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IEAP - 1470
Notre Dame University / lb Lebanon
1 members
Noura Fakher

Project type:

In the last twenty years the city of Tyre witnessed a rapid and phenomenal urban growth, which have transformed it into a critical regional node. Tyre is known for its archaeological sites, sandy beaches and fishing port. NGOs are putting their efforts to improve the city and enhance the quality of life. Two years ago an NGO wanted to start a campaign to close the a street once per week for people to enjoy a car free day, but the municipality refused so they managed to get 98 percent of neighborhood residents to agree to close the road. This shows that the people of Tyre are already using the bottom-up approach in decisions regarding their city. Moreover, the city lacks recreational functions and spaces for youth where it suffers from a semi-unanimous absence of leisure and sports facilities. Even the agglomeration of Tyre lacks cultural facilities that are attractive to its youth such as vibrant cultural clubs and event venues, a large public library, a public park, etc. Also, the municipality of such an important city is located in a residential-like building and far away from the city center.
On account of that, I am proposing to create a town hall in the old city center combining a community center and the municipality. The site is a well known sqaure in the old city (the menchieh square) which is located at the end of the old market. This square is also surrounded by old buildings, where one of them is an old cinema that is well known for the residents of Tyre. The surrounding buildings will be adaptively reused to host the new functions. The town hall would complement the existing governmental institutions such as the Serrail, the local police force, the prison, the tribunal, and the technical office for urbanism.

It’s symbolic value at the end of the old market drives my ambition for a square that welcomes new visitors, provides a social space for locals and facilitates the rush of the municipality visitors. Also, Through its pedestrian configuration, the square will have the capacity to act as a social gathering space.
The typology of the square is a formal space contrasted with informal buildings, which makes it more accepting to the theory of democratic architecture. Where this theory that is bound up more with public spaces and the requirement for plazas.

My general approach towards the garden is first to extend it and create an underground link linking both sides of the square, and to have a sculpture like entrance that would become the entrance to the whole project. The new entrance hall will act as an artistic references to the town hall hosting the main reception, exhibitions and an auditorium.

As for my approach towards the existing buildings, it is first, to strip them down to their essence removing all the chaotic additions created over time and replacing them with new volumes and terraces that create gathering points and shaded public courtyards across the buildings connected with pedestrian paths which people may choose to take across the building. These buildings will host new coffee shops as well as workshops, exhibitions and conference and debate space along with the new municipality offices.

Finally, The municipality would be open to the public and interacting with them through the youth center, it would be active at day time while the youth center would be active by day and night, which would keep the square active all day long. Being dedicated to the public, the square would to be the space where all the residents of Tyre gather and interact with each other.

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