Bernard Khoury www.bernardkhoury.com

Words from the architect

B018 is a music club, a place of nocturnal survival.

During the French protectorate, it was a place of quarantine for arriving crews. In the recent war it became the abode of Palestinian, Kurdish and South Lebanese refugees (20, 000 in 1975). In January 1976, local militia men launched a radical attack that completely wiped out the area. The slums were demolished along with the kilometer long bordering wall that isolated the zone from the city. Over twenty years later, the scars of war are still perceptible through the disparity between the scarce urban fabric of the area and the densely populated neighborhoods located across the highway that borders the zone.

 

B018 is built below ground. At rest, it is almost invisible. It comes to life in the late hours of the night when its articulated roof structure constructed in heavy metal retracts hydraulically. The opening of the roof exposes the club to the world above and reveals the cityscape as an urban backdrop to the patrons below. Its closing translates a voluntary disappearance, a gesture of recess. The building is encircled by concrete and tarmac rings. The automobiles’ circular travel around the club and the concentric parking spots frame the building in a carousel formation. At night, the continuous motion of the visitors’ cars animates the parking and becomes an integral element of the club’s scenario. The entrance is located at the south end of the low-lying metal construction where a stair leads to two concessive “airlock” spaces manned by scowling bouncers. Strewn across the concrete pavement floor of the underground hall, the sofas with collapsible backs serve as elevated dancing surfaces that stage the performers.

from ‘B018’ Architecture Page <http://www.architecture-page.com/go/projects/b018__all>

 
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