Faculty of Engineering District and Irani-Oxy Engineering Complex
The Eastern Lower Campus has long been the backyard of the American University of Beirut. The recent changes based on the Campus Master Plan require its full integration in the life of the university and as the new face of the campus to the city’s waterfront.
The project is conceived at three nested scales: the Eastern Lower Campus (ELC), the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) campus buildings and surrounding areas, and at the scale of the Irani-Oxy Engineering Center Building (IOEC).
The main design strategy is to identify and enhance spatial systems that operate at the three scales in order to establish continuity between the architecture, urban, and landscape dimensions of the project. Urbanistically, the Irani-Oxy Engineering Center Building serves the two sides by acting as a window and gate to the campus from the Corniche and by breaking into three distinct volumes in deference to the primacy of Bechtel as the main building and in response to the programmatic articulations of the three departments.
Transversally, it splits open in order to allow the visual and physical paths through and to generate transient public spaces. Internally the building adopts the flexible modular approach suggested by the brief and proposes different types of flexibility around it. Whereas the labs are organized more or less vertically per department giving each department its distinct identity, the graduate students’ activities link across the three volumes horizontally producing a coherent entity.
Competition Entry With Payette Associates
Project Team: Hashim Sarkis, Michael Beaman, Kate Feather, Robert Karam, Bassam Komati, Phoebe Schenker, Scott Melancon, Marta Morelli, Michel Moawad, Chris White
Structural Design: Martin Bechthold
Environmental Systems: Nico Kienzl, Atelier Ten