Lebanese American University- Online Lecture Series Spring 2022

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Summary of Lecture: Amidst the fast pace which governs our profession, this talk forms a self-reflective process, where Arch. Elie Abs takes the opportunity to read through his architectural approach, spanning Lebanon and UAE. Simple yet complex, sophisticated yet natural, silent yet present, sensitive yet resilient, specific yet relative, four selected projects craft a new state of balance which Abs is continuously experimenting with. In the latter, he questions the relationship between the “situs” or the situation, the artificial or the intervention, and their symbiotic relationship. As such, this combinatorial thinking comes to light, defining how he perceives architecture as a topography, where specificity plays a major role in shaping his interventions. Throughout the talk, an intuitive architectural method is unveiled, translated through and illustrated by four different projects governed by a common thread of particularity. From Kalba to Achrafieh, and Tripoli to Brih, he puts into question the role of the author in architecture, and the latter’s responsibility towards global pressing issues. With comprehensive knowledge and awareness, the projects present a responsible answer towards the environment all while remaining honest to their origin. Series of moments, events and encounters unfold through different scales and themes, from exterior to interior spaces, reflecting on how intuition and balance achieve site-responsive answers to global problems. This presentation illustrates how the existing land and the added form fade into each other, forming a holistic architecture, an entity, a topography.