Lebanese American University


International architects based in Berlin share their nomadic experiences

LAU symposium and exhibition highlight how the German capital attracts architects from around the world and how Beirut can follow that example.

Attendees discuss the works of architectural practices from Berlin.

Selected works of the visiting architects displayed at the exhibition.

Berlin’s thriving art and architecture scene has attracted architects from around the world over the past few years, giving rise to remarkable creations with multicultural influences.

Representatives of six such international practices based in the German capital shared their experiences May 7 at a symposium and exhibit on LAU’s Beirut campus.

Entitled “Berlin: Nomad Architects,” the event hosted selected works of architects originally from England, India, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Spain and the U.S.

Jean-Marc Abcarius, Paola Cannavo, Nancy Couling. Luis Feduchi, Raimund Fein, Anupama Kundoo and Pepe Marquez reflected on their contribution to Berlin’s structural rebuilding and gave their opinions on the need to revive Lebanon culturally.

“I want our city to be a gathering place for artists, architects, painters, authors … Beirut needs to go back to being a place of freedom and artistic expression in the region,” says Dr. Maroun Daccache, chair of LAU’s Department of Architecture and Design.

Daccache says he expects Lebanon’s capital to follow in Berlin’s footsteps. “After this event, I feel that Beirut can take the same road as Berlin. I hope Beirut becomes a platform to attract young people, giving them a structure to start their career,” he adds.

According to Cannavo, since Berlin’s urgency for structural revival has subsided, some nomadic architects are searching for a new country to call home.

“I feel more at home here than in Germany,” Marquez says. “Maybe Beirut will be my next place.”

After the symposium, students and faculty members had the opportunity to mingle with the architects and analyze their works in more detail during the exhibition that ran till May 21.

The event was organized by LAU’s Department of Architecture and Design in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and Goethe-Institut.


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