Agreea­ble Spa­ces in Bei­rut

Abitare - - BUILDINGS -

Among the ma­ny new blocks of lu­xu­ry hou­sing built in the Le­ba­ne­se ca­pi­tal, the one that Fo­ster + Part­ners has ju­st com­ple­ted stands out for the ca­re wi­th whi­ch it has been in­ser­ted in­to the ur­ban con­text, as well as for the li­vea­bi­li­ty of its in­te­riors

Oggi il real esta­te è an­co­ra in gran­de espan­sio­ne nel­la ca­pi­ta­le li­ba­ne­se, con tan­ti nuo­vi com­ples­si in can­tie­re. Ne è pas­sa­to di tem­po da quan­do Ga­brie­le Ba­si­li­co fo­to­gra­fò in bian­co e ne­ro i pa­laz­zi sto­ri­ci ri­dot­ti a sche­le­tri am­mu­to­li­ti, al ter­mi­ne di una ter­ri­bi­le guer­ra ci­vi­le. Era­no gli an­ni No­van­ta. Su­bi­to do­po il pre­mier-bu­si­ness­man Ra­fik Ha­ri­ri (as­sas­si­na­to con un’au­to­bom­ba nel 2005) lan­ciò un gi­gan­te­sco e con­tro­ver­so pia­no pub­bli­co-pri­va­to per la ri­co­stru­zio­ne. I 200 et­ta­ri in­te­res­sa­ti dall’ope­ra­zio­ne So­li­de­re (So­cié­té Li­ba­nai­se pour le Dé­ve­lop­pe­ment et la Re­con­struc­tion du Cen­tre-vil­le de Bey­rou­th), tutt’ora in cor­so, ven­ne­ro li­be­ra­ti da­gli abi­tan­ti, sud­di­vi­si in lot­ti e fat­ti di­se­gna­re al go­tha dell’ar­chi­tet­tu­ra in­ter­na­zio­na­le per ri­crea­re “la più ele­gan­te cit­tà del Me­dio Orien­te”. So­no na­ti co­sì land­mark co­me il Bei­rut Souk fir­ma­to da Ra­fael Mo­neo – uno ster­mi­na­to e piut­to­sto rag­ge­lan­te shop­ping mall sot­to gran­di ar­ca­te ti­pi­che del mae­stro spa­gno­lo – e il cen­tro com­mer­cia­le di Za­ha Ha­did che evo­ca gli in­trec­ci di un ca­ne­stro. E poi le tor­ri e i con­do­mì­ni di Ara­ta Iso­za­ki, Ri­car­do Bo­fill, Ri­chard Ro­gers, Pe­ter Ma­ri­no, Ste­ven Holl, Her­zog & de Meu­ron, per ci­tar­ne so­lo al­cu­ni. Il pro­get­to 3Bei­rut di Fo­ster + Part­ners ap­pe­na com­ple­ta­to si si­tua in que­sto con­te­sto. Le tre tor­ri di di­ver­se al­tez­ze (120, 90 e 75 me­tri), ri­ve­sti­te The real-esta­te mar­ket in Bei­rut con­ti­nues to ex­pand wi­th great speed, wi­th ma­ny new com­ple­xes un­der con­struc­tion. Mu­ch ti­me has pas­sed sin­ce Ga­brie­le Ba­si­li­co took his black-and-whi­te pho­to­gra­phs of the ci­ty’s old blocks of fla­ts re­du­ced to mu­te ske­le­tons, at the end of a ter­ri­ble ci­vil war. That was in the 1990s. Im­me­dia­te­ly af­ter­wards the pre­mier and bu­si­ness­man Ra­fik Ha­ri­ri (as­sas­si­na­ted by a car bomb in 2005) laun­ched a gi­gan­tic and con­tro­ver­sial plan for pu­blic-pri­va­te part­ner­ship for re­con­struc­tion. The 200 hec­ta­res af­fec­ted by the ope­ra­tion cal­led SO­LI­DE­RE (So­cié­té Li­ba­nai­se pour le Dé­ve­lop­pe­ment et la Re­con­struc­tion du Cen­tre-vil­le de Bey­rou­th), still un­der way, we­re clea­red of their in­ha­bi­tan­ts, di­vi­ded in­to lo­ts and par­cel­led out an in­ter­na­tio­nal ar­chi­tec­tu­re éli­te in or­der to re-crea­te “the mo­st ele­gant ci­ty in the Midd­le East”. Out of this ca­me land­marks li­ke the Bei­rut Souk de­si­gned by Ra­fael Mo­neo – a va­st and so­mewhat chil­ling shop­ping mall un­der the Spa­ni­sh ar­chi­tect’s ty­pi­cal great ar­ches – and Za­ha Ha­did’s de­part­ment sto­re that evo­kes the wea­ve of a ba­sket, as well as to­wers and blocks of fla­ts by Ara­ta Iso­za­ki, Ri­car­do Bo­fill, Ri­chard Ro­gers, Pe­ter Ma­ri­no, Ste­ven Holl and Her­zog & de Meu­ron, to men­tion ju­st a few. Fo­ster + Part­ners’ has ju­st com­ple­ted the 3Bei­rut pro­ject whi­ch is set in this con­text. The th­ree to­wers of dif­fe­rent heights (120,

