Ministry of Defense
André Wogenscky & Maurice Hindié
The Ministry of Defense represents very well a successful partnership between local and foreign architects.
Transcending the mere joint-venture model, it is the intellectual and professional synergy that drove the Wogenscky-Hindié team, both profoundly influenced by the modernist ideas of architect Le Corbusier.
In response to the request for “Lebanese architecture”, the architects managed to convince their interlocutors that their consideration for local architecture did not mean historical reference taken as is. Rather, they produced a composition of rational blocks on pilotis linked by concrete mushroom galleries that provide shaded walkways amid sloped gardens and open to the distant view, thus reinterpreting the theme of the gallery.
On the façades, a rhythm of T-shaped concrete sunscreens suggests the expected arches without indulging in pastiche. Two structures stand out in the composition: the minister’s office and the eggshell of pre-stressed concrete that houses the conference room and rests in a reflecting pool.