The Last Stand

Beirut
2011

Martyr’s Square was a theatre of massive demonstrations during Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution in 2005. But the history of the piazza goes much further. As early as the Ottoman rule, it was home to popular demonstrations and was the site of the execution of a number of nationals by tyrant rulers.

On a different note, Martyr’s Square also hosts a reputation through the archaeology that engulfs it. From Phoenician ruins not far away to the recently exposed ‘heritage trail’ that offers a promenade through ancient history, the area is riddled with historic artifacts. This isn’t, however, only limited to these early structures whose foundation have been uncovered. The area also houses Lebanon’s oldest churches and mosques, among them the Omari Mosque initially built as a catheral during the crusades.

Present day, the site is in proximity to the house of parliament, the municipality of Beirut, the Grand Serail which houses the government, and a number of contemporary landmarks. The architecture tackles both the issue of introducing architecture to such delicacy and that of creating a transition between the varying public spaces that surround the challenging lot.