fouad samara architects' center for arabic studies and intercultural dialogue in lebanon

fouad samara architects' center for arabic studies and intercultural dialogue in lebanon

the sheikh nahyan center for arabic studies & intercultural dialogue (CASID) designed by fouad samara architects is the latest addition to the renowned university of balamand in northern lebanon. according to the designers, ‘by creating a forum for cultural, intellectual, and religious exchange, the CASID aims to embody the progressive ethos of the university, and create a positive contribution to it’. 

image © pygmalion karatzas



for this center, fouad samara architects borrowed the character of courtyard buildings, an archetype typically present in arab architectural heritage. as seen through pygmalion karatzas‘ photographic documentation of the project, the CASID knits itself into the site with the eastern part rooted in the landscape and perpendicular to the slope, explains the architects. 

image © pygmalion karatzas



the western zone is home to the formal entrance, floating right above the ground and in alignment with the street, while the southern area acts as a natural extension to the existing site. all in all, ‘this courtyard, albeit a modern interpretation of the traditional archetype, is not a fort like structure. on the contrary, it is open to all its surroundings and engages with them. a modern interpretation of the tradition mashrabieh, louvers in varying widths and spacing filter the western sun coming into the upper floor. one accesses the building from all sides and from all respective levels of the street and landscape around, symbolizing its role as a nexus of exchange and its accessibility to all’, concludes fouad samara architects.

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas

image © pygmalion karatzas



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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