Location  Faqra, Lebanon
Category  Leisure
Accent DG  Architectural design
Lead Architect  Elie Abs
Project Team  Natalie Abou Reslan, Jad Fenergi
Area  200 sqm
Materials  HPL Wood, Concrete, Perforated mesh
Status  Concept Design

Faqra Restaurant

The site is located at the bottom of the ski slopes, in the heart of Faqra Country Club, Mount Lebanon. An existing structure occupies the center of the lot, serving as a Tele-Siege and snack bar, where cross-generations skiers meet, sun-bathe, and grab a bite while practicing their leisure. Shifting from only the ski-season use of the Country Club to a rather all-year venue, the facility now is inclined to answer to the new needs of the inhabitants and visitors, cross-season.

An all-year-round venue is to be erected on the site; serving as a multi-seasonal restaurant/ bar-lounge, with outdoor spaces that open up to the ever-changing landscape. The site explodes with 360 degrees of breath-taking views; flanked by the Faqra ski-slopes, opening up to the mountains and the Mediterranian Sea.

The conception of the project began by placing a mass, with similar proportions to that of the existing volume, relating to one another through negative spaces, hosting outdoor activities. The connection between these two entities was achieved by respecting the proportions of the existing structure and the relationship to one another.  

The mass was then manipulated to touch the ground plate, funneling the public to the roof, exploding the 360 degrees views. The public-accessible slope was to shape the volume. Growing out from the ground floor, the slope twists along the vista, opening up to different directions, and extending towards the ski slopes.  As the slope rises, platforms were carved at numerous levels, hosting various events and activities. This public slope is not only an extension of the public flow, but rather a form generator; defining the roof scape experience and consequently the spatial identity of the restaurant immersed below. 

Two separate, yet inter-related venues came to play simultaneously; the restaurant and the roof. The restaurant relates to its specific users, the slopes and surrounding immediate context; while the roof-top venue relates to the general public and extended surroundings. A bridge was introduced between the existing structure and the new volume to weave the public flow into one continuous loop, further intensifying their relationship. 

The restaurant hosts up to 130 people in winter. Sliding panels on the façade open up during the summer, allowing for fluidity with the outside. The venue transforms to a mere shaded area in an ample landscape. The mass on the main façade, facing the ski slopes, acts as a projection for the public to informally gather for a screening.

The slope not only intends to take the public from one platform to the next, but rather becomes an experience all by its own. Outdoor auditoriums, informal seating areas, social gathering hubs, and bleachers each directed towards a different view; some towards the ski slopes, others towards the mountains and sea. The platforms hover over the surrounding context; hosting a 360-bar, lounges, and informal spaces for people to meet, gather, socialize and enjoy the all-year round magnificence of the site.

The materials used serves to further emphasize the carving out process of the mass. The mass was treated with HPL wooden panels, giving the slope a unified reading from both venues. Reflective mirrors, perforated mesh panels, and concrete floors were introduced in the restaurant to contrast and accentuate the wood mass.