Ashrafieh, Beirut - Lebanon
Ground Floor 350 m² First Floor 560 m²
© Géraldine Bruneel © Joe Kesrouani
Located in the heart of Beirut, this luxury apartment is the result of the conversion of a commercial space on the ground floor and a residential space on the first floor, into a residence spread over a total area of 910m². The ground floor hosts working and living spaces in connection with a large terrace and a garden. The constraints of the project were essentially spatial: the adaptation of a structure designed for a different program, the subdivision of an existing large volume in a more intimate grid, and the introversion of the garden exposed to the pollution from the street were our main concerns. We therefore sought to recreate the space and promote its qualities to find an appropriate scale and a friendly and peaceful atmosphere, away from the urban chaos. The garden was transformed into a sheltered cocoon with a planted pergola and protected by a combination of anti-noise panels and vegetation. As of the interior space, it is designed with linear and pure elements, which offer a lavish tranquility and spiritual well-being. To come through the purest space, all technical details were minimized: the AC grills give way to elegant black slots that highlight the interaction between horizontal and vertical plans, the pergola’s tensioners allow it to float above the garden, the rail of the access window to the garden disappears in the ground obliterating the limit between the inside and the outside… Even the stairs defy the conventional rules of construction. The very function of the railing has been rethought: the glass railing becomes the structural element that stiffens the whole construction and connects the steel sheets forming the steps. The treads, made in light travertine insure the visual continuity with the floor. Generated by the variety of the spatial arrangements and details, the range of materials offers a unique sensory experience. The spaces are defined by the floor materials and the contrast between the white walls and the floors subtly animates the scene. In the bathroom, the marble plays the translucency to condemn an existing window while safeguarding the supply of natural light: a transformation of the material’s properties made possible through a thorough research of the material and its limits. The apartment is distinguished by clean lines and plans that highlight special moments defying the common perception of the structure and materials, a composition of hidden technical performances in the thicknesses of smooth and immaculate plans, changing them into theater wings.