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’. 


CASID 01
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. 


CASID 02
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.


CASID 03
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 04
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 05
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 06 
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 07
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 08 
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 09
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 10
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 11
image © pygmalion karatzas


CASID 12
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

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    architecture news