Top architects wanted for Beirut

02 May 2003
Solidere, the company responsible for managing the redevelopment of Beirut city centre, is seeking world-class architects to design landmark buildings on key sites around the city.

The company has launched a call for architects under what it calls a 'joined up' approach to town planning. Under the plan, Solidere will attach a list of 10-12 architects identified as suitable for each site with each land sale. The developer must then use one of these architects.

The company is currently in discussions with UK architectural firm Norman Foster & Partners about one city development and has approached Italian giant Renzo Pianoabout another. Other leading architects understood to be wanted by Solidere include the UK's Terry Farrell, France's Jean Nouveland Architecture Studioand the US' KPF.

Solidere's landmark design approach for key sites has been adopted to complement a 'street-focused' approach to the rest of the city development. The company is keen for the development of the city to remain focused on the community.

'We don't want hundreds of modernist iconic buildings that sell themselves. Our interest is that developers should build in the overall context of the street. So for 75 per cent of our projects we are asking for a modest approach from designers. It is only on certain key sites we are looking for landmark buildings,' explained Solidere urban development manager Angus Gavin.

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