Lebanese architect Bernard Khoury has refurbished the popular underground bunker nightclub in Beirut, B018, referencing religious architecture and abattoirs.
Khoury designed the nightclub when it first opened in 1998, marking it as a permanent venue for what once was an underground music night, which started in the 1980s against the backdrop of the Lebanon War.
Located in the industrial district of Karantina – the site of the massacre of Palestinian Muslims in 1976 – the club is sunk into the ground, evoking a cross between a military bunker and a mass grave, and covered by a large circular metal plate roof. The roof retracts, allowing clubbers to be open to the night sky while still remaining underground.
The architect first designed the club to last up to five years, however, the current refurbishment hints at the permanency of the venue.
The original wooden furniture has been replaced by stone booths and podiums, with solid stone used across all areas of the design including the walls, floors, ceilings, and furniture.
The choice of stone is indicative of the nightclubs permanence, Khoury tells design and architecture magazine, Dezeen.
While the initial design was minimally decorated, the new overhaul features more gothic and dark design details such as a row of skeleton metal rods that hang from the centre of the venue like carcasses in an abattoir, that serve as lighting fixtures.
The booths are reminiscent of religious architecture, with one side enabling people to sit in their alcoves, while the tops offer an altar-like bar for those behind.
The roof has remained retractable, and when closed, its underside is covered in rows of metal panels.