A marriage of two separate buildings; a taller, almost austere front tower overlooking the marina with its discrete glass-cornered loggia-like balconies and a lower, gently sloping rear annex overlooking the downtown, the Platinum is one of the most distinctive buildings in Beirut.
One of the tallest residential buildings along the eastern Mediterranean and occupying a site with a floor to area ratio that approaches that of downtown Manhattan, the Platinum sits on a base that places the ground floor 6 meters above street level. Seen from the front, it gives the impression of reading as cube but actually occupies an oblong footprint. This is due to the addition of a translucent glass exoskeleton, which partially encases the front tower, distinguishing it from its rear annex.
Built to the standards that have helped redefine the upper end of Beirut’s residential development market, the building incorporates a number of innovative features. They include a unique system of plumbing which places no constrictions on the location of bathrooms or kitchens, allowing owners full flexibility in configuring their apartments, so that no one floor plan need resemble another, custom-designed retractable window blinds, which admit light while reflecting a significant proportion of the heat that would otherwise enter, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows providing uninterrupted views of the city and the mountains across the sea, 3.4 meter high ceilings and spacious balconies, protected from the wind that are large enough to serve as outdoor living areas, and individual elevator lobbies on each floor to maximize privacy.
Both the wind-tunnel tests and special ARUP designed structural efficiency models were a first in Lebanon, and allowed the developer major economies in cost without affecting the integrity of the design. The detailing of the skin, planters, guardrails, and the “glass corner” wind-breaker solutions that frame the building, provide both real and psychological safety on all levels.
Perhaps Platinum’s most innovative feature is its solar-powered LED lighting system, which illuminates the glass exoskeleton of the main tower. The fruit of intensive collaboration with the R&D Department of electronics giant Phillips, the challenge in lighting the façade was to ensure an even spread across the glass, so that the building would appear evenly lit from every angle, without causing bother to the neighbours. The squares of brilliant white light that result are visible all over the city and are reflected in the waters of the marina below and transform the tower into a glowing beacon of light, a landmark visible for miles around.
35 floors 54,000 m²
4 basements 39,000 m²
lead Architect: nabil gholam architects
concept design: nabil gholam architects and Ricardo Bofill
executive engineer: Rafik El Khoury & Partners
structural design: Arup
electro-mechanical design: Arup
landscape design: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape Architecture
lighting design: Arup
building envelope consultants: Arup
signage: Geos Information
traffic consultancy: Sitram
wind studies: RWDI
acoustic consultant: Acousystem Liban
technical control: Socotec Liban
project manager: DG Jones
3D images: nabil gholam architects, V-Pictures
3D animation: Ateliers-U