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Modern Architecture in Lebanon: Union Building

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Union Building

1949-1953

Antoine Tabet and Lucien Cavro

Occupying an urban block surrounded by four streets, the Union Building faces the Sanayeh garden and Rue Spears with six floors surmounted by two recessed floors that follow the mandatory setback. The building exudes a sense of austere modernity tempered by a refined treatment of the edges, and a skillful arrangement of straight planes and curved corners.

plan of union building by arab center of architecture
Arab Center for Architecture

The units follow the central hall plan configuration inherited from the local tradition avoiding thus lost space for circulation and serve both for apartments and office spaces. In the efficient layout hosting up to ten units per floor, main rooms give to the streets surrounding the block while service rooms are located around ventilation and aeration courtyards.

The building is mostly recognizable by the two reclining female stone sculptures designed by Jean Dorier for the solemn entrance porch. Artwork is also found in the majestic entrance hall with two colorful mosaics signed by Henri-Pierre Fortier.

Arab Center for Architecture
Arab Center for Architecture
Arab Center for Architecture

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