(2000) Al Zein Tower

client : Talal El Zein
typology : Residential
services : Architecture
where : Beirut, Lebanon

Retrospective 1991-2000 video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPyTSojDdNX/

This is a schematic project treated as an experimental design activity to develop applicable solutions to the needs and requirements of the architectural program. Relocating from Greece back to his homeland, the client requested design aesthetics of movement and style for his 5000 sqm office block that would be the headquarters for his business groups.

The designs are sculptural in form. Both are a combination of 2 major intersecting volumes. In one, both volumes are solid with granite cladding. In the other, one is solid granite and one is a large glass box. As the site is located in close proximity to the sea, both designs are somehow influenced by the shape and form of boats. One is curved at the top and the other has circular openings distributed on the large walls of the ground floor.

Various options were considered in this project. They included a residential building with offices on the lower levels, as well as a purely residential project. Two separate parking entrances were designed on this relatively small plot to allow discreet and private access for the client. The site’s unique position on the waterfront implied each office was to have a clear view. The massing studies were made in this respect and all vertical circulation was located on the northern side to maximize exposure to the panoramic views of the sea.