Beirut has re-emerged as a major field of experimentation in design trends and ideas in the Arab world. A look at a selection of young Lebanese architects reveals a plurality of design approaches, exhibiting a dynamism that results from the different educational schools, compounded by the experiences that some architects returning from Europe or the United States have brought to the local culture. This selection of young architects who are actively participating in the shaping of a new architectural culture in Lebanon and the region, testifies to the diversity of architecture culture in Beirut, and provides some hope in countering the decades of banal and mediocre production that was typical of the 1970's-and 80's.

Worldview: Beirut Project Editor Elie Haddad gives an introduction to Beirut, a city of "complexity and contradictions." Geographer and planner Eric Verdeil describes Beirut's unplanned growth, despite a string of official plans. Angus Gavin, Head of Urban Development for the company chosen to oversee Beirut's redevelopment, details the framework for the city's post-war renewal. Architect and writer Andre Trad provides a timeline of the evolution of modernism in Beirut. Architects Naji Assi and Toni Chakar describe the "Rowaysset Project," an ongoing research project on the topic of the 'vernacular,' its implications in various fields of art, and its relationship to Beirut. Architect Nadir Lahiji argues that a porosity exists in Beirut that is the result of "pre-modern and the pre-capitalist social forms" which continue to survive side by side with the 'modern.' PHOTO ESSAY
In this series of composite digital photos, Abdallah Kahil explores the city in its different times, resulting in surreal spaces that can appear both familiar and strange. READINGS / BIBLIOGRAPHY
Select fragments and further reading on Beirut.





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