Final Year Project
The White Elephant
The Camille Chamoun Sports City stands as a testament to Beirut’s post war reconstruction boom. At a time when Beirut was looking to impress, and show the world a new and polished visage that can rival that of any world capital, no expense was spared. Now almost 20 years after its drastic reconstruction, it sticks out as a prime example of how not to intervene on a pre-existing urban fabric. With negligible yearly use, and a structure, which is limited in program diversity and alteration, the building has fallen ill to its lack of proper planning. A project of such a scale and profound magnitude within its immediate and even general surroundings must take into consideration the area in which it lies, and even attempt to give back to its neighborhood as well as city. Such a project must be able to communicate at three different scales without any type of compromise: Neighborhood, City, and National. And seeing as the current stadium sits on the plot of an unrealized master plan, meant to develop even more permanent national scale structures, an exemplary proposal taking an alternative route of design and construction can give way to a new possibility. By choosing to tackle such a scale through an Infrastructural Architecture approach, the possibilities for development become endless. The project can be susceptible to continual change, while maintaining the integrity of the original grounds, which were meant to play host to international sporting events. This proposal creates a scenario that caters to current needs at the various scales, and attempts to provide an alternate view to the development of monumental architecture.