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The ABC Dbayeh department store 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 dress-like pattern enveloping the 450,000 sf building’s four volumes. The silvery façade is an LED backlit laser-cut aluminum 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 façade reduces solar heat gain from western exposure.

New features relate to the scale of the visitor. A 217ft-long structure-free glazed display along the Dbayeh Highway provides a unique new space for dramatic art installations. Four new glazed entrances with theatre-like displays provide glimpses to and from a new interior world. Diners on the new roof level restaurants will be treated to a backstage view behind the perforated screen, with framed views out 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 façade 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
Status: Completed
Dates: 2009 – 2012
Sq Footage:  450,000sf (250,000sf addition + 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