A GOLDEN AGE
This month’s fashion shoot is set in the little-known Tripoli International Fairground, which was designed by Brazilian modernist architect Oscar Niemeyer, but abandoned in 1975 when civil war broke out in Lebanon. A vast park filled with free- standing, sculptural buildings made from Niemeyer’s signature reinforced concrete, it stands as a surreal symbol of Lebanon’s grand pre-war dreams and postwar economic stagnation.
Set amid a square kilometre of landscaped gardens, close to the centre of Tripoli, are a theatre, helipad, space museum, bowling alley, a vast but gently curving exhibition hall, an outdoor concert space, a pavilion featuring elegant Islamic arches, and a cylindrical tower containing a rotating restaurant, from which jets of water would have sprayed into a surrounding pool. All of which created a fascinating and wonderfully eerie backdrop to our shoot (page 36).