AL-MAWARED BANK HQ
Beirut, Lebanon - 2003
How to distinguish an HQ in a district full of your competitors’ HQs and strict building regulations? By outsmarting the regulations, use them to one’s advantage and create a site-specific unique building that is in extreme contrast with your competitors.
The Hive is a sculpted product of the literal interpretations of Beirut’s BCD regulations:
1- At least 60% of volume must be covered in minerals // More than 60% of the Hive is covered in photovoltaic shading blades (silicates are minerals by definition) , thus resulting in the unique and contrasting introverted black volume with green energy production. The blades also offer better natural lighting control and protection from the +300 days of Beirut sun.
2- Exploitation is 100% // The Hive sticks to the limits of the site embracing its planar form and changing with its morphology.
3- Height of building must be 24m from street-level // The Hive follows and adapts itself to the level differences between the main and back streets.
4- Need for a 3m sidewalk/gallery on the main street facade // A 3m gallery defined by the photovoltaic blades’ projection surrounds the perimeter of the Hive.
By filtering the direct sunlight from the facades, natural light is re-channeled from the rooftop through light wells.
Each well intersecting a floor slab defines a specific and unique workstation: each bank (sub)department thus becomes identified by its own light well.
The employees are like moths attracted to the burning flame.