Maroun Lahoud designs a minimal Maronite church in Lebanon
With white stone cladding and a striking contrast to the area’s abundant greenery., St. Elie’s provide a modern take on the traditional Maronite churches found throughout Lebanon.
Minimal cruciform windows carved directly into the church’s stone fills the spaces with natural light. The sun also filters in through the simplistic lined windows located above the altar and along the sides of the structure. Due to its location and the contrast of its materials, the project tends to create a new focal point in the Shouf’s valley of Gold.
‘The white walls seem to diffuse natural light,‘ Lahoud said, ‘the marble floor reflecting it in turn.‘
Text description provided by the architects.
The project arose with the will to gather by celebrating the elements of nature. It revolves around two squares and entails St. Elie Church and a semi-sunken base.
Radiant with its white bush hammered stone cladding, the church solemnly sets in the landscape. Its aspect embodies the characteristics of the Maronite Church: pure massing and flat roof. The interior is crafted with indirect lighting schemes: zenithal lighting above the altar, sacristy and confessional, and parietal along the lateral circulations; the white walls seem to diffuse natural light, the marble floor reflecting it in turn.
The base, remodels the topography of the hillside to house the multipurpose hall and its annexes. Its dry stone walling, extracted from the site and procured from the village’s demolished houses during the war, anchors the project in the ground by mimicry.
Architects: Maroun Lahoud
Location: Brih, Lebanon
Design Team: Salam Geha, Dany Ajouz
Area: 850.0 m2
Project Year: 2016