USJ Campus de L’Innovation et du Sport

109 architectes
Beirut, Lebanon
57,000 sqm


Located in Beirut, the ‘USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport’ by Lebanese practice 109 architectes is nearing completion. Integrated into the urban fabric, this new campus seeks to unify architecture with the immediate surroundings teeming with culture and history. Carved from an urban block, hollow voids lead to a central gathering space while a large stair receives and circulates students vertically into the building. The stair’s terminus leads to a landscaped terrace with uninterrupted views of the city encouraging students to connect with their environment.

02Front facade and central exterior gathering area

Light, a vital component of oriental architecture, plays an important role in the design of the facade. The skin, composed of small ‘moucharabieh-inspired’ perforations, allows both direct light and ambient luminescence to penetrate into the interior spaces creating whimsical patterns. The openings also serve as portals into the urban fabric providing glimpses of the destruction left from the Lebanese war, serving as a reminder of their significant landscape.

03Entrance to stairs




05Central stairs


06Walkways connecting campus building


07Walkways connecting buildings from below


08View of building from walkway


09Façade details


10Façade details



(Left) grand stair leading to central gathering area
(Right) bottom of grand stairs in central gathering area


Project Information:

Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Client: Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
Year: 2005-2011
Status: under construction
Team: Ibrahim Berberi,  Nada Assaf, Rani Boustani, Etienne Nassar, Emile Khayat, Naja Chidiac, Richard Kassab. In collaboration with architect Youssef Tohmé
Structural consultant: B.E.T. Rodolphe Mattar
Mechanical Consultant: Ibrahim Mounayar
Electrical Consultant: Georges Chamoun
Control Bureau: Apave

12Central gathering area


13Covered gathering area viewing auditorium


14Auditorium viewing covered gathering area


15Light patterns generated by facade


16View of campus


17Site plan


18Floor plan








22Sectional light study


Photos courtesy of 109 architectes


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