Beirut offers little public green space. “Beirut Pine Forest” in the city center is soon to be reopened, after having been closed for decades. Architect Raëd Abillama has shown how the park should be upgraded to serve as many users as possible.
The architects divided the park into three zones: a green living room for leisure and relaxation, similar to a classic park; an urban extension & fitness zone, where a broad range of activities is possible, everything from a skating park to a playground to fitness areas; and a cultural, public programs & community events zone, with space for markets, festivals, outdoor exhibitions and installations, and a botanical garden. In this way, all visitors – an estimated 25,000 or more per day – will be able to use and enjoy the Pine Forest as they wish. The park is intended to be filled with life all week long, not just on the weekends.
Project author Raëd Abillama says: “Architecture is more than deciding which park bench to place where.”
As one of the three main Holcim Awards winners for Africa Middle East in 2014, “Evergreen City” automatically qualified as a finalist in the Global Holcim Awards 2015. All 15 finalist project teams were asked to submit an updated and more comprehensive entry that was evaluated by a global jury in March 2015.
The results of the global phase of the 4th Holcim Awards competition were announced on April 20, 2015.
The winners of the global phase of the 4th International Holcim Awards competition will be revealed on April 20, 2015. The results will be announced via the Holcim Awards website.
The USD 2 million Holcim Awards is the most significant international competition for sustainable design. The jury composed of renowned specialists from around the world and headed by Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA) will evaluate 15 projects out of more than 6,000 submissions. The finalists are the winners of the Holcim Awards Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards 2014 in each of the five competition regions of the world.
The finalist projects competing for one of the three Global Holcim Awards prizes are located in Austria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA and were entered by authors from these countries as well as from Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. They reflect a broad variety of the current interpretation of sustainable construction combined with architectural excellence and enhanced quality of life beyond technical intervention.
The submissions will be evaluated by the Global Holcim Awards 2015 jury including Marc Angélil, Senior Dean of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), Alejandro Aravena, Principal of Elemental (Chile), Maria Atkinson, Founding Director of the Australian Green Building Council (Australia), Meisa Batayneh Maani, Principal of maisam architects and engineers (Jordan), Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International (Ecuador), Mohsen Mostafavi, Dean of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University (USA), Matthias Schuler, Principal of Transsolar(Germany), and Rolf Soiron, Chairman of the Board of the Holcim Foundation (Switzerland).
The winners of the global prizes will share prize money of USD 350,000. Previous winners of the tri-annual Global Holcim Awards include Bureau EAST (Los Angeles, USA), Centola + Associati (Salerno, Italy), Coelacanth and Associates (Tokyo, Japan), Ingenhoven und Partner Architekten (Dusseldorf, Germany), Kéré Architecture (Berlin, Germany), L’OEUF (Montreal, Canada), Public Architecture (San Francisco, USA), Proyectos Arqui5 (Caracas, Venezuela), realities:united (Berlin, Germany), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), and Urban-Think Tank (São Paulo, Brazil).
About the Holcim Foundation and Holcim
The Swiss-based Holcim Foundation promotes and illustrates the strength of diverse strategies of achieving greater sustainability of the built environment. As part of its approach, the Foundation publishes booklets on outstanding examples of applied sustainable construction. The initiatives of the Holcim Foundation include the USD 2 million Holcim Awards – the most significant international competition for sustainable design.
Since it was established in 2003, the Foundation has been supported by Holcim in more than 70 countries worldwide and is independent of commercial interests. Holcim is one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt, including services.See more
Architect Raëd Abillama views the sensitive integration of the existing state of the forest into a user-friendly urban park as the most outstanding element of his Holcim Awards Silver winning project. “Evergreen City: Urban pine forest rehabilitation” in Beirut, Lebanon develops the facilities and services needed in the existing park – a project commissioned by the municipality of Beirut with the help of Region Ile de France in 1992, for which a team of French and Lebanese architects (Jacques Sgard, France Trébucq, Ivy Papadakis, Jean-Claude Hardy, Pierre Neema and Frederic Francis) proposed a new layout – to open it to the public, and its promotion for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while also maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats.
