tutor | boulos douaihy
The classical narrative of Beirut’s constant revival in the face of what appears to be a never-ending political dysfunctionality appears to have finally ended …with a bang. After the events of 2020, the city’s branded “creative chaos” can now hardly be romanticized after it brought its “miraculous” economic system to a dramatic end and physically pulverized an important part of it. Beirut is now a tired city that is in desperate need of a promise of a different course. A course of stability and collective reclamation.
What if we took this opportunity to think of ways to reinvent our city from within, reusing the misused, underused or abused resources in smarter, more efficient and inclusive ways? What if, instead of being driven by real-estate and self-centered attraction, it will be driven by the “longing to nature” or “longing for meaning” that its residents are left with after the “raison d’etre” of this big pile of concrete started fading away, ever more clearly in the times of the epidemic, the economic crisis and finally the August blast.
The students are invited to formulate answers to this failing system by an architectural act. By taking the opportunity of the damage from the blast and proposing a drastic change in the hypothesis that had ruled -and ruined- the affected neighborhoods. The students are asked to reclaim the city – and its dysfunctional, oppressive or obsolete structures – and express the values that the young revolutionary spirit of 2020 called for.