tutor | dara mcfee

Intertwining space and structure

For almost a year, Lebanon’s macroeconomy has been assailed by compounded crises, beginning with an economic and financial crisis, followed by COVID-19 and lastly the explosion at the Port of Beirut. Of the three crises, the economic crisis has by far had the largest negative impact.
Within the context of this persistent economic crises, the DVI studio tasked the students with designing a vocational school.
The initial research phases included individual analysis of buildings that have a clear interrelation between structural logics and design intent, introducing students to the intertwining of systems and space, structure and architectural form.
This was followed by group mapping and analysis of the site conditions of the site in Mar Mikhael’s neighbourhood, where the old Laziza factory once stood.
Students were challenged to to respond to site characteristics, including urban context and developmental patterning, historical fabric as well as the topography and climate conditions as they explored and developed programmatic, conceptual and experiential aspects of their projects.
Creating an integrated project challenged the students to respond to structural requirements, relevant codes and regulations and include the principles of life-safety and accessibility standards in their design process.
The outcome was elaborated in a clear set of drawings, sketches and collages highlighting the tectonic aspects of their projects.

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