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Martyrs' Square Grand Axis

BCD - Beirut, Lebanon



In June 2004, SOLIDERE s.a.l, the Lebanese Development Corporation, launched an international ideas competition, open and anonymous, in two stages, for the urban design of Martyrs' Square and the Grand Axis of Beirut. The competition was open to architects, and in the first stage, to students of architecture, worldwide.

In conformity with the UNESCO-UIA regulations for international competitions in architecture and town planning, this competition was approved by the International Union of Architects (UIA).



First Place Project by:


Vasiliki Agorastidou, Antonis Noukakis, Lito Ioannidou, Bouki Babaou-Noukaki (Greece)














http://www.uia-architectes.org/texte/england/Beyrouth2004/2results.html

I'll give details on this project once I find them again, I know it included a tram that ran around BCD, as well as a museum for the city itself.
 

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Son of the cedars
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^^Thanx :)

And Yesterday on almustaqbal Newspaper they said they r renovating the Base of the Martyrs Square statue,i donnu if this is related to the Project or not :dunno:
 

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it looks alot like a university campus. :S lets wait and see though. and whats with the swimming-pool-looking thing?
 

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That's quite Nice..
So "First Place" as in approved??
 

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^^none of those were approved...It was just a competition, the square is gonna fill with different and random project, Beirut gate...etc...
 

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Son of the cedars
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^^ They are talking about the Square itself not the plots around it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Who knows what they will do with the square. They gave out a lot of money in this competition, but I guess it's nothing in comparison to actually implementing the plans. Solidere can definitely afford it though, and an attractive design will attract people to start walking around more than the Nejmeh Square area and discover the other commercial areas like Saifi, etc.
 

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Son of the cedars
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^^ Welcome to the Forum :)

Martyrs Square Needs such a project.it can't stay as it is when all the Projects surrounding it Are Done.
 

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The Greek team's project will be adopted

in spirit.

Their idea to treat the Square as an area with two or three different identities won out over the more unified and more beautiful, but perhaps too formal, design of Nabil Gholam and V Djurovic (I may have mispelled his name; he's the landscape architect who did the fountain and pool now dedicated to Gebran Tueni).

But Solidere, THANKFULLY, rejected their idea for an arching highway cutting across the square. In cities like Boston they are spending billions of dollars (in Boston the project is nicknamed the 'Great Dig") in an effort to repair the damage done by elevated freeways bulldozed through city neighborhoods. So I still don't understand their idea. We blew up the (Rivoli?) cinema at the port end of Martyr's Square to open the Square to the sea, and they propose cutting the view with a highway? Maybe they thought that given our love of cars it was symbolic...



Links to N Gholam and Djurovic's(?) plan:

http://www.ngarchitecture.com/martyrs/1.html
http://www.ngarchitecture.com/martyrs/2.html
http://www.ngarchitecture.com/martyrs/3.html
http://www.ngarchitecture.com/martyrs/4.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
^^Do you know anymore information regarding Solidere adopting their design (when, etc) . I guess theyre waiting for enough confidence in the political situation to avoid demonstrations in a construction area.
 

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No info on timing

But a key element is digging up the entire area and building a massive underground parking. Until that begins, the project won't really have taken off. I hate to think how much history will be lost...the parking was supposed to have been finished long ago, and in a concession to people worried about losing 6 thousand years of history, Solidere allowed the digging of some archaeological 'wells,' but that's it. Given that that whole area must be very, very rich in archaeological treasures, I'd hope that anything of value is salvaged and incorporated into the square's design, or added to the collection of the city museum which was also part of the plan.

For the design guidelines for the buildings around the square (which were not part of the competition), you might look at the link to Solidere's 2006 annual report , below. The Ottoman era police station, which was a pretty little building and was to have been reconstructed, will no longer be rebuilt. In its place will be a library dedicted to Rafic Hariri (across the square from his burial place) which will be subject to a design competition. Other buildings on that side will be taller, with a modern arcade to evoke Maarad.

There are many interesting little projects planned, including - a big gap so far - art and cultural programs:

http://www.solidere.com/solidere/pdf/existingmaster06.pdf
 

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wow! THIS IS MONUMENTAL!! Really.... FINALLY.... a memorial for the PEOPLE!!! This is so culturally and historically significant, its a moment of awareness and I'm exceptionaly happy this is happening.

But I am curious who is organizing it!
 

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Is this serious?? This is VERY significant?! Is it supposed to be related to the Garden of Forgiveness by any chance?? and what kind of memorial will be. I'm glad that they admit the numbers of people affected... I hope this is not just an advert, and something they will actually follow through with.
 

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".. Our scheme conceives Martyrs’ Square as a sequence of spaces that move from the city to the sea. It starts at the southern end of the square and moves north past the famous
martyrs sculpture (Martyrs’ Statue) and northward through the archeological site – the Petit Serail and the Ancient Tell – to the water, the DNA of Beirut. All in all, it is around half a kilometer. I totally believe that this perspective must not be interrupted with anything built
and that we should not take away the soul of the square, what it was and what it should remain.

Our aim is to keep the sun and the light on the square. In that regard, we have to maintain the developments around it at low rise. At ground level around the square, we have aimed to design functions that will feed the life of the piazza: restaurants and public spaces, including
a major cultural building. Piazzas are great because they breed a lot of public functions around them. They feed public life: this is the sense of the entire project."
Conversation with Renzo Piano

Source Solidere annual report 2011
 
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