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Studio: Re-connecting Beirut: in the Aftermath

Columbia University

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Architecture Advanced Studio 5 – Fall 2020

Professor: Richard Plunz, Victor Body-Lawson

Studio Background

On August 4, 2020, a substantial portion of Port of Beirut was heavily damaged by the two explosions in the port. Dubbed “Beirutshima,” it is said to be among the largest non-nuclear blasts in history. In coordination with the United Nations UN-Habitat, this studio will address issues related to reconstruction. The site context is a section of Gemmayze Street in the Mar Mikhaël quarter and is located 200 meters from the blast location. It has extensive damage, including many unsafe or collapsed buildings. Our task is to rethink the urban infrastructure of the city, to address many of the issues that were present before the present currently, from infrastructural inadequacy to social disjunction. By engaging the local resident community and under the advice from Beirut coordinated by UN-Habitat, the studio will advance concrete ideas on how to rethink Beirut infrastructure. 

In Spring 2021, as part of the Spring 2021 Research Seminar “Re-Connecting Beirut” taught by Faculty Victor Body-Lawson and Richard Plunz, seminar participants, included Marie Christine Karim Dimitri, Yasmin Ben Ltaifa, Junyong Park, Ali El Sinbawy, Cheng Shen, and Zihan Xiao, publish this report: https://www.arch.columbia.edu/reconnecting-beirut