zaha hadid architects creates research hub with issam fares institute
zaha hadid architects creates research hub with issam fares institute zaha hadid architects creates research hub with issam fares institute
jun 11, 2014

zaha hadid architects creates research hub with issam fares institute

zaha hadid architects create research hub with issam fares institute
image © hufton + crow
all images courtesy of zaha hadid architects




the ‘issam fares institute for public policy and international affairs’ (IFI), designed by zaha hadid architects, has been completed at the american university of beirut as part of an on-going campus redevelopment. the facility immediately serves the school’s students and administrators, but on a larger scale is a hub for local, regional, and international academics, researchers, and politicians. the IFI comprises a rigorous educational program that the design of this building seeks to facilitate. it aims to harness, develop, and initiate research of the arab world, in order to enhance and broaden debate on public policy and international relations.


the façades are treated with a patterning of windows and indentations, providing visual movement across the elevations
image © hufton + crow




by elevating a majority of the building’s mass through a large cantilever on the structure’s west side, the building’s footprint is greatly reduced, allowing for an increase in outdoor public spaces. the surrounding landscape was given thorough attention to create fluid linkages from the campus to the interior, while also producing areas for relaxation. the two ground floor entrances seek to blur the boundary between inside and outside, and interweave at their meeting point to create a center point of circulation.

the entrance courtyard is covered by the building’s upper mass
image © hufton + crow

the cantilever extends 21 meters at its furthest point
image © hufton + crow




a long ramp travels between a group of trees to connect the campus landscape with second level research labs. additionally, on both the east and west sides of the building, ground floor seminars are accessed at grade. the lower levels comprise of administrative program and meeting areas, while a reading room, conference workshops and research rooms on the upper levels ‘float’ above the exterior courtyard. to maintain a quiet and focused academic zone, the 100-seat auditorium is separated, and located underground.

the construction utilizes the region’s tradition and expertise of working with cast-in-place concrete
image © hufton + crow

image © luke hayes

by elevating a large portion of the building’s program, the footprint on the site is greatly reduced
image © luke hayes

a long ramp provides access to research labs on the second level
image © hufton + crow

image © luke hayes

a roof terrace offers a place for students and researchers to pause from work, and take in a view of the campus and city
image © hufton + crow

a reading room features a large picture window providing a view of the campus
image © luke hayes

image © hufton + crow

at night the double-story picture frame window illuminates to reveal interior activity
image © hufton + crow

image © hufton + crow

image © hufton + crow





project info:


total site area: 7,000 sqm
new exterior spaces: 4,000 sqm
total floor area: 3,000 sqm
auditorium capacity: 100 seats
floors: 6
maximum height: 22 m
length of cantilever: 21 m
program: research and administration offices, seminar rooms and workshops, conference room / auditorium, reading room, recreational lounge, roof terrace
total surface of fair-faced concrete: 6,000 sqm 
total surface area of glazing: 800 sqm
concrete cast-in-place: 4,200 cbm
total steel used for structure: 800 kg
employees on site: 90 (builders & technicians) for 1,100 days
total working hours: 500,000 hours


primary client: american university of beirut (AUB), beirut, lebanon
university president: dr peter dorman
facilities for design & planning unit director: bassem baroumi
IFI project manager: alain eid
client: issam fares institute for public policy & international affairs (IFI)
director: dr rami khouri
architects: zaha hadid architects (ZHA)
design: zaha hadid and patrik schumacher
ZHA project architect: saleem a. jalil
ZHA project team: christos passas, saleem a. jalil, graham modlen, human talebi, brandon buck, miya ushida
ZHA competition team: saleem a. jalil, rokhsana rakhshani, teakjin kim, ben holland, charbel chagoury, anas younes, fulvio wirtz, mariagrazia lanza, renata dantas.
local architect: rafik el khoury & partners (hazar mansour, roger skaff)
structural engineering: rafik el khoury & partners (rafik el khoury, georges sfeir, maya charry, guy ghosn, roger skaff)
mechanical engineering: zef london (DD stage) / rabih. rafik el khoury & partners (issam mourrad)
electrical engineering: rafik el khoury & partners (karim nammar)
acoustic consultant: rafik el khoury & partners (wassim sader)
contract administrator: rafik el khoury & partners (roger skaff, zeina bou mikhael)
drawings & construction: kettaneh construction s.a.r.l.
project director: bahzad choubassi
site manager: elie awaad
project coordinator: sabine choubassi, assem soubra
mechanical coordinator: georges saade
mep subcontractor: climtech
structural engineers (post-tension): darweesh haddad

  • looks like a beautiful tree was sacrificed just to get the imposing front picture in portfolio.
    Tried to verify from google earth images…but it appears to be true.
    Dont know if that was the management’s/owner’s/architect’s or the photographer’s decision

    kushal says:

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