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Project title:

Arch&nbspChiara Rigoli
Arch Chiara Rigoli

Full Name:
Chiara Rigoli
Firenze  Country: Italy

Field of study: Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environment, Town 
Degree type : 
Five-year Degree
Year of graduation: 


Universitŗ degli Studi di Firenze
Country: Italy Town: Firenze


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Criterias to contestualize the project
Scale* : 1:500 urban context; 1:100 executive project;1:25-1:10 detail
* : special building: museum-cultural centre
Interdisciplinary character (other interested fields):
Environment & Territory:

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Project (block 1) - Objectives of the Project*

The area of the project is situated on the north-western side of the Beirut Central District, near the Green Line (boundary of the civil war that crosses Martyrsí Square) in front of the sea.
The main intention of the project is to launch this area rich in historical vestiges, in such a way as to exploit it, and to create some meeting spaces as a juncture between Martyrsí Square and the arrival at the sea.
The theme of the project is to create a new functional centre, making the most of the archeological value of the site. Thinking to the tragic history of the town, and generally of the whole Lebanon, the purpose of the project became the proposal of a particular institution able to underline the common cultural features of the Eastern Mediterranean countries, as opposite to the big contrasts that caracterise the whole region. In fact these countries are joint by historical, religious, traditional reasons that is fundamental to set off.

Project (block 2) : Progress, Methodologies and tools used for the Project*

The Eastern Mediterranean Culture Institute is conceived as an itinerary through archaeological ruins and proposes differents access and use possibilities and different reading layers to discover the area.

The Eastern Mediterranean Culture Institute is constituted by: the underground Eastern Mediterranean Museum, which would collect works from Lebanon and the neighbouring countries ; a Documentation Centre with reading spaces and laboratories for archaeologists and researchers, an underground auditorium for conferences and several offices; a route through the area concluding on the museum garden roof, which is conceived as an open-air square, an innovative meeting point for the area.

The project extends following a C-shape line, which starts from a certain point of the ruins and ends on the opposite side of the walls of the ruins themselves, forming almost a circular route.

The project pursues regularity, not only for formal reasons but also to highlight the contrast between the uniformity of the new building and the irregularity of the ruins.

The Insitute is divided into two parts, corresponding to two different functional areas. The first one is the Museum, constructed within the Tellís ruins area (the ancient medieval walls of Beirut): its main walls on two sides are what remains of the Tellís walls, while the missing portions are a contemporary structure. The second part of the Institute is situated in the area of the archaeological ruins, and is composed of a system of exhibition areas where some examples of the historical finds recovered during years of excavations are displayed; it also suggests a route on various levels, in order to achieve a close relationship with the siteís historical vestiges.

An important part of the project is also the study of structural solutions for the Insitute: the main structure of the whole project is constituted by iron pillars and beams supporting concrete attics; the roof of the exhibition area is covered on corten, while the Documentation Centre and offices are characterized by big glass surfaces. A particular study was conducted on staircases: a wooden staircase for the Museum and a glass staircase for the garden roof.

Project (block 3) - Results *

The Eastern Mediterranean Culture Institute could be a new istitution able to contribute to the renewal of Beirut, as a cultural centre, as an innovative meeting point, as a way to set off the great value of this historical area.

This project is also a way to study this particular region and to discover cultural features of Beirut, as answers to tragic historical events.

The central theme of the project is the relationship between the existing ruins and the new building, which is conceived as a dinamic relationship where single portions take functional and visual strenght one another, by using different materials and constructive solutions.

One of the aims of the project is also to integrate architectural and structural aspects as inseparable units of planning a new building: for this reason, one part of the thesis is focused on structural elements, that influence the architectural choices and qualities of the Institute.

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