Program: A new campus for Université Saint-Joseph on Damascus Road, one of Beirut's main thoroughfares. The project—one of the university's several campuses in the city—includes an economics and medical research building, a medical clinic, a physical therapy building, two office buildings, and a large public center with an auditorium, exhibition spaces, athletic courts, and a pool. The six-story structures, with a combined 645,834 square feet, are arranged around a central courtyard.

Design concept and solution: Beirut's building regulations lack requirements for creating public areas or plazas, for shaping the urban experience in a way that makes a city a city rather than a series of independently constructed buildings. Working with 109architectes, the Y.TOHME team set up different spatial relationships between the campus and the city and among the campus buildings themselves. The architects treated the six buildings as a single mass carved up by a central void, which became the public plaza. They emphasized the idea of mass by concealing the buildings' concrete structures within white perforated concrete envelopes (save the large public building, whose steel structure is buried within a white polycarbonate facade). The masses recall traditional Lebanese modernist boxes but with a contemporary twist: the exterior walls are often tilted, angled, slightly off kilter, giving the campus a sense of unstable equilibrium. To further extend the complex's public space, the architects expanded the plaza up to the rooftops: a wide concrete outdoor staircase with entrances to every floor leads to the top of the economics and medical research building. Concrete bridges connecting all six roofs bring visitors through a series of gardens and sitting areas to the pool and a cafeteria enclosed in a polycarbonate shell.


Owner: Université Saint-Joseph

10th street, New Naccache
Tohme Building, Lebanon
Tel/Fax: +961 (0)4 41 09 41
Cell: + 961 (0)3 59 35 83
36 rue du Hameau, 75015 Paris, France
Tel/Fax: +33 (0)1 45 75 77 18

In collaboration with

19, Street 38, Sector 1, Baabda
Post Office Box 40-222
Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 5 922 183
Fax: +961 5 922 330

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
General contractor: Entreprise Andre Hakime




Exterior cladding
Masonry: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Metal/glass curtainwall: Glassline Industries

Concrete: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Wood: Mezzanine

Built-up roofing: Dallal Industries

Metal: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Steel: Fitzpatrik

Aluminum: Glassline Industries

Glass: Glassline Industries

Entrances: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Metal doors: Fitzpatrik

Wood doors:Mezzanine

Fire-control doors, security grilles: Fitzpatrik

Locksets: GMK

Hinges: GMK

Closers: GMK

Interior finishes
Suspension grid: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Paints and stains: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Special surfacing: Rosin Entreprise

Floor and wall tile: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Resilient flooring: Entreprise Andre Hakime

Carpet: Pictura

Raised flooring: Profilor

Interior ambient lighting: Lumiere Group

Elevators/Escalators: Builtec