BEIRUT RIVER URBAN FARM
reem ibrahim + reina al sayegh
After a thorough investigation of the Nahr Beirut area, we discovered a history so rich and beautiful that we could not but attempt to revive some of it. Over time, the area fell into despair losing its natural ecosystem and all the social and agriculture activities that used to occur on the river’s banks and it was turned into an urban concrete jungle. The project is meant to be a revival of the past with consideration of all the current day problematics of the area.
We wanted this project to reconnect the two sides of the banks, retrieve the lost layer of greenery while also providing people with both social spaces for leisure and proper working opportunities. and so, we set out to create an agriculture-focused project that has both normal farming spaces in addition to, and mostly, urban farming considering our urban dense context. The proposed program consists of spaces for urban and normal farming, a market to sell the produce, food kiosks and public social spaces in addition to an exhibition that showcases both the history of the place and local artists.
The final form of the project consisted of a series of rectangular forms with varied heights designed to look like the project is growing out of the land and across the river while also echoing the general form of its urban dense context. Above that main structure is a wooden shading system with vines shading a bike route that sprawls across the project. The bikes of this project are special custom bikes that include a mechanism able to turn food waste, collected from neighboring areas dense with restaurants, into compost for our greenery. The bikes can be rented and offer visitors a guided promenade across the project, through the planted greenery, above the river and passing by the exhibitions all the way across to the opposite bank.
This project is designed to be a self-sustainable one with zero waste that gives back to the community, both people and nature, and re-ignites social life by the river in the heart of a bustling city.