Zaha Hadid's 'gravity defying' Issam Fares Institute opens in Beirut

The design builds upon the institute’s mission as a catalyst and connector between AUB, researchers and the global community.

After eight years of deciding a design for the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut, the building’s inauguration took place last week.

The building is full with the signature indicators of a Zaha Hadid building: asymmetry and the illusion of defiance to gravity. Like many modern, non-contemporary designs, the building gained mixed reviews among the architecture community and citizens of Beirut.

Standing at 22 meters with 6 floors, the building has a total site area of 7000 square meters and a total floor area of 3000 square meets.

Here is a description from the firm’s website:

“The Issam fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs building by Zaha Hadid Architects at the American University of Beirut continues the on-going implementation of the 2002 AUB Campus Master Plan by Sasaki Associates (in collaboration with Machado and Silvetii, MGT of America, and Dar Al-Handasa, Shair and Partners) to advance the university’s academic mission in the 21st century with facilities of the highest international standards.”

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