The Mark Tower

Spears Street is a high traffic main artery connecting west and east Beirut. The lot for this project sits in its midst and houses a heritage building at its north most side. Our objective was to preserve and integrate it within our design proposal. A south side street serves the project with an additional access/exit

The allowed/planned 19,500sqm were targeted to an iconic tower. We intended for this development to attempt to fit in with the vintage buildings fronting the street, and thus began sculpting away, always with volumes which preserve a certain street alignment in the built volume.

When considering Gabarit/envelopes enforced by the roads surrounding the lot, as well as the differences in the orientation of these roads, we were ending up with complex geometry within the built volume, especially toward the crowning of it. Our intent was for a single language to model the whole project, starting from its retail base and leading up to its pinnacle. We therefore devised a 6m wide grid module which functions well overall the project, from the parking, to the retail shop fronts, to the nominal offices widths, to elevator cores, up to the terraced roofs. This module served to develop a box like volume composition (two floors joined vertically) which then sculpted the external skin. It also served to step up and back from the main street where the project is aligned, leading up to the tower part of the project.

This parameter achieved two objectives: adapting the required silhouette to a rationale and developing a unique look to the tower/project. It is completely open and glazed to the north, while the south side offers the same language but in a permeable skin allowing positioning of technical equipment.

The project almost organically grows out of the base. Ten basements housing about 500 cars and technical areas serve this project. Two highly optimized cores with double deck 4m/s generous elevators serve all the floors.