Nabil Gholam Architects' plans for new campus development designed to lead by example
The project objective is to invert the tendency of the FEA District being perceived as the backyard of the lower campus and transform it into an exemplary setting for the development of future architects, designers and engineers by the creation of a vibrant collection of open urban spaces with active building frontages.
The IOEC building offers an optimal massing solution creating twin, bent and sculpted linear ribbons of labs paired around an intelligent circulation and technical spine. A generous North South atrium opens the upper campus views to the sea, and frames the symbolic Clock Tower from the Corniche. The structure-free floor plate of about 1,500 sq m provides all the required flexibility to group modules and shift partitions.
Each module of the lab is completely independent, with its own access, shafts, ventilation etc. and allows easy combination and technical upgrades. All labs have independent access from the central spine and natural ventilation and natural light on demand through the active, intelligent skin. An interactive double skin allowing great thermal protection throughout: a layer of clear low emissivity double glass, shielded by perforated aluminium sun screen panels, sliding on tracks between stainless steel sun canopies.
The panels are designed with a foliage pattern, borrowed from campus trees, without disrupting the harmonious expression of the building. They permit different degrees of perforation, in reaction to orientation and views and labs light requirements.
The multi layered skin offers a new image to the campus and the engineering school. Cutting edge technology made visible at night through the metallic leaves of its panels, shimmering along the lowest border of the campus, interacting both with the city and the university grounds
As one of the first major constructions for the lower campus regeneration, this building establishes an exemplary model. The objective is to create a setting conductive to learning-by-example, a well designed, well thought, and well executed construction, in tune with the ambitions of the American University at large in providing high excellence in education.
This project is the first in Lebanon registered for a LEED certification.