The Firm
Urban Design
Martyrs square
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This competition took place while the reclined center of the city was witnessing important morphological transitions. Most of the public spaces within the perimeter of downtown Beirut were rehabilitated except for the most symbolic one: the Martyrs’ Square. An ambitious project was set by Solidere (Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut’s City Center) defining a mixed used program stretched on what was entitled Martyrs’ Square and the Grand Axis of Beirut. The aim of our urban development proposal understands the above objective as an opportunity to redraw Beirut’s secular identity within a pluralistic social fabric. The proposal stretches from south to north and culminates on the first port basin. This linear public space is punctuated by four major elements: 1. The Debbas Square: Offices and cultural buildings blend with Azarieh corporate block, the city center and the egg-shaped theater. 2. The Martyrs’ Square (renamed Public Square): This space opens north towards the sea and west towards Place de l’Étoile and the Garden of Forgiveness. 3. The Tell Museum: A vertical museum combining indoor and outdoor settings within a dense archeological site. 4. The National Theater: It is the termination of the grand axis marked by openness to the sea. The program of the theater extends in the thickness of the platform and culminates in the form of a small tower.