Design collective TheLoveTriangle has designed and completed its off-grid pavilion in Baabdat, Lebanon. The pavilion aims to provide its members with a space for experimentation, exhibitions and art residencies.
The designers aimed to create a peaceful space, a gesture that would not compete with the surrounding landscape and would provide a neutral canvas for the artists and exhibitors.therefore, the design of the pavilion was stripped down to a pure and primitive architectural form – a rectangle of 96 sqm (1033 sqft), discreetly nested in a clearing between the pine trees. The structure’s transparent glazing allows for a natural connection with the site.
The pavilion sits in a location that was historically used for agricultural purposes. The site features stone terraces gently following the slope, abandoned stone structures, a molasses press, a small water creek and a 400-year-old oak tree collectively owned by one of the village’s families. a narrow gravel road runs through the terrain and connects the different structures to each other and to the main road.
The open plan, flat-roofed structure recalls the traditional and modest stone construction found in mount Lebanon prior to the introduction of more complex design strategies in the mid-nineteenth century. The pavilion features a minimal metallic black ladder on one of its facades that matches the glazing’s black frames that clad the structure’s four sides.
The existing retaining stone walls had to be reinforced to be used as foundation, and in order not to disturb the natural setting, the pavilion’s construction was mostly off-site. four pre-cast concrete modules were lifted over the trees with a mobile high-boom crane to their final position. The resulting modular open plan gives full flexibility for interior installations, and large glass windows frame the landscape. Reciprocally, the interior spaces are framed from the outside, creating intertwined exterior-interior opportunities.
The structure is oriented on an exact north-south axis, ensuring that in the warmer summer days, sunlight is filtered through the surrounding trees, keeping the space cool and resulting in a particular shadow play of branches and leaves. In the colder winter season, the sun’s path – now tilted on a more southern trajectory – brings natural light and warms from the more exposed southern facade.
The pavilion was conceived to be completely off-grid and does not depend on any form of energy consumption such as electric power or heating. the aim is to experiment with what the space has to offer, taking advantage of the natural light and surrounding elements to create any desired experience or installation. However, an infrastructure of power outlets and electric connections is in place in the floor, which could be used by artists or exhibitors if they wish to bring and connect their own renewable energy source.
The LoveTriangle Gallery will be inaugurated on July 2nd during Beirut design week 2019 and will host the latest research work of the collective entitled ‘Anonima Plastica’.
Project Credits Project Location Baabdat, Lebanon
Lead Architect Wassim Melki Photography Rana Rmeily
Builder Toni Faisal Contracting Glazing HTG s.a.r.l Lebanon