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Old January 13th, 2007, 11:10 PM   #1
nareg
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#UNDER C-Beirut: "Saifi Crown" | 23F Res



Ashrafieh - Beirut, Lebanon


www.saificrown.com

Project Profile on Al Massaleh Real Estate





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The project is located in the heart of Beirut within Gemmayzeh, the exclusive boundary of Solidere providing shelters to the rich and famous from around the world. It is on an 1144 M2 land where the project will be standing 20 floors high. It will overlook the sea and the Solidere area as of the 10th floor. And eventhough it is in the bustling center of Beirut, its recessed location on an inner street will provide calm and comfort to its buyers.

Last edited by Beiruti; July 16th, 2010 at 04:33 PM.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #2
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I haven't placed the location of this building because I'm not sure where it is. If you have any clue, please let's discuss about it.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #3
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Ancient history gets in the way of Beirut's modern towers



BEIRUT (AFP) — Ancient history is getting in the way of construction in Beirut's building boom as new archaeological discoveries delay the springing up of long-planned high rises.

And the delays can be long, frustrating and expensive.

Construction on a luxury 23-storey residential building in the heart of the Lebanese capital, for example, has been stalled for 15 months after excavators stumbled on a 2,000-year-old Roman bath house.

"Imagine a developer waiting a year and three months without any progress being made on his building," says Samir Bey of Saifi Crown real estate development company that owns the 1,144 square metre (12,313 square foot) plot of land.

This latest discovery of the ancient bath house is considered "a peripheral archaeological site for Beirut. It is not a landmark," says archaeologist Asaad Seif of the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA).

The price of expropriating the site, located next door to a trendy Beirut restaurant, was too high and the action deemed unnecessary, he told AFP.

Instead, archaeologists and architects came together to devise a plan which would allow the preservation of the artifacts and at the same time permit the tower construction to proceed.

Under the plan, the three-roomed bath house is being taken apart piece by piece and will then later be rebuilt in its original form on the ground floor of the tower when it goes up.

"We are preserving it, but we are preserving it in a different way," says Seif.

"Since we are going to integrate it on the ground floor of the future building, we will not be losing the information or the spatial memory of this place," Seif says, labelling the measure a "mitigation solution."

"This is the first time this is being done in Lebanon and the Middle East," he explains.

Architects are now busy making redrawing their designs to allow for the changes.

In the meantime, archaeologists are working to dismantle the structure's columns, once used to hold up a marble floor, to allow for four levels of underground parking.

The team -- about a dozen archaeologists and 25 support staff -- are also working behind a red metallic fence on the dig, taking measurements and sifting through sand for small finds that comprise everything from coins, pots and nails to human teeth.

"Every detail, every object will tell us a story about how things were done and we can discover trends," Seif says.

"The objects are meant to help us see and understand the dynamics of how it got built, how they used it, why it was destroyed and why it is abandoned," he explains.

Lebanese law requires developers to work with the DGA to find solutions when artifacts are found during building excavations. But the solutions don't come cheap.

"We had to reach a compromise. The people who are going to build here are disturbing this archaeology... So they have to pay a tax," Seif explains.

"This tax is used to pay the archaeologists to remove the information in a proper way. Everyone has to assume their role," he adds.

Saifi Crown is absorbing the major portion of the costs of the excavation, including thousands of dollars to remove, package and transfer a 110 square metre (1,184 square foot) mosaic from the site.

The mosaic will later be erected as a backdrop to the bath house when it is restored in the tower building.

"This creates a large burden for the developer. However, we as Lebanese understand that Lebanon has archaeological treasures that shouldn't be taken lightly. We want to preserve them," says Saifi Crown's Bey.

The task is not without its complications. There is the question of moving the 18-tonne basin or labrum that once served as a source of fresh water for people in the "hot" room of the bath house.

Ways also have to be found to keep the antiquities from being harmed by slight movements coming from the parking garage below.

Plus, there is the issue of how to make the restored bath house publicly accessible.

"Though every person has a right to see it, it's a residential building, not a museum. There are problems of security," Bey says.

The floor plan, therefore, is to include glass windows for passers-by to be able to peek at the artifacts from the outside. Visits inside the building can be coordinated with the DGA.

In a city whose history spans over 5,000 years of Canaanite, Phoenician, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman civilisations, it's not surprising that many traces of antiquity lie below the surface.

Another Roman bath and an ancient Roman road are among the ruins preserved within Beirut's city centre but there are others too.

When excavation began for a commercial and residential complex near Beirut's synagogue in Wadi Abu Jmeel, a Roman hippodrome was unearthed.

The historic find prompted the culture minister to send an official letter to the developer saying the land was of "national heritage value" -- effectively freezing the project.

"The hippodrome in Beirut is a landmark. We cannot in any case remove it," says archaeologist Seif, explaining why the project was frozen.

Though the site is still not open to the public, procedures for expropriation of the property are underway.

Digs in other neighbourhoods have turned up ancient human remains. A worker on a construction site of another residential tower said work had been held up for four months to allow archaeologists to scour the site.

"All they found were bones," he said

According to Seif, this isn't surprising.

