Architecture “Continuities and Discontinuities”

Architecture Building, Room 402, Byblos campus

The lecture will be given by Cindy Menassa.

Looking at the map of Beirut at a distance unveils an astonishing urban mass, with little clue for an ordering principle or process of growth as visible in the plans of Paris or Barcelona, for example.

It is tempting at first to read this seemingly fragmented city with Colin Rowe’s formalist theory of collage, promoting discontinuity as the forming principle of urban mass. Aldo Rossi’s theory of the relationship between architecture and locus and his emphasis on the importance of the historical and cultural context compliment this reading, suggesting some progression within the fragmented city.

Adding to this line of thought, this lecture attempts to identify principles of urban space and establish potential connections of different urban forms, understanding the city as a heterogeneous, but continuous development over time. Case studies of Le Corbusier and Bernard Tschumi in Paris, Enric Miralles in Edinburgh, the fragmentation of Berlin, and Peter Eisenman in Cincinnati lead back to the original question of continuities and discontinuities in the urban fabric.

About the presenter:
Cindy Menassa has a strong academic interest in design theories and their relationship to contemporary digital design techniques. Her graduate thesis about deterritorialization and reterritorialization in downtown Beirut got selected as one of the best thesis works in SCI-Arc 2008. She worked with several offices in Beirut and Berlin, her past works including various competition entries and housing developments. Since spring 2010, she has been teaching design courses at LAU, establishing her own practice, Menassa Külby Architects, at the same time. 

Event organizer: LAU’s School of Architecture and Design – Department of Architecture and Interior Design