Hotel - Beirut: Architecture in the conflict city
Byrnes, W. Ryan Matta
Master of Architecture
The post-conflict city is both a tragedy and opportunity; an environment of suffering, yet a fertile landscape for reconstruction. An architect's typical relation to an armed conflict environment is as an agent of reconstruction once fighting stops. But what of a city where conflict is continuous and interminable? How does an architect intervene in a conflict city? My thesis proposes an architectural intervention that recognizes an urban condition where hot and cold conflict are states of a fluctuating environmental condition. As the conditions change, spaces might adapt and architectural elements react, whether by physical operations, shifts in program, or accommodation of different users and occupations. Much of the conflict logic that is embedded throughout is inspired by strategies and spatial reappropriations that civilians employ to cope with a never ending conflict condition. Designing for the conflict condition does not suggest perpetuating its continuance. Rather, propositions which recognize varying degrees of hostilities within the urban fabric allow for the generation of unique spatial configurations, both formal and programmatic, with potential for diverse social and cultural use when conflict is cold, or what the idealist would consider times of relative peace.
Architecture; Communication and the arts; Lebanon