beirut marina & town quay
beirut, lebanon

The Beirut Marina building takes its shape from strata and layers in forking vectors.  Like the ancient beach that was once the site, the planar lapping waves of the sea inspire striated spaces in horizontal layers, as distinct from vertical objects. The horizontal and the planar become a geometric force shaping the new Harbor spaces. 

The form allows a striated organization of public and private spaces which include; restaurants and shops, public facilities, harbormaster, yacht club, and apartments above. The apartment building hinges to create a “y”. The form produces a high ratio of exterior surface area offering a maximum amount of views, rising to form a public observation roof to the sea. 

The building is situated along a new fabricated terrain that is extended from Beirut’s Corniche, the seaside promenade, to create an ‘urban beach’ of public spaces overlooking the Marina. Stairs and ramps are integrated to provide access to the waterfront level. The syncopated rhythm of platforms is achieved by constructing the overall curve of the Corniche in 5 angles related to the 5 reflection pools. 

Due to the variations in height along the Corniche, the platform levels and pools vary slightly in height allowing quiet, gravity-fed fountains to connect each pool level. Celebrating the sea horizon, the terraces are sculpted in local stone. The simple geometry of the upper platforms is in contrast to the colorful activity of restaurants below. The colored walls and fabrics below have their monochromatic and organic complement in awnings over the tables by the reflecting pools on the upper level. The building roof forms a public observation platform for the sea horizon.

plot 1: 21,000 m², 3 basements 20,000 m²
plot 2: 8,000 m² retail, restaurants and terraces


associate design architect / lead consultant: nabil gholam architects
design architects: Steven Holl Architects, L.E.FT
photography: Nathalie Hadechian, Clement Tannouri