Gemmayze Lighthouse / by Karim Nader

Located in the heart of Gemmayze, this project consists of the renovation of an old residential building into a boutique-hotel. The decaying layer of paint that covered the façade of the existing building has been treated into a uniform grey surface patterned with deep joints, forming a distorted abstraction of the stone cladding that characterizes Gemmayze’s traditional buildings. This creates a neutral background on which signage is then overlaid. Volumetrically, its bulky mass is broken through the additional volumes that are added on its roof, which consist of transparent boxes and their outdoor extensions. These house a bar, a restaurant, and a multi-purpose loge, which benefit, through their open-air terraces, from the spectacular view of St Nicholas’ staircase. The building’s apartments have been re-planned into hotel rooms, which were envisioned, in their varying palettes and themes, as a re-creation of the immense variety that distinguishes the experience of Gemmayze. Its ground floor has been turned into a double-volume café that can be smoothly accessed from the staircase. The building was intended as a perceivable icon in the street of Gemmayze, and, as such, while its façade glows with the colors of the projected signs and ads, its rooftop recreational complex becomes a mass of light that glows high in the night sky of Beirut.

Project Status: Concept Design

Project Team: Karim Nader with BLANKPAGE Architects.