THE PRODUCTIVE INTERFACE

imad jabali

Reflecting on the urban-rural divide that plagues Beirut’s relationship with its hinterland, my project identifies transitional interfaces along city limits- as key sites to revert such relationship. Unlike in the capitalist model that have exploited the “four cheaps of nature”- labor, resources- energy for the benefit of privileged urban areas, how can we rethink such sites as new thresholds that create new proximities between the rural and the urban, between living, working and social interactions? the answer is a new typology-productive communes – that creates proximities of production and living for suburban dwellers, giving them the viability to remain in their hometowns. Going on to meet the site conditions of Kahale, the architecture of the commune comprises an active plinth that integrate production, communal amenities and social spaces, topped by linear housing that is reconfigurable to fluctuating demographics, due to units’ modularity. Three courtyards are defined by the plinths that follow the site topographic lines, topped by housing that bridge over the plinths and courtyards. The ground level becomes a combination of courtyards that brings in the surrounding landscape; and a network of pedestrian paths and ramps linking courtyards and programs with the village of Kahale.

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