Voicing Beirut

Music School

Final Year Project

As an overall strategy, several projects were created and named the Follies of Beirut. The 9 projects held the city together by means of connections and urban interventions.

As for my strategy, I based it on the history of the city’s morphology, where I discovered several nodes that were essential to the city’s growth, among them are Qoraytem, Verdun, Hamra and Downtown. Perhaps the most important – I found – is the infrastructural intersection that links these nodes together which become my area of intervention. This resulted in the creation of two main strips, the first commercial and the other cultural which determined the program of my project. 

Hamra has always been a cultural hub where creative minds come together, from the student to the old man singing on the corner. As an extension to the music school in Down Town Beirut, I decided for the project to be just that – a music school.

As a result, the two schools acted hand in hand to bring people together from and to both areas, where my project became a meeting point that drives people to the designated areas and makes them come to life. Therefor the project became a pivot point to the pedestrian, only 10 min away from the surrounded nodes.

The project is built on two lots and is consisted of two main parts, the commercial ground area and the music tower. The tower is composed out of modules that are formed based on light and on the type of usage of the module. The core of the building is the split vertical circulation and the common area that consists of a media area. As for the commercial strip, it serves as a link to Down Town in function as well as in typology. 

The main intention behind the project was for it to become a theatrical experience. Hence, the acoustic treatment held in every single classroom, where the classrooms become the instruments themselves.

For students to be able to move around the faculty comfortably, the circulation is composed of a main elevator that service all foors and additional supplementary “cubicals” that link the common floors together. The main elevator is a traditional elevator, it is an artirary circulation that splits in the middle of the tower breaking it into two (lower part is the none instrumental area and upper part is the instrumental area). The split forms a common floor which is a Media Floor (screens and headphones) that shows students playing live different instruments. By “cubical” I mean 2x2x2.5 glass cubes, suspended by metalic rods, that serve as secondary elevators linking the common floors (ex: there are cubicals linking the teachers offices to the examination areas, or cubicals linking the class rooms together, or cubicals linking the 2 floors of the recording studios area). In addition, in the lower part of the tower, the services strip is situated on the right side of the section allowing the “modules” to communicate with the amphitheater, whereas in the upper part, the services strip shifted to the opposite side allowing the “modules” to communicate with the second lot of the project.

© Saria Ghaziri 2020