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The design of Beirut's House of Art & Culture provided us with a unique opportunity to gain an insight into Lebanon's most exciting cultural and historical heritage.

We envisaged a building that rises from the past, where the past are its foundations and the subsequent history of the city is captured by the shapes, the colours and the two-shell structure of the building. More specifically, we viewed the Roman ruins and remains emerging from the ground and starting to distort and twist at Level 1 as to indicate the temporal evolution which has marked the history of Beirut. The building's dual nature is embodied in its two main elements, one solid and one transparent. Through its transparency, the outer "envelope" is today's viewers lens through history. The inner building is in golden sandstone to reflect the old city walls and defenses, the city's history, architectural development and traces of time. These traces are represented here through colored protrusions and linear slots. They illustrate Beirut's joyful and painful events, victories and defeats, successes and failures.

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