Situated at the southern end of Shoreline Walk, Zeytouneh Square is one of a series of connected public spaces created as part of Beirut’s re-emergence from the 1975 – 1990 Civil War.
The square is a key link to the surrounding city, and will become a celebration of modern Beirut. Designed to accommodate cultural events, the square uses the land’s natural existing topography to create an informal amphitheatre. Terraces make utilise the existing slope to provide open space for cultural activities, such as concerts, festivals, films and exhibitions.
The terraces culminate in a viewing platform at the top of the main path. The top pool appears bottomless reflecting the view. This vantage point offers the opportunity to watch the activities of the square, the tumbling water rill, the seating steps and the performance terraces. Beyond this, a panoramic view of the Shoreline gardens and the evolving city skyline illustrates the splendour and bustle of the redeveloped city, whilst the bold stripes and acute angles of the square represent a dynamic future.
Throughout the square, bespoke designed benches are placed under the branching shade of the Albizia trees, and water channels and fountains offer the cooling sound of running water.
The surfacing of the square is extended across the surrounding roads, by using bold paving colours the surfacing reads as one. The paving marks changes in the contours of the landscape, referencing the black and white patterns of traditional Lebanese architecture. The geometric patterning changes with the height of the ground plane creating a fractal landscape as the contrasting colours interact with the terraces and can be appreciated from the ground or from the tall buildings framing the square.
Approximate Map Location
Gustafson Porter LLP
|Type of scheme|
Design of an urban square with water feature
2012 Regional Finalist / Civic Trust Awards for International Projects
Smaller than 1ha
Urban square accessible for a wide range of user, adjacent to residential, retail and commercial, and providing space for public events.
Design Team Leader: Gustafson PorterEngineer: Nasr & Khalaf and Bureau Michel ChacarWater Feature Specialist: Fountain WorkshopLocal Architect: Imad Gemayel ArchitectsCost Consultant: DG Jones