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Modern Architecture in Lebanon: Shams Building (5/12)

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Shams Building


Joseph Philippe Karam


Facing the Pigeon Rock, this building epitomizes the exuberant local version of modern architecture; its most distinctive manifestation being the use of a strong palette of colors with 2x2cm enameled pâte de verre panels alternating on the façade.

A less evident but more important feature is the structure constituted of 34 V-shaped columns, organized in 2 rows, supporting the building and originally intended to give it a floating appearance.

The building is crowned with a modern interpretation of the attic roof. Although resolutely modern, the volumetric composition of the building puts it in line with the classical tripartite disposition comprising a base, a body representing typical running floors, and a crowning level on the top.

Shams Building Studio Safar
Studio Safar
Shams Building Arab Center for Architecture
Arab Center for Architecture
Shams Building Joseph Philippe Karam
Joseph Philippe Karam


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  • Hani karakira

    مع الاسف تم اخفاء التصميم الانشائي
    المميز الذي كان باديا” اثناء الحقبة السابقة و الذي يتكامل مع الجمالية في التصميم المعماري ،ليتم اخفائه بسلسلة من المحلات التجارية اللتي حتى لم تراعي الابقاء على المنظور الهندسي بل اخفته بطريقة بشعة و عشوائية.

    March 24, 2018
  • Abed Rawas

    I wished they’ve kept all the old buildings on Beirut Cornich the way they were before. Feel sorry for the Carlton Hotel.

    March 20, 2018
  • Ali nehme


    March 19, 2018