A rehabilitation plan for a pine forest park in Beirut, Lebanon by Raëd Abillama of Raëd Abillama Architects from Lebanon won Silver. The urban plan develops the facilities and services needed in the existing park – a project commissioned by the municipality of Beirut with the help of Region Ile de France in 1992, for which a team of French and Lebanese architects (Jacques Sgard, France Trébucq, Ivy Papadakis, Jean-Claude Hardy, Pierre Neema and Frederic Francis) proposed a new layout – to open it to the public, and promoting it for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while also maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats. Environmental standards and urban needs will be integrated in a seamless way, enhancing the sense of belonging to the wider community.Read more »
The project’s bold intention to open up a territory – located in the midst of the city’s “concrete jungle” and essentially suppressed and forgotten in the collective memory – to the public at large was strongly commended by the jury. The city of Beirut, under constant pressure by private development to use every piece of available land for more and more expansion, must rehabilitate its green spaces and make them accessible to the public – a restoration not only of its natural habitat but most importantly of the very ideal of the city as collective body – Beirut’s civitas.
The Beirut Pine Forest is a green space extending over more than two hectares with a natural ecosystem typical of the Mediterranean region including native tree species, shrubs, and plants. The unique green space known locally as Horsh El Snoubar or Bois de Pins is located in the middle of the capital and considered the largest botanical garden in Lebanon.
“Horsh El Snoubar” is a unique green space in Beirut that was re-developed in 1992 through a project commissioned by the Municipality of Beirut with the help of Region Ile-de-France; a team of French and Lebanese architects and landscape architects (from France: Jacques Sgard, France Trébucq, Ivy Papadakis, Jean-Claude Hardy; from Lebanon: Pierre Neema and Frederic Francis) proposed a new layout for the forest.
A rehabilitation plan has been proposed to develop the facilities and services needed in the park for opening it to the public and promoting it for cultural, social, sports, and environmental activities – while at the same time maintaining and conserving the park’s natural habitats. Environmental standards and urban needs will be integrated in a seamless way, enhancing the sense of belonging to the wider community.
Progress: The natural ecosystem of the park is maintained by limiting the number of interventions to the minimum required. Services and attractions for different target groups (children, youth, adults, senior, disabled, etc.) are secured. The project is promoted as enhancing the site’s capacity to host cultural, social, sports and environmental activities. Different attractions will be created to educate people about the richness and importance of forests and green spaces in Lebanon.
People: Collaboration is established between the private sector, public sector and local NGOs to develop a maintenance and operations scheme that secures long-term monitoring and evaluation of results. The park will open for a diverse range of events (art, cultural, sports, social, educational, environmental, etc.) organized by local community groups.
Planet: Environmentally-friendly materials and products are used where relevant, such as solar panels for lighting, sorting of wastes, potential re-use of biomass waste as fertilizer; installation of water-efficient supplies in the services blocks, etc. A fire prevention and security system will be implemented to reduce the risk of forest fires. The system will include provision of water reservoirs, fire engines, manual tools and equipment for rapid fire abatement.
Prosperity: This project shows an innovative model in financing where the Municipality of Beirut will share the cost of rehabilitation, operation and maintenance with the private sector and community groups. Upon completion of the rehabilitation, a maintenance and operations agreement will commence between the municipality and the private sector, to secure proper evaluation and monitoring of results.
Place: Interdependencies of landscape, infrastructure, urban fabric and architecture – the first priority in this project is to maintain its environmental aspect. To secure its cautious restoration, a local environmental NGO expert in forest restoration is involved in the development and implementation of the project.Download project entry poster (PDF, 3.63 MB) »See more
Architect Raëd Abillama views the sensitive integration of the existing state of the forest into a user-friendly urban …
A rehabilitation plan for a pine forest park in Beirut, Lebanon by Raëd Abillama of Raëd Abillama Architects from …
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