New York-based architecture studio nARCHITECTS have completed the renovation of the ABC Dbayeh department store, in Beirut, Lebanon. The renovation and expansion of the retail surface has included the addition of four new aluminium and concrete volumes, which provide varied interior spaces in a 41,000 square metre department store.
This project provides a 300,000sf addition and a new facade for the existing 200,000sf building. Turning various constraints into opportunities, the project creates a cohesive assembly of disparate parts: four volumes step down the sloped site, terminating in a backlit laser cut aluminum screen on a prominent highway bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
For the building’s exterior cladding, the architect drew inspiration from haute couture and the brand’s logo, devising a dress-like pattern that envelopes the building’s four volumes. The silvery façade is an LED backlit laser-cut aluminium screen, with apertures varying in size from less than 2 to 40 centimetres. In addition to creating a luminous icon at night, the new façade reduces solar heat gain from western exposure. Waste from nearly three thousand aluminium cut-outs have been reused as façade elements throughout the remaining three volumes, which alternate in tone between light and dark grey, and meeting the project’s budget.
The screen reduces heat gain on the building’s western exposure. Waste from the aluminum cut-outs on the westernmost volume is being used as a cladding element throughout the remaining three volumes. ABC held an opening celebrating substantial completion of the project on July 17th, 2012. Attendees included Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and 1,000 other guests.
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Program: Massing, new façades, displays, entrances, canopies
Building Area: 41,000 square metres (23,000 square metres addition + new façade for existing 18,000 square metres building)
Client: ABC S.A.L.
Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang (Principals); Tiago Barros, Stephen Hagmann, Hubert Pelletier (Project Architects); Seung Teak Lee, Julia Chapman, Christopher Grabow, Ammr Vandal (Design Team); Competition Phase: Alice Wong (Project Designer), Dominique Gonfard, Adam Vana
Architect of Record: ABC Technical Team: Lamia Jallad, Bascir Muhanna, Johnny Salman
Structural Engineer: BRM, Beirut
Lighting Designer: DEBBAS, Beirut