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Georges Chamoun

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What architectural program does a forgotten street in the capital need in order to come back to life again?

As an architecture masters student, I chose the field of arts to be the subject of my diploma project. I want to conceive a project that would work as a platform that connects the artists and the art-lovers, a focal point for perpetual interaction between local as well as international artists and the public. That would give birth to a cross-cultural artistic dialogue.
I chose Rue Monot, a sort of forgotten street with value in the capital Beirut. Small empty pieces of land (With an average area of 600m2 for each) are available on both sides of the street along with a 3000m2 land (Relatively big).
My proposition: A hub and a network that pivot around it.
The hub will obviously be conceived in the bigger land and other less important functions will form the "network" and take place in the small lands.
The concept of the hub and network would transform the forgotten street into a live public pedestrian space for exchange and interaction.
------>The network:
- Art galleries
- Workshops
- Retail
- Dorms for international artists
- Spaces for performing arts
- Mediatheque
------>The hub: That is the part where I need your ideas and opinions the most.
I propose conceiving a Museum of contemporary arts since Lebanon in general lacks such spaces. That would be the center of my project. The other functions would pivot around it.
I want you guys to hit me up with your suggestions and comments as soon as possible. Thank you in advance!

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    Dec 5 2013: Georges, As usual my friend Fritzie has provided you with excellent advice and references.

    I wish to give you simple advice ... I read a travel report from a visitor to Beirut who said they went to Pigeon Rock, a walk along the shore, a pretty mosque, a burned out christian church, and signs of war everywhere (bullet holes). So here is the advice ... you can do the math and build a structure ... but you need to make it functional and something wanted ... walk the area ... ask what locals would support ... go to the big hotels and ask the tourists what they want to see .. or what they expected in Beirut that they could not find or was not available. Ask the schools what they would support ... how about the government department of antiquities ... ask tour guides what turns the tourists on and what turns them off ... most gripes most compliments. You get the idea. Incorporate these into your project.

    I wish you well .... come back in a year and tell us how it is going. Bob.
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      Dec 5 2013: Correct. Any similar project needs to be well studied. Knowing what the people/ tourists want is crucial. I have already started my survey, the results are in my favor which is great. I still have questions to ask though.
      Thank you Robert! Will update you when it gets more serious!

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