I took a walk a couple of days ago in the streets of old Fern Al Chebbek. It’s a quiet area that is behind Adlieh. This area is defined by its old traditional houses, old buildings, and some new rising buildings.
I was overwhelmed by how beautiful the old houses are. I liked their structure, design, and location on the street. They are obscured behind tall trees, hanging plants, lifeless leaves and rusty locked gates. I walked, stopping at each gate, admiring the casualness of the buildings and taking photos.
I couldn’t help but notice the new buildings and towers going up here and there. Tall buildings that have no character, buildings that are made to make profit, buildings that are built to contain as much people as possible disregarding what they might add to, or subtract from, the surrounding.
Population is increasing at a very high rate. Buildings are invading the city and the mountains and thus, the need to contain as much people as buildings can is on the rise too. Therefore, buildings are built, according to my observation and opinion that might be biased towards old and traditional, as shoe boxes to lock people behind their bought-with-blood-sweat-and-tears prisons. Rarely did I find a breath-taking modern building. They’re just blocks of concrete and glass. Old buildings were short and contained more decorative elements that adorned their walls, balconies and windows and had trees and spaces between and around them.
I know the call is for affordable (if that still applies) and practical houses, but can’t architects work on designing buildings that look good too?
I have a word for architects of Lebanon, or architects commissioned for buildings in Lebanon. Have a look at our old culture and architecture and try integrating it in your proposed buildings while keeping in mind affordability (I doubt), practicality and aesthetic value.