A building 120 metres tall looking onto the centre of Beirut, a sheltered garden opening onto the Mar Mikhaël neighbourhood: the interpenetration of these two elements informs the design for the new Banque Libano-Française headquarters. The BLF project seeks to openly address and embrace all factors and contradictions associated with its setting, the new BLF headquarters will dialogue with its setting while asserting its own autonomous identity. The stairs of Mar Mikhaël become a green public space that unwinds vertically like a ribbon to become the interface between the city and the bank. The design of the volumes makes a number of references to the development of the city, the building envelope is characterized as a staggered stack of blocks. Lamellae are mounted on the façades to protect the glass shell beneath. Their arrangement and variable geometry give the façades a vibrant quality
Saloua Raouda Choucair 1963
The stairs of Mar Mikhaël become a green public space that unwinds vertically like a ribbon to become the interface between the city and the bank. The building shape refers to the evolution of Beirut, the different heights of the volumes refer to the historical, modern and contemporary city.
The tower, with 27 aboveground floors, has an east-west longitudinal orientation. The building’s vertical profile is characterized by staggered volumes of changing dimension. The perennial climbing vegetation covering the entire west side makes the building immediately recognizable to those arriving from the city centre.
The public areas at the base of the tower are accessible from the outside and allow the bank to open to the city. The atrium is characterized by a grand spiral staircase and green areas.
The large stepped plaza is open to the Mar Mikhaël neighbourhood.
The new BLF headquarters tower is characterized by a building envelope that embodies the two characteristics of solid and void. This effect is achieved by using two strongly contrasting materials: stone and glass.