2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon © RPBW
2009-in progress

Pinwheel

Beirut, Lebanon

‘Pinwheel’ is the development of a whole new neighbourhood located between the old city of Beirut, the ‘Main Land’, and a new area of reclaimed land in the city’s port, known as the ‘New Continent’. This mixed-use development comprises two blocks of development – south and north of Wafik Sinno Avenue. The overall language of the development is one of transparency, shade, cool and vegetation, with winter gardens and roof gardens a particular feature.

More Info

The programme comprises department store, hotel with ballroom and serviced apartments in the south block, with residential (villas, lofts and condominium), offices and retail in the north block.

Creating a podium for its pair of majestic towers, the entire Pinwheel development sits beneath a landscaped 32m (105ft) roofline, with occasional lightweight footbridges spanning the voids between buildings.

On the south side of Wafik Sinno Avenue, a city block rises five storeys to its roof gardens. Triangular in plan, it is presided over by a soaring 315m-high (1,033ft) tower and will provide about 78,000 sq m (839,585 sq ft) of useable space above ground. The lower, podium levels are to contain a department store and ballroom, with a hotel and serviced apartments in the tower above.

The four levels of the department store are arranged around a central atrium with a ground-floor internal garden, also housing the panoramic lifts and escalators. The double-height ballroom and its various annexes (meeting rooms, restaurant facilities, dressing rooms, foyer etc.) are to be located on levels two to five.

The tower is to be occupied by a five-star hotel (levels 11 to 36) and serviced apartments (levels 37 to 55). Between levels 56 and 66, will be various double-height and spectacular spaces, imagined for use as bars, meeting rooms, and reception rooms. On level 62, a spherical meeting room seemingly suspended in space. Level 61 is to hold a public viewing gallery directly accessible from the podium roof gardens on level five. With glass walls on all four sides, this terrace will provide panoramic views of the whole city, the sea and the mountains.

On the other side of the avenue, the north block, which forms a rectangular plan of 105m x 76m, has been fragmented into several, smaller volumes arranged around a large open central courtyard of 38m x 73m. This residential block will provide approximately 41,000 sq m of useable space, of which 16,000 sq m will be found in the 200m tower. Here the tower is situated at the south-east corner of the block, immediately echoing its taller counterpart on the south side of the avenue.

The north tower contains a high-specification residential programme of 11 east-facing villas and 22 west-facing lofts, located between 57m and 147m above ground. Each villa is distributed over two floors over some 430 sq m, with additional winter garden and balcony. An additional triplex villa is to be created in the podium below the tower, with private access to the roof garden. The lofts are open-plan, laid out on two levels, and include double height spaces.

Arranged along the grid of streets and thoroughfares, the 32m-high ‘podium’ roofs of both main blocks read as continuous gardens, traversed with the help of lightweight footbridges. Clear glass facades give glimpses of internal winter gardens, rising to tower-top roof terraces. Above these podium gardens, the two glass towers, one on each side, mark the eastern end of the site. The ground floor, roof-garden level and tower rooftop of both blocks will all be publicly accessible.

Trees, water and careful choice of building materials serve not only to embed the new development within the context of the site, finding its place between the ancient city and the city, but also provide opportunities for sustainable building. A cooling slab system using the water table, photovoltaic panels in the facades, naturally ventilated double-skin facades holding winter gardens, harvesting daylight, all meet to achieve an efficient and visual balance between nature and technology.
The entire project shares underground services, housed underneath Sinno Avenue, with access from both sides. This basement area will contain parking, delivery bays, services and plant room.

The south-western corner of the north block is to be occupied an office block, the first of a series that is planned to continue in a second phase of development (‘Triangle’) to the west along Sinno Avenue.

Credits

Client: Solidere

Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects
in collaboration with Fouad Menem Consultants, Beirut

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