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Bank of Beirut (P4)

Biyada, Lebanon
Built 2013

BoB P4 is the fourth free standing commercial pavilion commissioned by the Bank of Beirut. Located on a busy intersection in the Northeastern suburbs of Beirut, it shares the plot with a church built in the early 1980’s. The bank will rent part of the site from the clergy. The existing situation on site imposes a restricted height limit; the church’s 15 meter high bell tower is a given we use to spread the program horizontally extending to the peripheral limits of our allocated portion of the site.
In its typical layout plans, the bank’s public services are located on a single floor at street level. As the planning of the bank is established by “specialists” assigned by the bank, we are left to design the shell that is to accommodate the dictated spatial layout.
As an exception and after heated negotiation with specialists and the bank’s administration, we were able to partially evade the predetermined layout by extracting the bank’s vault and executive meeting room to another level located on the roof of our proposed structure. Although these 2 elements are exceptionally visited we celebrate them as relevant moments in the banking experience.
The roof merges into the context through its proposed form – a cloud of glass – a result of successive parallel transparent planes with different profiles. The cloud lightly veils the “gold-plated” vault and a transparent glazed box holding the meeting room.
The highest point of our proposed elevation remains 7 meters lower than the highest point of the church that we share the plot with – remaining at a respectful distance from the higher clergy.