New York-based SOMA Architects have just broken ground on BOBO, an 11-story luxury high-rise residential complex situated in Beirut's trendy Mar Mikhael district. The ambitious project presented quite the design challenge for the architects due to building restrictions surrounding a protected home adjacent to the development site. The restrictions obliged the architects to literally build over, around and under the existing structure.
Although the plans for the residential tower were unique from the beginning, the architects had to think strategically to maneuver the tower construction site around the façade of the protected 1920s house. Accordingly, the SOMA team created a plan to cantilever BOBO’s steel exoskeleton and concrete core over the protected home by excavating six floors below the gutted home, leaving the historic façade intact.
“The challenges that were presented to our design by the necessity of keeping the façade of the house in place created an opportunity in the end. Our design for BOBO blends the old with the new in a rapidly changing neighborhood,” said Michel Abboud, SOMA Architects’ founder and principal. “We are thrilled with the outcome and happy to see foundation work there begin.”
Upon completion, BOBO’s glimmering glass and steel cantilever will sneak out over the home while simultaneously creating a modern silhouette in one of Beirut’s most fashionable neighborhoods. The sophisticated tower will support 13 new luxury residences along with street-level retail space.
Images via SOMA Architects