Nabil Gholam Wins 2016 World Architecture Festival with Bank Headquarters
Nabil Gholam Architects’ unbuilt proposal for a future bank headquarters competition, a.spire, has been named the winner of the Office-Future project category at World Architecture Festival 2016. The project, designed for the Mar Mikhael neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon, is a flexible intervention meant to both meet the client’s needs in the present day and adapt to its long-term evolution.
The exterior of the proposal is deceptively simple, housing a complex layering of working and living spaces on the interior. The core of the project’s design philosophy is the duality of inhabitants and neighbors, both of whom are served with several levels of private and public spaces.
Most visitors, clients, and employees will first experience the headquarters on the ground floor, which serves as the dominant interface between the Tower and surrounding neighborhood. The second tier is a raised ground floor, which is exclusive to pedestrians and fosters interaction with public space away from vehicular traffic. This level serves as the threshold to the main lobby and secret gardens, inviting visitors upward with views of the surrounding site.
The tower will contribute to Mar Mikhael’s quickly developing skyline, eschewing ornament for an understated sculptural facade that transforms throughout the day with the angle of the sun. The building appears monolithic from a distance, while upon closer examination its porous facade and rhythmic landscaping become visible. The upper-level platform will serve to add healthy green space to its urban environment and at night, the lit sky gardens can be recognized from all parts of the city.
Project Teamnabil gholam architects, AKT II, atelier ten, FMDC Ltd., VDLA, BERM, Barbanel Middle East sal, Logic+Format, JVL Studio, SKA, TMS Consult, Acousystem Liban, DG Jones & Partners