Omnia residential building - Architecture - 2018 - Beirut central district

Sliding folding zinc louvers add dynamism to the facades of Omnia building. Omnia is a residential building located in a high class area of Beirut Central District. It contains eight single typical floor flats of 500 sqm with a large duplex penthouse occupying the top of the structure, and retail boutique spaces at the bottom structure. In this particular site, the continuation of the urban block façades was considered paramount within the scheme. As an urban infill, the building is of a height that is consistent with both of its neighbors while developing its own sculptural language. Focusing on a single, clear volume, made of grey zinc metal panels, with stripes of polished white stone balcony parapets, and inserts of wood ceilings. The external finishes have been chosen to age well, gathering a patina as the years go by and blending in with the color palette of the surrounding buildings. In perfect harmony with the zinc cladding of the façade, the sliding folding zinc louvers have a protective role: shading from the western light and maintaining a comfortable temperature during summer; as well as ensuring privacy from the outside. The residents can mechanically open and close from within at different times to control the view and the stray lights, and constantly changing the texture of the building’s facade. When all the shutters are completely closed, they form a dense surface, with a slight opacity that becomes evident when the lights inside are on. When the shutters are fully opened, they extend outwards to the edge of the building. The north-east corner of each apartment features a terrace accessed through sliding doors from the living room. The building massing and stark material selection create a minimal building design with a high standard of detailing and finishes.