tutor | marwan zouein

Together | To gather | Co-Living in Beirut

The modernist planning of the territory and the reconstruction of the city testify to a vision that did not consider the human scale and demonstrated the failure of municipal governance. The idea of a city oriented towards the common good is no longer a fundamental principle for the governing bodies. How do we live together in the city? where do gather? what are the places where we can meet beyond the standard and normalized spaces? Where do neighbors gather and where do children play?
This studio proposes to work on the concept of the interstitial towards the design of a shared structure that serves the neighborhood and the inhabitants; situations in which the domestic realm expands towards the outside world and where the standard differentiation between public and private is not sufficient anymore to define this intermediate zone. The studio will revisit the historical program of Maison du Peuple and add to it a residential component. Originally thought as a place for the working class, and initially playing a principally economic role, such cooperatives never had the sole vocation of cheap bread and coal provision. They effectively came to embody essential structuring elements of the organization of working-class life, regulating the rhythm of everyday social interaction. Sometimes directly linked to the different socialist parties or to the employers’ groups, these cooperatives played a decisive political role. In light of the actual events taking place in Beirut, we think it is a timely moment to reintroduce a program that fosters a new togetherness.

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