the cube, Beirut
The distinctive residential tower The Cube Beirut is located on a prominently visible location on Plot 941 in Sin el Fil, an eastern part of Beirut, Lebanon. Minutes from Emile Lahoud highway, The Cube is erected in the vital Metropolitan Hotel district in Horch Tabet, soaring a maximum of 56,6 meters above the earth on a steep parcel.
The parcel, measuring around 30 by 40 meters, with a height difference of approximately 20 meters, slopes down from the North East to the South West. The entrance to the parcel is located on the lower side, alongside an existing unpaved road.
The Cube is an instant classic for Beirut, expressive, iconic and innovative
The design concept is simple but extraordinarily effective: ‘MAXIMIZE’; making optimal use of the client’s wishes, the site’s potential, the local building code and creating fantastic views on Beirut and the Mediterranean for the residents.
With its sculptural appearance of stacked boxes, The Cube is presenting a whole new level to the concept of high rise and the architecture of towers. No extrusion of a singular floor plan, but a unique and iconic structure of individual villas. The rotation and displacement of the volumes on each level offers residents magnificent outdoor areas on the roof of the apartment below, as well as panoramic windows up to 12 meters wide. Each level consists of one or two apartments. The single apartments have the fabulous opportunity to enjoy Beirut from a 360 panorama.
The design with the 14 stacked and rotated floor plans on top of a lobby, generates 21 attractive apartments in total, ranging in size from 117 to 234 m², with fluid spaces, large balconies and wall to wall window frames. With its freestanding setting on a sloped parcel at the edge of the city, both the view on the Cube itself and on central Beirut are unseen; the vibrant City is your personal wallpaper, day and night.
Thanks to the fixed core with lifts and staircases at the heart of the building, there are no constraints on the layout of the apartments. The floors run straight from the core to the facades, which are on each floor composed of two supporting concrete girders and two panoramic window frames, consequently rotated 90 degrees per level. Both the crossing girders and the core serve to stabilize the tower, an extra challenging task in a seismologically active area.
The white coated perforated girder walls of concrete strongly determine the appearance of both the exterior and the interior of the building. The parking for 42 cars is located underground in 3 layers and partly set into the adjacent hill. On the ground floor the recessed space for the lobby is covered by a spectacular cantilevering volume, creating a nicely covered place and marking the generous entrance of the Cube.
The structure of the building is made up of a new generation of reinforced concrete, named SCC Concrete or ”Self-Consolidating Concrete”, allowing the loads to go down only in the 4 overlapping areas of the rotated girders on every floor (a surface of approximately 35×35 cm. on each crossing point), with no additional structural slabs added to the facades. The protective nano particle painting on the exterior façades of the building creates an extremely smooth and dirt resisting finish.
In 2016 The Cube was awarded by The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) with the CTBUH 2016 Tall Building Award for Middle East & Africa region. From the Jury report of CTBUH:
The Cube indicates a clear alternative to the extruded box typology that defines the majority of residential high-rises around the world, instead comprising a stack of completely unique villas in the sky. The tower is particularly successful in its structural design, which features a system of elegantly framed girder walls that add visual flair and allow for completely unobstructed floor plans
'New works: The Cube.', pp 28-37
'Best Tall Building Middle East& Africa- The Cube, Beirut.', pp 162-167, December 2016
'Zien en gezien worden.', pp 76-78, April-May 2016
'The Cube in Beiroet Libanon van Orange architect', pp 12-13, Den Haag, November 2016
'Intersnationalisering in de praktijk- Orange architects.', pp 46-47, February 2016
'Stack'em High Orange architects piles up apartments.', pp 42-43, Amsterdam, April - May 2016
World Architecture News