The Sheikh Nahyan Centre for Arabic Studies & Intercultural Dialogue (CASID), designed by local firm Fouad Samara Architects, is the latest addition to the campus of the University of Balamand in Lebanon’s Al Kurah district.
Rising above its sloping site to offer views of the surrounding walnut grove and the Mediterranean Sea, the centre is supported by wide concrete pillars.
The building’s design aims to represent the university’s progressive programme through its modern reinterpretation of vernacular building typologies.
The centre sits atop the upper portion of the university’s plot, maximising the views and featuring a three-sided configuration that borders a central garden.
The layout allows the building to be accessed from all sides as well as from various levels of the landscaped grounds, which houses a private inner garden with stepped seating.
According to a statement released by the architects: “A modern interpretation of the traditional courtyard buildings of the LEVANT, CASID is not a fort-like structure. On the contrary, it knits itself into the site, opens to all its surroundings and engages with them.”
“A forum for the entire campus, it opens up towards the west, symbolising its role as a vehicle for intercultural dialogue.”
DesignMENA reported on Lebanon’s tallest building, which was completed earlier this year. Read about it here.