CMA-CGM Office Building

The new Merit Holding/CMA-CGM Headquarters Building in Beirut stands at the corner of Trieste and George Haddad Avenues, marking the entrance to the city center and the harbor.

It distinguishes itself from its surroundings for its pure geometry, for its double skin of glass, and for its glowing translucent wood panels. These panels open and close with changes in light and climate, and in doing so, they mark time and weather to the city. The building responds to its immediate context by providing an open plaza for people entering the city.

The building is organized around a central courtyard that unifies and connects the different floors with each other and with the lobby, helping to distinguish between different parts of the building. In order to not compromise the visual and functional benefits of an open office space plan by the high demand for storage, auxiliary facilities, and semi-enclosed offices for directors, the building is divided by the courtyard into two main bars.

A northern bar contains the open office space with high ceilings. Within these open spaces, sound proof curtains are used to enclose meeting areas. Low partitions could also be used to create privacy for staff members who receive clients. A southern bar contains vertical circulation, private offices, and support spaces for receiving clients. This part also contains additional storage and technical spaces on intermediary floors. The bridge between the two parts across the outward parts contain reception and social spaces.


Project Team: Hashim Sarkis, Michael Beaman, Yutaka Sho, Joseph Chartouni, James Khamsi, Temple Simpson, Tomomi Itakura, Aziza Chaouni, Adam Modesitt