BHAC / House of Arts and Culture . Beirut


The Beirut House of Arts and Culture is a simple 40 meter cube, sited upon a hill in downtown Beirut. The design calls for the excavation of the site to permit desired connections, while avoiding unnecessary adjacencies. Both the South and North sides are accessible from the street, with the North side acting as the main entrance to the building. The required program fits within the building’s envelope and is highlighted by three public excavated spaces formed from the residual space between the programmatic elements. We believe that the cultural habits of Beirut are connected to its urban reality and capacity, which has led our concept to literally violate the pristine cubic volume to stage spaces for the unexpected, the misuse and eventually the most Beirut-like form of cultural survival: a party like there’s no tomorrow!
Part of the overall concept of the building is to allow visitors the experience of an the “outdoor” climate throughout the building. The working and performance rooms are all climatised to meet the required service levels, but there is the option, especially in temperate evenings, to appreciate the true outdoor climate when strolling in and out of these controlled zones.

Project Culture Center Budget 2.504.000 EUR Type open competition
Size 7.800 m2 Client Republic of Lebanon Ministry of Culture Status settled 2009
Location Beirut, Lebanon Team JDS
JDS Partner in Charge Julien De Smedt, Andrew Griffin Project Leader Heechan Park

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