tutor | elie harfouche


In this studio we hold a particular interest in the agency of architecture at the service of society within the context of the city. Since 2015, we paralleled our academic investigations with problematics affecting life in Lebanese cities, evolving from their affordability (2015-17), to their inclusivity (2018-19) and finally to their transformation (2020). Considering the growing frustration with the state of things, our reactionary approaches developed from being pragmatic and sensible to becoming increasingly theoretical and audacious.
This year, witnessing the fall of the governing political system in Lebanon and its associated paralyzed bodies, we anticipated a reality in which the concerns of a new central government or federated agencies would be focused on collective interest and the common good. We approached the built environment once again politically at multiple scales from territory, city, to building in order to focus on a universal human right: housing.
Historically, affordable housing was led by the Lebanese State until the onset of the 1975-90 war, followed by religious communities creating explicitly sectarian labels until this day such as Maronite Housing, Druze Housing, and Armenian Housing among others.
Housing in this studio was not to be understood in its basic form, but was hybridized typologically and programmatically to create cores of urban life, hosting recreational and cultural activities accommodating real social mechanisms as unifying forces in local life.
Four projects are featured here ranging from the realistic (Nour Richani), to the ambitious (Rim Obeid), and finally to the philosophical and existential (Kareem Tarhini and Alaa Misto)

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