Illuminating Damascus

A landmark tower inspired by the historic and cultural context of Damascus

by James Forryan 31 October 2009
  • of

    The brief called for a world-class landmark tower comprising of international standard hotel and business facilities. The challenge was to deliver this facility within the historic and culturally specific context that defines Damascus, Syria.

    Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth, was the first city in the world to have street lighting. The traditional Syrian lamp was chosen as the formal starting point, the primitive geometry augmented architecturally and further inflected by site and programmatic influences.The Lamp engages the masterplan via a process of tracing light spill; as the traditional Syrian lamp illuminates the walls and ceiling of the ubiquitous local courtyard houses. The Lamp tower engages the masterplan.

    The plaza levels, street furniture and landscape radiate in line with the light cast from the tower. This concept driven intent was reinforced by careful consideration of human scale Damascene qualities, such as narrow stone banded souks, passages and courtyards evident in the design of The Lamp’s podium.

    The Lamp is located at the center of the Eighth Gate masterplan and is set to be the tallest tower in Syria. The Lamp is a unique 169m tall, 37 storey landmark tower - comprised of a 200 key 5 star hotel and over 20,000 sqm of A-Class offices.

    Syria is a fast-emerging middle-eastern economy in search of a modern substantive commercial infrastructure to foster international trade and become recognisable as the regional icon of stable economic growth. The key design challenge was to ensure the landmark tower engaged the specific historic and cultural conditions to deliver an architecture that is uniquely Syrian; truly Damascene.


    Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

    Contact The Team