Halat Municipal Complex Competition
Location | Halat, Lebanon
Client | Halat Municipality
Year | 2013
Lead Consultant | UNIT44, Beirut
Team Leader | Abdul-Halim Jabr
Team | J Makhzoumi, landscape design | A Jabr, urban design | R Shibli, urban design | A Basma, Design Development | N Dbouk, 3D imaging
In laying out the project initially, we adopted an urban morphology sensitive to the context of Halat, both in scale of buildings and their alignment relative to neighboring plots. This resulted in a “necklace” of independent blocks wrapped around a shared central space. As such, the project proposes one complex of many interconnected buildings.
The developed site also offers nature havens as Halat is increasingly urbanized and its streets are lined-up with buildings. These are explained below. In addition, select rooftops in the new Complex (municipal offices, clinics, library and school complex) are kept low and designed as either public viewing platforms or private useable spaces. They all provide unencumbered views to and from the shared open central space, a public garden, and towards the sea and the town of Halat.
The landscape design concept draws on the site limitations and potentialities (landform, hydrology, views to the sea) just as it is inspired by the project components. Sustainable greening principles are also a key, for example optimum use of water by prioritizing on native trees and limiting lawn areas to where they are most appreciated. Ecological sustainability is a priority, for example protecting the seasonal water courses in their totality. Securing clear viewsheds to the sea is an important consideration and just as significantly, the view of the entire project from higher grounds within the town of Halat. Accordingly, the landscape concept proposes six key typologies that differ in character and in function.