Arch.Uth Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Postgraduate Course Arch.Uth Ελληνικά
ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN ΙV-VI A: Mediterranean Crossing: Beirut
Design Studio Required Elective at semester(s) 6, 8, ECTS: 12



The studio is interested to investigate the relation between architecture and the city in the Mediterranean basin. The Mediterranean is a area con exchange, conflict, differences and unity. It is also the place where history and traditions meet wild urbanization and high density, it is "one and one thousands things. Not just a landscape, but many landscapes. Not just a sea, but many seas. Not just one culture, but many cultures stacked one over the other" (Fernand Braudel, La Méditerranée - espace et histoire). Today the intertwining of the economic, refugees and political crisis make the region more unified in its ongoing conflicts.

Theme of the exercise is to investigate one city thought a comparison with the Greek urban environment to understand similarities and  differences. The project will take place in a specific area, where urban, historical and social issues are evident and conflicting. The project proposal will aim to critically intervene in this very specific context to develop a critical approach by the students to face unprecedented conditions and to raise new questions. 

Other learning outcomes are: 

1) Urban analysis and comprehension of the evoluzion of the urbanization in the Mediterranean area;

2) Study of the relation between scale, from the territorial scale of the city to the architectural scale of the project;

3) Evolution and transformatin of traditional typologies for the contemporary city;

4) Use of maps and satellite images for the understanding of the city;

5) The use of architecture as a critical device for the analysis and the transformation of the urban setting;

6) The use model making as an exploratory device.


The studio deals with the study of the area of Mar-Mikhael, East Beirut, and more specifically with the zone were Armenian refugees have been initially established. The area of interest as many elements of urban interest that area of Mar Mikhael to the organization of the city at the territorial scale, and specifically the the abandoned train station, the again abandoned bus station, and the Beirut River that connect this side of the river to Bourj Hammoud, the Armenian neighborhood.

In this high dense and rich urban context, students are requested to design a modern Hammam. More specifically, the scope of the design is to reinvent the culture of the Hammam (a fundamental characteristic of the Islamic City as a pace to relax and purification). The studio will investigate the possibility of create a place for the purification of the soul in a very dense and urban environment, but also to propose a place to relax and to escape from the chaos of the urban life.

The course is organized in collaboration with the Lebanese America University of Beirut.


Students will work in groups of two. Final grades will be based on excercises in class, interim reviews and on a final presentation.

Coursework 100%:

  • Urban analysis 10%
  • Strategic Design and program (25%)
  • Architecture definition (25%)
  • Final Presentation (40%)

(Grades are orientativeand they offer the progresse of the students. The final grade my be different from the average grades) 


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