"We know that the periphery of Beirut was a necropolis, or city of the dead. So when building excavation begins there, we know what they'll find."
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Old October 16th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #4
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I dont think it is fair that the developers should have to pay for the excavation process. It is not their fault the came across these finds and in the end this is something belonging to the whole country. The government should be stepping in financially since the developers have already incurred losses due to the delay.
However, since the artifacts are going to be kept as part of the project (although I doubt this will be a financial gain) then I guess it is a compromise. I would much rather see the bath moved and displayed at a nearby public garden than a guarded building lobby.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 09:12 PM   #5
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I passed by this project yesterday and it is going on...
It will almost reach to the ground floor soon..
I took pictures ill try to post them soon

excavation --> done
ground floors --> done
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Old June 7th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #6
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The developer should have been compensated for the property, and asked to build it somewhere else. Enough is enough this is no compromise this is a disgrace. It's only a residential building for God's sake. are luxury apartments worth destroying our heritage.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:01 PM   #7
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way below street level






pics taken by me, on july 10 2010
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #8
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Based on these pics, excavation doesnt even look close to complete (as Garren said back in June).
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Old March 20th, 2011, 11:39 PM   #9
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On the left:

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Old November 26th, 2011, 10:47 AM   #10
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Covering residential, retail, and lands all over Lebanon and Cyprus. For more info call 00961-3-323181 or visit our office at Jal el Dib Main Road, MGM Tower, 5th floor, Suite 26, Beirut Lebanon. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reach-...400593?fref=ts
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Old November 26th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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November 21, 2011

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Originally Posted by Beiruti View Post
On the left:
Beiruti, I think you meant "your other left"...

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November 24, 2011

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Beirut_100_1742 by Trebor_in_Oak, on Flickr
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Old November 26th, 2011, 08:34 PM   #12
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November 21, 2011. By me

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Old November 26th, 2011, 11:57 PM   #13
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Official data (grabbed and optimized by me)

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Old January 22nd, 2012, 12:09 AM   #14
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December 2011

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Old March 20th, 2012, 01:31 AM   #15
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courtesy of Rabih
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Old May 24th, 2012, 02:53 AM   #16
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:30 AM   #17
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Old September 18th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #18
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Old November 26th, 2012, 01:20 AM   #19
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November, 2012

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Old June 14th, 2013, 01:47 PM   #20
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Beirut: Luxury Condo Lobby Now Roman Bath Museum


In a few weeks, archaeologists will finish integrating the Roman baths on property 616 Saifi, finally turning the building’s
entrance into a bonafide museum. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah)


By: Joanne Bajjaly

Published Thursday, June 13, 2013



In 2008, archaeologists found huge Roman baths in the Saifi area of Beirut. The baths were dismantled and later integrated into the new building project. Some clay ruins were damaged, but a sizeable part remained intact. Now there’s a new challenge facing the ancient baths: keeping them open to the public.

In a few weeks, archaeologists will finish integrating the Roman baths on property 616 Saifi, finally turning the building’s entrance into a bonafide museum.

The prospective museum is not located on government-owned property, but instead that of the Kuwait-based real estate development company al-Massaleh.

When the baths were discovered, it was testimony to the historical treasures lying just beneath the city of Beirut. Included in the bath complex are three principal rooms for hot, warm, and cold baths. The bath is distinguished from two similar baths in Beirut by its 23-ton basin carved from red granite.

Assad Seif, who is in charge of archaeological excavations at the Lebanese Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA), explained: “The importance of the find prompted the DGA to propose integrating the remains inside the residential project in an attempt to preserve them.”

A compromise was reached over a relatively smooth negotiation process. The property owner welcomed turning the building’s entrance into a museum and took on the costs of the archaeological excavation.

The unearthed ruins were preserved in a DGA and the construction project. The owner asked George Jaro, an archaeologist and architect specializing in restoration, for assistance in maintaining the integrity of the baths.

“Dismantling and integrating the unearthed remains was not an easy feat,” said Jaro. “The upper part of the Roman baths’ warm room was preserved, its floor adorned with a mosaic and white marble. These pieces were displayed in their original locations, which would become the building’s lobby.”

He continued, “The floor of the cold and hot rooms had been destroyed by the old building constructed in the 1950s. The only thing left there were the clay structures that were used in the hypocaust, or underfloor heating, system.”

“Later on, light will be installed and the remains will be covered with a glass floor allowing visitors to view them from all directions. Entering the building will be like entering a museum of Roman baths and explanatory placards will adorn the walls.”

Seif explained that the pieces on exhibit are owned by the Lebanese state, but were “loaned to the property owners to be displayed as public property and they have the right to market them.”

But who stands to benefit the most from this compromise, the visitors or the property owner? The latter achieved both moral and material gains. After all, a museum in the building’s entrance raised the property value.

According to Jaro, “The cost of excavating and integrating the unearthed ruins is no more than two percent of the investment value. What is certain however is that the profit rendered is significantly more.”

The main challenge that awaits this “foyer museum” on private property is opening it to the public for free. Otherwise, the right to witness this part of Beirut’s Roman history firsthand will be restricted to those making personal visits to the owners of property 616 Saifi.
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