METAMORPHOSIS IN GEMMAYZEH
karla abou khalil
For the past decade, Gemmayzeh has been witnessing a clash of a new kind, that of the “spirits”. The old spirit, longing for the past, seeking the sense of community, and the “new”, inducing the change, with no awareness to what was once there. A natural flow of time. A metamorphosis.
The program is a photography house, owned by the family residing in the building, displaying “Old Beirut”. An initiative that would revive the past in the present, introducing it to some, and restoring it for others.
The project tackles the issue of connectivity, that of the spirits to one another, the spirit to the spaces in which they exist, and the project itself to its surrounding.
The 3-story public function, allows the visitor, an out comer, to be totally immersed within the interior space, and experience a full journey of photographs development.
Yet the case reverses for the residential spaces. 3 independent apartments -2 simplexes and one family house- belonging to members of the same family are externally connected through a series of staircases and terraces, surrounding a living core, creating a dynamic on the façade –and around the corner-, responding to the uni-directionality of the street, maintaining the privacy of each unit, yet enhancing a feeling of belonging to a whole. A belonging to the family, and to the community.