CMA-CGM is the world's third largest shipping container company, and much like how the company runs its business, its new headquarters in Beirut is a model of eco efficiency. The building is made up of three carefully detailed glass prisms that meet in a central atrium situated by the port. Designed by Nabil Gholam Architects, the office building makes use of a number of environmental strategies including a high performance facade, solar power, daylighting, and rainwater collection as a way of reducing costs and improving comfort for the company's employees.
CMA-CGM’s Beirut headquarters is located with views of the port and the Mediterranean beyond — a fitting site for a company dedicated to global shipping. The company made the choice to build an office with a high level of sustainability as a way of reducing costs and increasing comfort, hoping that future development in the area will follow its lead. Three glass prisms with narrow floor plates are joined by a central atrium with a design that achieves a greater efficiency and flexibility in space planning. All employees have access to views, daylight and a column-free space in which to work.
The building’s innovative facade features fixed vertical Pietra Serena stone sun screen shading elements on the southwest facade. A ventilated screen facade faces the northeast and northwest, and a high selective glass minimizes solar gains in addition to protecting the area against external noise. Daylighting reduces the need for artificial lighting and cooling. The roof is covered with photovoltaic panels and solar tubes to supplement electrical energy and domestic hot water in the bathrooms and kitchens. Rain water is collected and used for irrigation and re circulated to feed grey water networks. The lobby features an impressive 40-meter-long water wall and reflection pool that filters and ripples the street views from the lobby, creating a serene atmosphere and establishing the company’s maritime heritage all while cooling of the space.
Images ©Geraldine Bruneel and Richard Saad