The destruction of cities in Syria and the terrorising of populations in Iraq are rightly the focus of the world’s attention. In this context it might seem churlish to draw attention to the problems of another city in the Middle East, not currently in the midst of conflict. But the “soft” destruction of Beirut is something that many of its citizens – who have seen their fair share of war – are watching with horror. In short, the greed of Lebanon’s politicians and real estate developers is slowly but surely decomposing the city’s social fabric. The gap between the haves and the have-nots is now wider than ever.
To understand the nature of real estate development in Beirut, one needs simply visit the new city centre, which was rebuilt after the civil war (1975-90) by a company called Solidere. The new centre boasts expensively restored French-era buildings which, apart from some shops and offices, remain eerily empty. “A movie set”, to quote a Canadian film professor. As for the newly refurbished Beirut souks, they were once a place where merchants haggled and the scent of rare spices filled the air. Today, all you can smell in this open-air shopping mall are cleaning detergents, and what you hear is ambient music. Hardly a word of Arabic can be seen – even emergency signs are in English. “This could well be Heathrow airport,” noted one British visitor.
The most unsettling thing about the city centre, though, is its “exclusive” aspect. Although its shops are not necessarily aimed at wealthy visitors (as is often claimed), it is a good Lebanese example of what some have called “hostile architecture”. ….
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture LabAbout Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn