Published at Blauwe Kamer architecture magazine in the Netherlands 2020.
Fontys – Masters of Architecture and Urban Planning MA+U
Tutors: Jan Willem Kuilenburg, Peter Feenstra
External Personal Mentor: Alda Alagič
Project Location: Lebanon – Chekka
Architecture Beyond Cement
The project is derived from the discourse of architectural materials in the application and their impact on architecture and its surrounding. The cement quarry of Chekka north-Lebanon represents a live example of this topic. Its withdrawals on the social-economical – environmental microclimates are catastrophic. The idea is to generate a new circular design that could be replicated in similar cases. A strategy of phases “Time/space” of quarries shut-down process was superimposed onto the site.
Introducing Timber Wood as an alternative building material throughout developing a forestation project as a new circular production, a notion that will have a corrective impact on both restoring the quarry and rejuvenating the microclimates in the area and its surrounding. The steps to be implemented through a gradual shutdown of the quarry without affecting the current stakeholder “owner & workers”, through re-sculpting the mine and introducing terraces for future agricultural production. The second phase is to invite alternative agriculture and livestock farming which will help in the restoration process as it will induce new environmental microclimates with the help of insects, birds and mineral wastes of livestock. The final phase is to initiate a new model of building material production based on timber and its alternatives, an arena for business investments and material development, and an ambition to create a new local currency based on dissembled building materials. As a result, there was a need to engage architectural intervention and up-cycle existing structures, that serve the strategy.
Functions are to be spread in the quarry through a forestation centre embedded in the terrains for logistics, development, and research. A mixed-used structure that includes facilities such as exhibition spaces, flexible offices, and a canteen. And shared business platforms to be used by local entrepreneurs, nestled in the new sculptured terraces and facilitate a new circular economy on the site. These architectural structures represent prototypes made of timber wood and/or CLT. The intention is to provide an example of democratic spaces that could be transformed at any time by their end users, while the design derived from an abstraction of regional and vernacular typologies.