Fouad Samara Architects has completed ‘Modulofts’, a wondrous residential complex in Beirut, Lebanon, featuring large steel panels that act as sliding walls in a Rubik’s Cube-esque reconfiguration of each loft’s layout.
Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Ashrafieh, the apartment block features seven duplex lofts stacked across 14 storeys, each with walls that slide in and out of the building, at each owner’s discretion. The shifting facade offers the flexibility of both space and layout by way of 16 different configurations, providing a huge number of ever-changing possibilities to reflect the Lebanese capital’s increasingly flexible lifestyles.
The new Brutalist design of each of the 200 square meter vertically stacked lofts is focused on a double height living and dining area, with four modules on either side with sliding walls, heated concrete floors, suspended custom lighting and floor to ceiling windows.
The employment of materials, including board-marked concrete, and steel and aluminum left in their raw, untouched state is a stylistic nod to the classic lofts of London and New York, as well as that of traditional Lebanese houses. According to lead architect of the build, Fouad Samara, the design reflects the growing popularity of adaptable home spaces, and yet provides a modern solution to space constraints. “Functionally, it was important for us to create an architecture that met this rising demand that also created an inspiring addition to the city, and an uplifting place to live,” he says. ‘Modulofts’, whilst modern in appearance, achieves an authenticity equivalent to the architecture of past eras, which was according to Samara, precisely the point. In explaining this factor, Samara quotes the famed architect Le Corbusier: he “was yearning not for ‘new’ architecture… but for architecture as it had always ought to be – relevant, ordered, and coherent”.