A 550sqm lot positioned in one of the most sought after "Quartiers" in Achrafieh in Beirut.

The client's program called for apartments with a sellable area less than 190sqm, destined for very demanding clients/end users. After a limited architectural competition phase, our scheme was selected as a basis for the development of this project.

The planning of the project dictates the overall volume and architectural reading. The rectangular site is fronted on its two narrow ends by roads, separated by 3m level difference, and two neighbors on the two long sides. Both street frontages offer comparable qualities, so we opted for a scenario offering almost independent but extremely well connected "building"; the objective being to offer the feel of two groups of residences (10 on either side), and to avoid the common landing with two opposing doorways into separate apartments.

We designed a central core serving both buildings, composed of a central staircase with apartments at opposite landings, each served by a separate elevator (one for ten apartments) and a common service lift (serving 20 apartments). Hence the split at street level is built into the programmatic functional distribution of the project's apartments, and serves to organize the planning of the 400sqm basements which are also at split levels allowing ten efficient cars parking per basement. The ground floor is also split, allowing a physical connection through the lobby, and generating separate private entrances for each of the residential clusters.

The nine typical apartments on either side are crowned by a three level penthouse culminating with a family room open onto a generous roof terrace and pool.

This efficient planning all through, from basements to the top of the roof, is shaped street side by the inclination enforced by the legal envelope/Gabarit.  The resulting external volume permitted the client to imbue the elevations with aesthetic elements which root the project in the colonial context it is built in.