Tyre | 2017

An environmental pavilion on the coast of Tyre designed and built with architecture students of the Design Impact Laboratory in the American University of Beirut. 

The lack of awareness about the marine biodiversity and the importance of responsible use of the coast among the locals and visitors coming to Tyre is resulting in severe destruction of habitat, and an increase in the endangered species of marine and coastal wildlife. Local environmental NGO’s are facing challenges when it comes to spreading this awareness.

Working closely with environmental consultants and with the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve, we propose to seize the attention of the users of the coast (both locals and visitors) by introducing a structure that acts as a centre for the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve and any other NGO’s that need a gathering spot. This centre, located in a highly visible and public beach area, will be used as a meeting point, an info point, a presentation pavilion, an exhibition space, a training centre, among other things. When it is not in use it remains an open space where locals can enjoy the shade it provides during the day and the shelter it provides during the night.

The structure aims to examine how the possible application of lightweight and temporary systems can have a large social and programmatic impact while having the minimum physical impact on site, be it land or sea. The deployable scissors structure introduces a modularity and mobility to the design, which can be repeated in different endangered sites along the Lebanese coast, becoming an icon of environmental awareness.

Design Impact Laboratory

The Design Impact Laboratory (DI-Lab) is a course designed to engage a group of young architects and engineers in designing and implementing community-based projects in Lebanon. It is a one-of-a-kind platform that provides design and engineering services intending to improve the living conditions of marginalized and neglected communities. It aims for a participatory process that engages the beneficiaries and users in order to incubate sustainable development. DI-LAB is organized by the American University of Beirut, Department of Architecture and Design and the Center of Civic Engagement and Community Services (CCECS).  The platform solicits projects, prepares the brief and secures the funding for implementation. 

Instructors: Karim Najjar (Professor), Omaya Malaeb, Ahmad Nouraldeen

Teacher assistant: Mohamad Nazar

Students:   Fatme Bahsoun  .  Lana Barakeh  .  Lea Ramadan  .  Marguerita Hayek  .  Mira Al-Jawhary  .  Nadine Eid  .  Omar Darwiche  .  Racha Doughman

Photography by Lorenzo Tugnoli