New CIty – Hazmieh (Liban), 1998

Given the pollution, deforestation, and degradation of the New City district, the challenge here was to contrast the available, rich spaces, and to make the landscaping quality an asset.

The site was organised around three heritage components that the landscape project highlighted: a stone mansion supplemented by traditional Lebanese orchards, the remains of a large arcaded house in the heart of a pine and eucalyptus forest and a significant but very damaged plant heritage.

To rediscover this heritage, the project exploited the symbolism of water, a sensitive and precious element, to define the plan of the entire New City site. Water was successively:
«controlled», by being captured in three points at the highest point on the site and then organised into a circuit flowing from basins to channels and fountains throughout the main pedestrian route.
«flowing», by hugging the contours of the pedestrian route leading to the residential areas and arriving at the clubhouse as a cascading river.
«mirror», because little rivulets were directed to the mansion house and irrigated a series of beds of scented plants and herbs in the gardens of the clubhouse.

The “green city” image upon which project is based was created thanks to regularly planted flowering trees with, wide spans, a large central park in the style of an English garden, a generous and persistent layer of eucalyptus trees allowing residents to soften or reduce interference from noise and dust while filtering views between them and traffic.

The patios established areas of transparency between spaces. According to the tradition of oriental gardens, they allowed visitors to create a sense of walled gardens so as to organise a private space, in a similar way to mashrabiya, wooden lattices.

Hanging gardens of lotus, thyme, palms and tamaris were used to adorn the terraces of New City and provide shade and coolness.

The existing pine trees were protected and cared for as heritage and reinforced by additional planting: an existing pine grove was expanded with square garden plots of scented flowers and the reintroduction of pine trees to line the main axis. Finally, hundred year old olive trees were set on dry stone wall terraces throughout the entire domain.

Program

Landscaping of a commercial, residential and hotel districit on the outskirts of Beirut, on the road to Damascus.

Client

Pool bancaire

Team

INTERSCENE – Thierry Huau - Landscape architect & Urbanist
TERROIRS DE DEMAIN F. Lenoble Prédine - ethnobotanist
Jacques ABOUKHALED - Architect
Pierre EL KHOURY - Architect

Surface

11 ha

Global Budget

20 millions de francs

Status

Not accomplished project