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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Byblos Town Hall in Lebanon by HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

 
May 21st, 2016 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Hashim Sarkis was awarded the commission of the new Byblos Town Hall after an anonymous open competition.

Byblos, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a World Heritage Site, has been growing outside the historic city bounds to the point where most of the city’s population now lives in its suburbs. Boasting a historic harbor, two crusader castles, several historic churches and mosques in addition to an extensive Phoenician, Hellenistic and Roman heritage, the city is the most visited tourist site in Lebanon.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

  • Architects: HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS
  • Project: Byblos Town Hall
  • Location: Byblos, Lebanon
  • Photography: Wissam Chaaya
  • Client: Municipality of Jbeil/Byblos
  • Contractor: Roger Stephan, Jack Chahla (site engineer)
  • Engineers: Isopak (Electromechanical and Structural)
  • Landscape: Nayla AlAkl
  • GFA: 3583 cum
  • Site area: 1667 sqm
  • Building height: 14 m
  • Building depth: 4.15 m
  • Competition: 2011
  • Completion of Building: April 2016

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

In an effort to recenter the city, the new town hall site was chosen at the interchange of the north south highway that separates the city from its eastern suburbs, in a public park and near a tourist information area.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

The building is broken down into three large blocks that span over the park, each housing a different component of the program, the gaps between them bring light into the park and the buildings. The park is maintained open to the public as well as the ground floor of the complex .

The three blocks are carried by the circulation cores on east side and a long wall on west side that acts as a noise barrier with the highway.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

To protect from noise and heat, the blocks are closed to the outside and clad with sand stone , the “official stone” of the city. The offices are open to the spaces between the blocks with the facades clad in aluminum louvers that turn horizontally to become pergolas over the park that weave between the blocks.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

A future urban design scheme will include a pedestrian bridge over the highway to connect between both sides of the park and also between the older and newer parts of the city.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Each of the three volumes contains a component of the program, namely offices for three entities sharing the building: the municipal departments, the municipal council offices, and an interactive museum for the alphabet, that also provides a multipurpose hall for the town. The volumes are at once separated from each other and connected at the ground level. The glassenclosed ground floor level combines the common spaces of the program: entrances, information, city cashier, cafeteria and exhibition space.

Technical programs and the police department are located within the constructed base, at the level of the park.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

The municipality is built out of reinforced concrete. Each volume’s structure consists of a core, two columns to the west embedded in the noise barrier and in the case of the two longer boxes, two additional columns. The spaces of the boxes are left open and clear for maximum flexibility.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

In order to avoid the unpredictable patterns of sandstone and to express the monolithic nature of the stone pieces, the stones were cut into thin strips of 7 cms wide and a variety of lengths. They were then separated into four shades and assembled on the façade following a pixelated pattern of yellow travertine.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

On the inner face of the lobby, a mural representing a geometric abstraction of the Phoenician alphabet introduces one of different forms of expression between art and calligraphy that the building’s architecture hosts.

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © Wissam Chaaya

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

Image Courtesy © HASHIM SARKIS STUDIOS

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Category: Town Hall

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