Architectural Digest (UAE)
On the coast of Batroun, an ancient port with an astonishing Phoenician seawall fashioned out of sandstone bluffs that offer protection against winter storms, is one of Lebanon’s more recent experiments with quarrying, though, in this case, the strata mined is social, not sedimentary.
Marea, a contemporary 61-unit – and praise be, car-free – seaside project by Beiruti property developer Jamil Saab & Co, is the kind of architecturally adventurous projects Lebanon was doing so well in the Seventies. The egalitarian mix of properties ranges from studios to villas, with peopleoriented layouts courtesy of New York-based firm WorkAC.
But don’t think proletarian paean, or an experiment in social housing. Marea is a solid seafront development, albeit one that for glocal reasons – the implosion of the Lebanese economy and the pandemic – has become for many, both their primary home and paradisiacal getaway.
Located on the Mediterranean Sea, the structures are decidedly low-rise, with the most expansive views to be had from the least expensive properties. Buildings cap out at three storeys and, with green roofs planted in sedums and succulents, the development makes a statement by attempting to blend in with surroundings, rather than dominate. jamilsaab.com