Etude de l'Amènagement d'une Cité des Ministères
Beirut, Lebanon

The Lebanese government formulated a brief for a Ministry City, to be located in the heart of the capital, Beirut, and presented it to Michel Écochard. This request came at a time when Écochard was in charge of several architectural projects. The project dovetailed with the preliminary studies already carried out for the Master Plan of Beirut and its Suburbs. For Michel Écochard, the project was “an extraordinary opportunity since it allowed him to take up in their entirety “all the problems of the city that he had studied for the last 15 years.”.

Within the framework of the preliminary studies for the Master Plan of Beirut and its Suburbs, a variety of groupings of ministries and the placement of these groupings had been studies. This project was able to finally allow the creation of new concentrations of neighborhoods, at the time completely choked up. The aim of this project for Écochard consisted of finding the ideal emplacement in light of his urban analysis: "The purpose or the real difficulty of this mission has been to establish the new location of the various state administrations, both in their present form and the forms into which they will evolve."

The Ministry City project involved nine ministries in total: Finance, Public Works, Transport, Interior, Planning, National Education, National Economy, Post and Telegraph, and, finally, Justice. The distribution of the ministries and of the road network was considered simultaneously, and a preliminary study of traffic circulation was made in this context. The land chosen by the planners is located in front of the Sports City on sandy land along the west boulevard of the Sports City. A composition of several buildings bringing together each of the ministries was proposed. The arrangement and the different levels of the buildings relative to each other form an ensemble separated by a central esplanade. Exterior spaces are treated by greenery at different levels with pedestrian circulation between the buildings. The architecture of the administrative and governmental buildings are modern, conforming to the canons of the International Style.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Location
Beirut, Lebanon
Images & Videos
Associated Names
Associated Collections
Events
1963
Variant Names
Etude de l'Amènagement d'une Cité des Ministères
Development Study for a Ministry City in Beirut
Variant
Building Usages
new town planning
urban design and development