Escwa HQ - Beirut central district - 1998 - Architecture


Located at Riad El Solh square the building is designated to house offices for a number of international organizations, including the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). The project is built around an interior garden allowing for an optimal use of sunlight from a variety of angles. The building maintains its main elevation open symbolizing a Gate for the southern entrance to the BCD. Within the Gate a light metallic structure canopy leads the way through the garden to the Main Hall. The building consists of fourteen stories; eight of which are above grade level mainly office areas and six below grade level housing other functions, services and facilities. At the ground level, a VIP restaurant in addition to commercial facilities, related to the ESCWA, are accessed from the main hall and benefit from the interior garden. The majority of the above grade built up area offices are overlooking the interior garden and the exterior views with back spaces in-between that could be used as secretary offices, archives, storage, etc. ... All the peripheral offices are considered flexible. Moreover the structural design of the building helps to have an open space in each of the above grade levels which could reach up to three hundred m2 without the presence of any vertical structure component. The first basement level being accessed from the main entrance hall (ground level), includes three different size auditoriums, a fifty seven seated persons cafeteria and the necessary facilities. The largest auditorium is designed to house three hundred sixty five seated persons as well as a stage and back stage. The remaining auditoriums are of smaller sizes and designed to house one hundred and five and fifty two seated persons.