Souks Entertainment Centre

Solidère, Beirut (Lebanon)

2013

Completed / Architecture / Lighting DesignArea - 2,000m²

Prix de l'ACEtylène 2014
 ‘’Projet Coups de Cœur’’

The Souks Entertainment Centre consists of 14 movie theatres, food courts, retail units, offices and a megastore, and is located in the northern part of the old souks of Beirut, along Allenby Street on the east side and Fakhry Bey Street on the west side. 

In 1994, Solidere, the Lebanese company responsible for the development and reconstruction of Beirut Central District, declared AKK Architects and Valode et Pistre architects joint winners of the competition to reconstruct the Downtown Beirut Souks. As a result, Solidere awarded them the design of the Souks Entertainment Center.

In the summer of 2004 the project was re-launched to respond to new demands.

Due to the contextual environment, a first horizontal deck with retail units and 10 medium-sized theatres was created in limestone. This material reflected the old buildings of the French mandate period and the boutiques of Allenby Street.

The upper part of the main volume is wrapped with vertical golden ribbons that lend it a characteristic, sculptural form. These ribbons envelope four large cinemas grouped in pairs separated by free space that forms the main lobby. Glazed facades to the east and west offer a visual continuation of Fakhry Bey Street.

Block U of the Souks Entertainment Center is the annex to the main Block V, and is entirely dedicated to restaurants.

To emphasise the iconic status of this project in the heart of Beirut, CAI Light, AKK’s sister company, conceived the building as a light transmitter.

CAI Light animated the building's façade into a luminous, multi-colored, moving texture by assembling 5,000 ‘Brilliant’ LED polycarbonate light modules. These create a geometric ‘bas-relief’ or ‘e-cladding’ which transforms light into video.

Credits

PhotographerIeva Saudargeite

PhotographerTony Elieh