USJ Campus de L’Innovation et du Sport
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.
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.
(Left) grand stair leading to central gathering area
(Right) bottom of grand stairs in central gathering area
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Client: Université Saint-Joseph (USJ)
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
Photos courtesy of 109 architectes