Architecture and interior design students unveil innovative solutions to some of Lebanon’s pressing urban and architectural needs.
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High-rise rooftops with public terraces, low-cost youth hostels in tourist spots, churches converted into museums — these are just a few of the ideas put forth by LAU’s inventive architecture and interior design undergraduates.
Hundreds marveled at their 3D models and posters during the end-of-semester architecture and interior design exhibitions held on the Byblos and Beirut campuses throughout March and April.
The exhibitions represented months of creative research, reflection and innovative engagement, combining theories learned in the classroom with on-the-ground site research.
“Generally, all our projects are related to public functions that respond to the needs of the society,” says Dr. Maroun Daccache, chair of the Department of Architecture and Interior Design.
The department, Daccache explains, designs programs encouraging students to develop new approaches to architecture, urban planning and design, with an emphasis on public rather than private space.
The exhibitions showcased work by students at all levels, providing a platform not only to share ideas, but also to serve as a self-check litmus test for the program and its instructors.
“The main idea is to see the evolution of student work,” Daccache says. “It’s a manifestation of their education as well as a progress report for our department. It lets us see how these studios fit the course objectives.”
In Byblos, the exhibition lasted from March 7-18, incorporating a selection of projects from Design III, V and VII courses.
Design VII student Nancy Mansour worked with her partner, Sabine Aoun, to design an arts and crafts museum next to Nahr Beirut. They made site visits to the city’s main regions — Bourj Hammoud, Getawi, Karam el Zeytoun, Furn el Shebek and Sin el Fil — to analyze the infrastructure as well as the track road and circulation patterns.
“The project gave the city public spaces open to the river, as well as a cultural museum that can become a place of attraction,” Mansour says. “All of it is connected through a developed system of circulation that takes the visitor through a series of moving experiences.”
LAU Beirut’s exhibition was launched March 30 and remained opened throughout much of April, spotlighting the work of LAU’s interior architecture and interior design students.
Muhammad Jalloul, a Design Studio III student, exhibited his concept for a public beach on Beirut’s Corniche. He created artificial pods on the water, carefully designed so as not to disturb the beach’s natural elements.
“The pods create different zones of water, stimulate circulation throughout the place, and connect the rocky paths together,” Jallous says.
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