American University of Beirut - Charles Hostler Student Center & Corniche Frontage
Beirut, Lebanon
American University of Beirut - Charles Hostler Student Center & Corniche Frontage
Beirut, Lebanon
Education, Health & Religious

Our entry for the American University of Beirut Charles Hostler Student Center, jointly
presented with Bernard Khoury Architects as part of an international design competition in
2002, aimed at returning to the historical roots of the campus and providing a modern uplift
to a major Beirut seaside landmark.

The AUB campus originally streamed freely with a green flow from Bliss Street and the upper
campus towards the Mediterranean Sea. The design concept that was adopted for the
amphitheater and the Sports Center, opposed the erection of an above ground structure to
avoid the significant massing which the extensive program involves, and to better integrate
the required functions within an already dense urban setting.

The proposal accordingly reinstates the green continuum cascading from the middle campus
towards the Mediterranean through a plate sheltering the new student center and housing an
amphitheater within a two-level esplanade. The two levels allow horizontal light from the
sea and the sports green field to penetrate across the underground functions. Even the
amphitheater, bare-skinned during the day, never stands in the way of transparency.

The overall design concept thus preserves the openness of the educational site towards the
sea, blends seamless esthetics with the core academic value of transparency, and remains
true to the institution's founding motto: "that they may have life and have it more

  Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Client: American University of Beirut
Address: Bliss Street, Beirut, Lebanon

  Total land surface area: n/a
Total built-up area: Proposed 16,200 m2
Total project cost: Above USD 10 million
Completion date: 2002

  Services provided: Design concept in the framework of an international competition