This Lebanese Architecture Firm is Restoring A Breathtaking 19th-Century House in the Heart of Beirut
Al-Gemmayzeh is one of Lebanon’s oldest, most traditional districts; it is also home to Bayt K, a 19th-Century house that was in danger of disappearing. The home belonged to a prominent Lebanese family in 1870, but in recent decades, with little to no maintenance, it has lost its luster. One Beirut-based architecture firm is about to bring Bayt K back to life.
Renovation efforts on the traditional Lebanese home first started in 2017, when Annabel Karim Kassar (AKK) Architects announced they will be taking on the project at the Beirut Design Week as part of the Handle With Care exhibition. The final goal is to revive Bayt K’s original architectural elements while adding contemporary features to transform it into a livable home.
“I was very much inspired by the contrast of the city and the many contradictions that have visually shaped the urban landscape over centuries,” says French-Lebanese architect Annabel Karim Kassar, founder of AKK Architects, according to The National.
“The way I approached this project was dictated by the emotional landscape that surrounded it. The environment and the different layers of architecture the house sits in had a deep impact on my work.”
The conservation effort is still ongoing, but AKK has been doing such an amazing job that it was shortlisted by the World Architecture Festival’s (WAF) Future Projects Awards, under the House category.
This year, 534 projects were shortlisted from all over the world to participate in one of the biggest events dedicated to architecture.
AKK hopes that their renovation of Bayt K becomes the blueprint for the protection and conservation of endangered architecture in Lebanon.