SkyscraperCity Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Intimate litttle theatre

It might have been a good venue for plays, film festivals, or, if the acoustics were up to it, for chamber music or smaller musical events. But the calculation might have been that it would not necessarily be commercially viable.

If so, for it to have remained a theater, it would have needed some kind of foundation or government support. It may still be too early in Lebanon for that to happen given the amount probably required to refurbish the building and then keep it running, and the size of the culturally focused foundations in the country today.

Still, if there had been a consistent national cultural policy, the government could at least have decreed that the building be maintained to whatever minimum required to keep it from falling down, until a foundation or investor of some kind could have stepped in. Who knows, maybe that could have happened sooner rather than later.

But I'd argue that ultimately that goes to the specifications (flaws in the specifications) of the mandate Solidere received...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
I thought the theater would remain and the adjacent building and lot would house the hotel?
I think from what one reads in the write-ups on the project that they want to find a means to keep the theater space: but the design above shows there is no provision for the stage/scene requirements for using the space as a theater. That would be consistent with the latest write-up I'd read (can't remember where - 2010 or 2009 annual report?) which mentioned its use as a ballroom.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
Beautiful video of potential theater interior

I think from what one reads in the write-ups on the project that they want to find a means to keep the theater space: but the design above shows there is no provision for the stage/scene requirements for using the space as a theater. That would be consistent with the latest write-up I'd read (can't remember where - 2010 or 2009 annual report?) which mentioned its use as a ballroom.

This pretty little film shows the proposed(?) interior of what used to be the Theater from the Anouska Hempel website (they are mentioned as interior architects for the project in the Annual Reports and on the Solidere website). Notice there is no seating, though if they wanted to use it at times as a theater/auditorium I suppose they could always bring in chairs for events with small draws.

Interestingly, in the part on the theater hall itself, the "pan" stops short of what would have been the stage. There's no view one way or another, suggesting that maybe they haven't decided what to do yet? (Or don't want to provoke a reaction?)

There is a five second pause around the 30 or 32 second mark marking the transition from ruins to reconstruction. It does resume:

http://www.anouskahempeldesign.com/hotels/beirut/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
It will be a hotel ...

SO it's not going to be a hotel anymore? i really hope so.
The hotel idea has always included the idea of keeping the auditorium of the theater intact. It's just that the support facilities for using it as a full-fledged theater don't seem to have been (or be) included in any of the different restoration plans, so the auditorium has been variously described as reserved for use as a 'ballroom' or bar/restaurant (maybe on the lines of the old Circus and now the Music Hall).

There are a few things that may mitigate against restoring it exclusively as a theater. One is that the building was originally mixed use anyway, and along with shops did originally include a hotel (of course, if the original building included a small but fully functional theater, the restored version could too...). Another may be (as Solidere argues) that the theater is too small for use as a true concert hall, and perhaps the expense of restoring it for smaller events is not commercially plausible. In today's environment, we are always hearing how difficult it is for orchestras and theaters even in countries with long-established musical and dramatic cultural traditions.

Very frustrating, but one way of looking at it could be that, given the daunting economics, maybe this is a way to keep it mostly intact, so that one day in the future, if and when the country has peace and prosperity, and people have time for the arts, it can be re-purposed.

http://www.anouskahempeldesign.com/hotels/beirut/
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top