BEIRUT – We were following the Aïshti Foundation for a while. We read everywhere that the facade was ceramic, which was the intent but the large shipment of tiles broke before they could reach the facade, so the Adjaye Associates replicated the effect with this fantastic, mesmerizing aluminum tubing.
Adjaye states that the challenge in the work was integrating both shops and an art collection owned by Aïshti CEO Tony Salamé.
The studio said the facade has a number of layers, “so that the building is like a glazed box that sits within a louvred frame.” In addition to mirroring traditional perforated woodwork of Arabic architecture, the scrim creates a passive shading system. In parts the facade gives way, exposing a gleaming interior of glass and steel. The tubing acts as an intricate frame for the activities going on inside.
Adjaye Associates was established in June 2000 by founder and principal architect, David Adjaye OBE, according to the studio’s web site. Receiving ever-increasing worldwide attention, projects range in scale from private houses, exhibitions and temporary pavilions to major arts centers, civic buildings and masterplans in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Renowned for an eclectic material and color palette and a capacity to unfold cinematically, the buildings differ in form and style, yet are unified by their ability to challenge typologies and to generate a dynamic cultural discourse.