di pie­tra cal­ca­rea im­por­ta­ta dal­la Tur­chia, of­fro­no una spet­ta­co­la­re vi­sta sul por­to at­tra­ver­so il fron­te a nord in­te­ra­men­te ve­tra­to, men­tre il la­to sud di­gra­da con am­pie ter­raz­ze e tet­ti ver­di cer­can­do un dia­lo­go con il tes­su­to sto­ri­co del­la cit­tà. «Fi­no a qual­che an­no fa i va­lo­ri im­mo­bi­lia­ri qui era­no più al­ti», spie­ga il pro­ject ar­chi­tect di Fo­ster + Part­ners Mar­tin Ke­hoe. «La guer­ra in Siria ha avu­to pe­san­ti ri­ca­du­te per le vio­len­ze che ha in­ne­sca­to. Si è in­ter­rot­to so­prat­tut­to il flus­so di in­ve­sti­to­ri pro­ve­nien­ti dai Pae­si del Gol­fo». Ora si par­te da 6mi­la dol­la­ri al me­tro qua­dra­to per i 149 ap­par­ta­men­ti di que­sto com­ples­so, con ta­gli che van­no da un mi­ni­mo di 180 me­tri qua­dra­ti (più bal­co­ni e ter­raz­ze) agli ol­tre 700 del­le tre pen­thou­se su due pia­ni in ci­ma ai tre grat­ta­cie­li. Fo­ster + Part­ners – che ha in cor­so a Bei­rut an­che la ri­strut­tu­ra­zio­ne dell’edi­fi­cio mo­der­ni­sta Star­co 90 and 75 me­tres), clad in li­me­sto­ne im­por­ted from Tur­key, of­fer a spec­ta­cu­lar view of the har­bour th­rou­gh the en­ti­re­ly gla­zed nor­th front, whi­le the sou­thern si­de slo­pes do­w­n­wards wi­th broad ter­ra­ces and green roofs in con­ver­sa­tion wi­th the hi­sto­ric fa­bric of the ci­ty. As F+P’s pro­ject ar­chi­tect Mar­tin Ke­hoe ex­plains “Up un­til a few years ago real-esta­te va­lues he­re we­re hi­gher, but the war in Sy­ria has had se­rious re­per­cus­sions owing to the vio­len­ce it has trig­ge­red, and abo­ve all the flow of in­ve­stors from the Gulf coun­tries has been cut off.” To­day the pri­ce starts from 6000 dol­lars a squa­re me­tre for the 149 apart­men­ts in this com­plex, wi­th si­zes ran­ging from a mi­ni­mum of 180 squa­re me­tres (plus bal­co­nies and ter­ra­ces) to over 700 for the th­ree du­plex pen­thou­ses on top of the th­ree hi­gh­ri­ses. In its de­si­gn of the th­ree to­wers Fo­ster + Part­ners – who in Bei­rut are al­so in­vol­ved in the re­no­va­tion of the Star­co

