Cantilever over protected house
Since cities are already so full of existing architecture, one of the most interesting and necessary parts of architecture consists in conversions and volumetric additions. The cantilever designed by SOMA Architects in Beirut is a spectacular example of mixing old and new architecture together.
The 11 story residential module cantilevers over a 1920’s house, keeping the original façade intact. Entitled BOBO, the project is formed by a parasite-type structure made from concrete and steel that will hold 13 residences and ground level retail spaces, situated in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael District.
Most apartments will have private balconies, including the two and three bedroom duplexes, while one of the penthouses will host a garden terrace offering panoramic view, while the other offers a luxurious private pool.
Michel Abboud of SOMA Architects refers to the structure as being “crystalline”, both aesthetically and functionally. It replaces many unused shops, giving the neighborhood an useful and exciting piece of architecture, since the district is going through a renewal phase.
A bold, tessellated structure, the proposal is unique in the area and just by itself created a new attraction point for the neighborhood. It is a magnificent piece of contemporary architecture, smartly placed over a protected historic building, managing to both preserve and renew a misused and undervalued piece of architectural heritage.