Bernard Mallat Architects

Bernard Mallat Architects

Hazmie, LB


SIF-BH Project

The SIF-BH project, a complex of office buildings and warehouses, is located on plots of land that were rented for a period of 20 years, thus implying a low-cost and a low-maintenance approach. Yet, its proximity to a main boulevard, where vehicles travel at a relatively high speed, and the client’s high-profile aspirations called for a projection of a distinctive identity.

The site consists of 4 distinct lots bordered by a number of streets and spread across 2 different zones: commercial and industrial. In order to connect the lots, both physically and visually, we employed a typically urban strategy: the office buildings are linked by a large square that folds unto and into them while the parking area of the offices was allocated on the roof of the warehouses, freeing up the basement to contain large storage spaces.

The warehouse buildings' facades are composed of simple concrete vertical strips of varying widths reminiscent of a barcode. Apart from being structurally efficient, the bands refer to a rational, universal, low-cost storage identification system and contrasts the horizontal nature of the generic surroundings.
In keeping with the financial model, the office buildings utilize a basic post and beam structure. The scaffolding system that will be erected to construct the facades will be cleaned up, re-painted and left standing once construction is complete. The utilitarian nature of the system is expanded upon; it is used to support mechanical units and peripheral passages for cleaning and maintaining the façade. This exoskeleton will also host horizontal metal gratings, that while concealing the technical equipment, function as shading devices and trellises for climbing plants.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Beirut, LB