The master plan for the American University of Beirut was developed to shape and guide the development of the university’s century-old campus over the next 20 years. Situated on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, the existing campus is composed of more than 80 academic, residential and administrative buildings, primarily of neo-Moorish and modern design that represent different eras of architectural development. The master plan provides architectural, landscape and urban design guidelines to serve the existing and future needs of the university. It articulates an integrative landscape plan that demonstrates a subtle use of topographical conditions to enhance the existing landscaping, in particular that of the green and wooded middle campus at the heart of the university with its lush environment and dramatic views towards the sea. The plan addresses improvements to the campus infrastructure, proposing new facilities such as classroom buildings and parking structures. It covers the renovation of existing buildings and preservation of historic structures; the expansion of the medical campus and its integration with the main campus; and the building of a new sports centre and business school. Pedestrians have replaced cars almost everywhere, with roads giving way to promenades, plazas and new green spaces designed to link the upper, middle and lower campuses. The generation of the master plan was a truly participatory process, successfully engaging the large number of beneficiaries including the entire university community.
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011