109 architectes: USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport
109 architectes: USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport 109 architectes: USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport
jun 21, 2011

109 architectes: USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport

‘USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport’ by 109 architectes in beirut, lebanon images courtesy of 109 architectes

located in beirut, the ‘USJ campus de l’innovation et du sport’ by lebanese practice 109 architectes is nearing completion. integrated into the urban fabric, this new campus seeks to unify architecture with the immediate surroundings teeming with culture and history. carved from an urban block, hollow voids lead to a central gathering space while a large stair receives and circulates students vertically into the building. the stair’s terminus leads to a landscaped terrace with uninterrupted views of the city encouraging students to connect with their environment.

front facade and central exterior gathering area

light, a vital component of oriental architecture, plays an important role in the design of the facade. the skin, composed of small ‘moucharabieh-inspired’ perforations, allows both direct light and ambient luminescence to penetrate into the interior spaces creating whimsical patterns. the openings also serve as portals into the urban fabric providing glimpses of the destruction left from the lebanese war, serving as a reminder of their significant landscape.

entrance to stair


central stair

walkways connecting campus buildings

walkways connecting buildings from below

view of building from walkway

facade detail

facade detail

(left) grand stair leading to central gathering area (right) bottom of grand stairs in central gathering area

central gathering area

covered gathering area viewing auditorium

auditorium viewing covered gathering area

light patterns generated by facade

view of campus

site plan

floor plan




sectional light study


project info:

location: beirut, lebanon
client: université saint-joseph (USJ) budget: m usd
year: 2005-2011
status: under construction team: ibrahim berberi,  nada assaf, rani boustani, etienne nassar, emile khayat, naja chidiac, richard kassab in collaboration with architect youssef tohmé structural consultant: b.e.t. rodolphe mattar
mechanical consultant: ibrahim mounayar electrical consultant: georges chamoun
control bureau: apave



  • Brutalism reasserting itself. Buildings bullet marks will only enhance. Science-Fiction parking garage. Concept drawing hinting at the the power of the mind. Imaginative on many formal levels, but not expressing a new dawn of learning

    Lasse Antonsen says:
  • beautiful

    bvel005 says:
  • more busy than brutal, too busy, although there are some nice elements to it.

    meamito says:
  • Where is the beauty and access for mobility impaired people? This building ignores/excludes those who cannot use the common elements and consigns them to hidden space, thereby hiding them from view as well as hiding the view from them. So “grand” a structure is shamed by this seemingly deliberate “oversight”.

    IrkedIrma says:
  • The concrete masses suggest the oppressive heaviness of the most overt Brutalist structures, which are really Stalinist — a strange choice for the academy, which ordinarily yearns for elegant forms, openness, order and light. Repeat after me: Take my soma now.

    Mort D'Urban says:
  • i really like it!!!
    dont understand all the complaints!
    its sculptural, graphical and its nice concrete! plays well between the masses and the openigs.
    especially like the romboite pattern, whish i had come up with it
    – the bridges remind me of lina bo bardi –
    good job!

    michael says:
  • WOW
    Beautiful…. Nice concept!

    Danny says:
  • Very Elegant!!!I wish there would have been more explanation on the choice of the facade screens and the daylight analysis for the choice of openings and dimensions!!

    Leb. arch. says:

    andrecast says:
  • what the eck is this?

    I really don’t understand….
    too many disturbing things….
    I wish when we will stop playing around with non-sense forms….

    Gianni says:
  • “this new campus seeks to unify architecture with the immediate surroundings teeming with
    culture and history” ? really?

    X says:

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