de­va­sta­to nel 2013 dal­la bom­ba che uc­ci­se il mi­ni­stro del­le fi­nan­ze Cha­tah – nel pro­get­to del­le tre tor­ri ha dedicato par­ti­co­la­re at­ten­zio­ne all’at­tac­co a ter­ra, pre­ve­den­do in­tor­no ai ne­go­zi un ric­co in­trec­cio di per­cor­si pe­do­na­li col­le­ga­ti al­la cit­tà e ab­bel­li­ti da ver­de e va­sche d’ac­qua. An­che gli in­ter­ni de­gli ap­par­ta­men­ti so­no ope­ra del­lo stu­dio, che ha coin­vol­to per la scel­ta de­gli ar­re­di la de­si­gner li­ba­ne­se Na­da Debs. «An­che se in ge­ne­ra­le chi ac­qui­sta ca­sa qui ha un gu­sto mol­to pre­ci­so e pre­fe­ri­sce per­so­na­liz­za­re gli am­bien­ti con il pro­prio in­te­rior de­co­ra­tor», com­men­ta Ke­hoe. Col­pi­sco­no in par­ti­co­la­re per la lo­ro vi­vi­bi­li­tà spa­zio­sa gli am­bien­ti af­fac­cia­ti sul­le ter­raz­ze, do­ve gli ar­chi­tet­ti han­no sa­pu­to sfruttare le ame­ni­tà del cli­ma e in­sie­me rein­ter­pre­ta­re un te­ma ti­pi­co li­ba­ne­se, quel­lo del­la “log­gia”. mo­der­ni­st buil­ding de­va­sta­ted in 2013 by the bomb that kil­led the mi­ni­ster of fi­nan­ce Cha­tah – has de­vo­ted par­ti­cu­lar at­ten­tion to the ba­se, en­vi­sa­ging an ex­ten­si­ve net­work of foot­pa­ths laid out around the shops at ground le­vel, con­nec­ted to the ci­ty and em­bel­li­shed wi­th gar­dens and pools of wa­ter. The in­te­riors of the apart­men­ts are al­so the work of the firm, whi­ch has tur­ned to the Le­ba­ne­se de­si­gner Na­da Debs for the fur­ni­shings. This is de­spi­te the fact that, as Ke­hoe com­men­ts ‘in ge­ne­ral the peo­ple who buy ho­mes he­re ha­ve ve­ry pre­ci­se ta­stes of their own and pre­fer to cu­sto­mi­ze the set­tings wi­th their own in­te­rior de­co­ra­tors.” The­se spa­ces are par­ti­cu­lar­ly stri­king in terms of their spa­ce and li­vea­bi­li­ty espe­cial­ly wi­th the rooms fa­cing on­to the ter­ra­ces, whe­re the ar­chi­tec­ts ha­ve been able to ex­ploit the cli­ma­te and rein­ter­pret a ty­pi­cal­ly Le­ba­ne­se the­me, that of the “bal­co­ny”

Lar­ge rooms con­ti­nuous wi­th the ter­ra­ces cha­rac­te­ri­ze the in­te­riors, de­si­gned by Fo­ster + Part­ners. For the choi­ce of fur­ni­tu­re they tur­ned to the Le­ba­ne­se de­si­gner Na­da Debs: se­ve­ral pie­ces co­me from her col­lec­tions.

Am­pie stan­ze in con­ti­nui­tà con le ter­raz­ze ca­rat­te­riz­za­no gli in­ter­ni, pen­sa­ti da Fo­ster + Part­ners. Per la scel­ta de­gli ar­re­di è sta­ta coin­vol­ta la de­si­gner li­ba­ne­se Na­da Debs: di­ver­si pez­zi pro­ven­go­no dal­le sue col­le­zio­ni.

Il fron­te nord in­te­ra­men­te ve­tra­to del­le tre tor­ri af­fac­cia sul por­to di Bei­rut. Il com­ples­so con­tie­ne 149 ap­par­ta­men­ti di va­rio ta­glio. The en­ti­re­ly gla­zed nor­th front of the th­ree to­wers fa­cing on­to Bei­rut har­bour. The com­plex con­tains 149 apart­men­ts...

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