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Plot # 1338 Mina

Beirut Central District, Lebanon
Mixed Use Development
Aborted 2006

Mina 1338 is located on a 3,740-square-meter island plot in the Beirut Central District, near the new “Souks of Beirut”. Downtown Beirut and especially the Souks‘ surroundings are notable for their important pedestrian activity. The program combines commercial space, entertainment activities and a 100-key luxury hotel with a total built up area of 21,400 square meters in addition to the complementary basement parking levels.

In contrast with the highly regulated building envelopes that distinguish the Beirut Central District master plan materialized by strict alignments of stone-clad low rise buildings, our project presents itself as a crystalline organic mass, an urban event that does not comply with the body alignments of its surrounding streets.The commercial base of the project aligns with the plot perimeter and acts as a pedestal to the body of the building above. Pedestrian entrances are placed within the existing pedestrian flow, connecting to the multiple levels of the surrounding streets on all orientations and leading to a central internal piazza (open to skylight).

Above the commercial base, the “sky lobby” is a 9-meter high internal garden with a peripheral terrace. The proposed suspended garden is conceived to be an exceptional entertainment destination where leisure activities intersect to create a programmatic synergy; and where the hotel reception, restaurants, cafes, terraces and bars are located. The hotel is placed above the sky lobby and is built on a succession of floor plates that recess as we move up the levels, mutating in plan from a circular base, eventually becoming   an ovoid. The vertical glass louvers / sun breakers, placed at varying distances, create a pattern across the hotel’s 5 levels in an arrangement that blurs the reading of the consecutive floors and renders it as one.

On the roof, we propose a panoramic terrace with an open air restaurant, a bar, with a sundeck and cantilevered infinity pool enjoying 360-degree views over the Mediterranean Sea and Mount Lebanon in the background.