New housing project in Beirut by Joseph E Maroun and Diala S Hanna
The client is an Italian-Lebanese developer who returned to Lebanon after spending years in Italy. He wanted to create his mark in the Lebanese market as a young contemporary developer. Yefco wanted a unique residential building with a special design. They wanted to attract young contemporary Lebanese people, who are working in the city. The location of the building is so centralised and embedded in the complex tissue of Beirut.
It has been named Il Poggio as this means ‘The Hill’ in Italian and is located at the highest point in Ashrafieh-Beirut, with the higher floors offering splendid sea views over the Mediterranean to the south west and mountain views from the bedrooms to the south east. In order to respond to the client’s requirements in creating a special unique building, the architects wanted to mold the volume according the context.
On the south west, which is the sea view and the side that creates a lot of heat gain, the volume has undergone a simple manipulation of creating deep overhangs in order to maximise the balconies overlooking the sea and to provide shadow for the large glazing of the living area.
As for the south east, which is the more residential urban view, the volume has undergone a more intricate volumetric play, creating 12 different floor plans and an overall unique elevation, with projected cantilevered volumes. In order to deal with the heat gain, more stone was used and the windows are of a smaller size.
Il Poggio’s design tried to achieve the unique quality that the developer was looking for, by means of the following: first, by interacting with the context and letting it affect the volume. Second, by being sustainable, using the local white sand stone and dealing with the heat gain on the south west and south east elevations.