As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, coverage, we present the completed Lebanese Pavilion. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post “Lebanon Pavilion at 2018 Venice Biennale To Reflect on The Built Environment Through a Reflection on The Unbuilt Land.”
Titled “The Place that Remains” the Lebanese Pavilion, in the country’s first participation in the Venice Biennale, showcased the characteristics and prospects of unbuilt Lebanese territories, and how these lands can improve the built environment and its living conditions. Curator Hala Younis chose to focus on Nahr Beirut (Beirut River) and its watershed, evaluating its bedrock and the challenges that come with it, such as the “fragile nature of territory, scarcity of resources, and commodification.”
Situated in a dark hall, a 3D relief map of the topography takes center-stage as landscape photography and video surveillance are projected onto the surrounding walls. The watershed setting ensures that the resources remain the main focus of the project.
Lebanon is an “overcrowded island.” It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, in a region plagued by war and political instability. This situation of extreme vulnerability reminds us of the territorial limitations and resource scarcity that once led to the great famine of World War I. This conference is conceived to reflect on “The Place that Remains,” the place that can host our dreams and fulfill our expectations, a precious resource to secure quality living through a more meaningful and poetic appropriation of our territories.