 meter net, with an extra mezzanine floor hanging in. On every typical floor 4 micro apartments are realized. By stacking these double high units in an alternative manner we are able to maximize different aspects of the building; living experience, outdoor space, view and iconic value.
To fully enhance the living experience in this vibrant part of the city we re-arrange the typical floor plan of the tower. By rotating the quarterly positioned duplex units consequently 90 degrees and lifting them 1 floor on every corner, we are able to create an exciting 3D building envelope. The units crawl up with the clock like a double DNA string to form an expressive tower, built to the maximum height level.
“..The Quadrupe, a grand gesture, that combines small scale inner city living, with maximum comfort, view and exposure..”
The result is a highly sculptural building volume, that clearly shows its typology and creates its own outdoor spaces as lush terraces within the spiral stacking of the micro apartments. Like the studio units also the terrace spaces have double height, allowing big plants to grow within the volume of the tower and generating both sun lit and shadowy places to sit outside. Since the balcony spaces are part of the volume they offer privacy and place for retreatment; nice features in this lively inner-city neighborhood.
While the tower looks sculptural and exotic, the structural scheme is surprisingly simple. In the same level 2 mezzanine floors consequently fall together with 2 full floors in the adjacent quarters, as a result of the consequent stepping of the units. Like this, the mezzanine floors can be efficiently made within the same concrete structure. This leads to a scheme where only the double high spaces stick out of a simple square floorplan that is constructed on every level with a core in the middle and columns in the façade. The positive side effect is a floor plan with only 2 entrances to the apartments on all floor levels.
“..Since the balcony spaces are part of the volume they offer privacy and place for retreatment; nice features in this lively inner-city neighborhood..”
The interior of the studio apartments is dominated by its double high space, the mezzanine floor and the spiral stair between the 2 levels. On the lower floor the entrance, kitchen and living area are located while on the mezzanine level the bath- bed- and study areas find their place. All facilities are efficiently organized in compact zones around the core, allowing shafts to go down easily.
The plinth of the tower facilitates commercial activities, all located on the ground floor, with different heights per quarter, allowing for additional interior balconies. The closeness of the adjacent buildings on 2 sides of the plot is used as an opportunity to create interesting void like outdoor spaces in between. Lush green areas, with vertical green, creating a perfect sustainable wallpaper for the commercial functions in the plinth.
“..In the materialization of the facades we aim on blending in with the ‘couleur locale’ of the neighborhood..”
Sand stone coloring of façade surfaces creates a sophisticated, light and natural appearance, that shows the plasticity of the tower clearly. Windows are double high and steel framed in a dark color, creating an industrial look, enabling unrestricted views on the city center and the Mediterranean. Steel sliding doors up to 3 meters wide give unlimited access to the balcony spaces, while mashrabiah wall treatments in the side facades of the duplex units facilitate both privacy and daylight for the sleeping areas on the mezzanine level. In the lower levels of the tower, facing the adjacent building, incidental double high windows are replaced by mashrabiah, while the window is moved to the side façade, allowing unrestricted view, overlooking the neighboring street.
site: Mdawar 67, Beirut, Lebanon
client: Archstone Capital, Masharii SAL
team: Patrick Meijers, Jeroen Schipper, Mario Acosta, Michal Marcinkowski, Misa Marinovik, Elena Staskute
date: july 2016
size: 2992m2 ( above ground)