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Modern Architecture in Lebanon: Koujak-Jaber Building (7/12)

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Koujak-Jaber Building


Victor Bisharat

Nicknamed the Gruyère, the Koujak Jaber Building in Ramlet el Beida is an apartment building with a main façade covering the building at full height and consisting of a flat surface punched with openings. Large 3m diameter circular holes face windows and terraces. Between them are small elliptical openings disclosing the slabs and sidewalls separating the apartments. For a visitor arriving to the building and looking up, a perspective effect transforms the vertical ellipses into quasi-circles, and the circular openings into horizontal ellipses.

Bisharat, an expressionist architect, called for the freedom of the artist-architect; a creator of form. He stressed on the need to revive individuality in a world becoming dull due to perpetual imitation.

Serge Najjar
Arab Center for Architecture
Arab Center for Architecture
Arab Center for Architecture

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  • Albert

    Cant this be rehabilitated?

    March 28, 2019
    • George Arbid

      Yes it can be rehabilitated. Like any private property, one has to get in touch with the owners and entice them to rehabilitate and preserve instead of demolishing. Of course one has to demonstrate the feasibility of such a position, especially for private properties. As for the actual rehabilitation, it has to be done in line with the character and nature of the building. A catastrophic shameless transformation of the glass exhibition space on the ground floor of the ministry of tourism should be condemned. There, an iconic modern building was dressed with undue Lebanese style. This act not only disrespects the modern nature of the building, but also disrespects true traditional architecture.

      March 28, 2019