Undoing Erasure Through Urban Commoning

vanas raouf

My project stems out of a research that looked on the different chapters of erasure in the urban fabric of Beirut; erasure due to expropriation and top-down development, and the erasure of the collective memory… As a response, the project focus on a neighborhood that has been marked by erasure- Ghalghoul Neighborhood in Downtown Beirut, which sits on the remnants of the Roman Decumanus, and that has been completely leveled during Post-War reconstruction. The project aims to rediscover lost traces and reclaim public spaces that have been minimized and abandoned until the 17th October revolution. Inspired by activists’communal practices and uses of space, the project proposes an architecture of a common that can empower all classes of people through a public spine that links the public ground and runs throughout the project, holding different commoning programs and typologies on different levels. Design strategies resurface erased pre-war urban fabric, uncover archeology, create accessible urban interfaces between the project and the city . Programs such as affordable working spaces, meeting spaces, archiving research center are hosted in the central volume, while affordable living units and learning center extend out from/ and complement the functions of the main building. The architecture of the common is by the people to the people and helps to undoing social , economic and physical erasure while reactivating the area with an accessible architecture.

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