ABC Dbayeh is a landmark for Beirut’s most prominent department store brand.
Drawing inspiration from the haute couture sold within and ABC’s recognizable logo, we created an aluminum pattern enveloping the 450,000-square-foot building’s four volumes. The silvery facade is an LED-backlit laser-cut screen, with apertures varying in size from less than an inch to roughly 1.5 feet. In addition to creating a luminous icon at night, the new facade reduces solar heat gain from western exposure.
New features relate to the scale of the visitor. A 217-foot-long structure-free glazed display along the Dbayeh Highway provides a unique new space for dramatic art installations. Four glazed entrances with theater-like displays provide glimpses into and from a new interior world. Diners on the new roof-level restaurants are treated to a backstage view behind the perforated screen, with framed views onto the Mediterranean Sea. The end result is a dramatic and yet cohesive range of environments, which visitors and passersby experience differently by day and by night.
Waste from nearly three thousand aluminum cut-outs from the LED-lit screen on the streetside facade are reused as elements adorning the remaining three volumes, a solution devised to meet the project’s tight budget constraints.
Client: ABC SAL
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Dates: 2009 – 2012
Sq Footage: 450,000sf (250,000sf addition and new facade for existing 200,000sf building)
Program: Massing, facades, displays, entrances, canopies
Environmental: New heat-mitigating facade on existing building
Design Team: Eric Bunge, Mimi Hoang | Stephen Hagmann, Hubert Pelletier, Tiago Barros | Alice Wong, Dominique Gonfard, Seung Teak Lee, Julia Chapman, Christopher Grabow, Ammr Vandal
Collaborators: Architect of Record: Lamia Jallad, ABC Technical Team | Structural Engineering: BRM | Interior Designer: A-Consult | Landscape Architect: ZMK | Lighting Consultant: DEBBAS
Photography: Joe Kesrouani