david adjaye-designed aïshti foundation set to open in beirut
 
david adjaye-designed aïshti foundation set to open in beirut
sep 02, 2015

david adjaye-designed aïshti foundation set to open in beirut

david adjaye-designed aïshti foundation set to open in beirut
all images courtesy of the aïshti foundation

 

 

 

in the lebanese capital of beirut, the finishing touches are being applied to the ‘aïshti foundation’, a mixed-use cultural center designed by renowned british architect david adjaye. the complex, which opens on october 25th, 2015, is dedicated to presenting contemporary artwork from the private collection of tony salamé, CEO of luxury brand aïshti. alongside world class galleries, the development also houses a range of retail outlets and leisure facilities.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the waterfront development is dedicated to presenting artworks from the private collection of tony salamé

 

 

 

with its aluminum tubular structure applied to the building as an exoskeleton, the distinctive red façade envelops the edifice in a scrim of multiple layers and patterns, reminiscent of the perforated woodwork typical of traditional arabic architecture. from the inside, large windows present views of the sea and the city behind, generating a visual dialogue between beirut’s rapidly evolving skyline and the generously proportioned gallery spaces.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
alongside art galleries, the development also houses a range of retail outlets and leisure facilities

 

 

 

CEO of aïshti tony salamé comments: ‘after years of collecting and aspiring to some day give back to the lebanese community, it’s a dream come true to launch the aïshti foundation, with massimiliano gioni curating the opening show in a building designed by david adjaye. when I went through the collection with massimiliano in new york and saw everything coming together, it was quite an emotional moment.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the aluminum tubular structure has been applied to the building as an exoskeleton

 

 

 

the inaugural exhibition, curated by massimiliano gioni, is titled ‘new skin’ and presents a number of works from tony salamé’s personal archive, a collection that encompasses more than 2,000 pieces.

 

‘I am excited to be curating the inaugural show at the aïshti foundation,’ says exhibition organizer massimiliano gioni. ‘tony is a dynamo and beirut a city that has produced some of the most interesting artists at work today. I look forward to seeing the aïshti foundation amplify the energy and talent of many artists locally and internationally.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the design is reminiscent of the perforated woodwork typical of traditional arabic architecture

 

 

 

borrowing its title from a sculpture by british artist alice channer, the exhibition brings together works that expand and transform the language of abstraction, imagining new relationships between surface, texture and form. in close dialogue with adjaye’s interwoven façade, the exhibition focuses on recent experiments in painting and sculpture while establishing a speculative lineage that stretches from the sensuous surfaces of agostino bonalumi, enrico castellani, and piero manzoni to the work of many contemporary artists.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the distinctive red façade envelops the edifice in a scrim of multiple layers and patterns

 

 

 

challenged to design a building which integrated both art and shopping, adjaye’s team sought to create a new typology that established a dialogue between the two (often conflicting) programs.

 

having spent time in beirut as a child, it is a pleasure to return to the city to work on this project, explains architect david adjaye. ‘I have been particularly excited to explore a new typology, by juxtaposing culture and a series of other adjacencies, from art to retail to well-being.’

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the finishing touches are being applied to the scheme’s internal galleries

 

 

 

the aïshti foundation is part of a 35,000 square-meter complex that includes fashion boutiques, a curated bookshop, restaurants, cafés, a spa and a rooftop bar. the new destination has been designed to inject new energy within the region, which in recent years has attracted the growing attention of the international art community.

 

construction began in autumn 2012, and has taken around three years to complete. the aïshti foundation opens on october 25th, 2015.

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the dramatically proportioned central atrium

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the design team sought to create a typology that established a dialogue between art and retail

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
a landscaped garden sits between the sea and the building

david adjaye associates aishti foundation beirut lebanon tony salame designboom
the complex opens its doors on october 25th, 2015

 

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