Lebanon Gets a Vertical Village From Herzog & de Meuron
Because of the variation in each of the floors and the deep and generous outdoor terracing, the building is not a bird killer. The windows are recessed so there is no sky-like expanse of reflected sky to fool birds into flying smack into the building as they head for the wild blue yonder.
This charmingly futuristic apartment complex for Beirut, Lebanon was designed by the imaginative Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, who also designed the Beijing National Stadium for the Olympics in China.
Beirut Terraces is very successfully designed to evoke the feeling of a vertical village that – in the same way as villages do – actually grew organically, and was not just thrust on its inhabitants in a fully complete state.
The complex looks almost as if each floor is individually designed. Yet these floors actually comprise five modular components, making for exactly the same ease and economy in the construction process, as for that boring high rise next door.
Likewise, the views of the water are the same as they would from any coastal high rise, but these become far more appealing – more like those seen from an architecturally designed home – because of these deep terraces, and the hanging planters.
Typically apartment building balconies have skimped so much on precious space that these rudimentary outdoor spaces end up just as mere depositories for a rusty bike or two. This imaginative and humane design successfully integrates indoors and outdoors in a way seldom seen in mass produced housing.