Wood, metal ties and rope come together in this lightweight structure designed to raise awareness of Lebanon’s rich marine biodiversity. The Tyre Nature Reserve Hub, named MARAH, was designed by Architecture students from the American University of Beirut, who used the project as an experiment in building lightweight and temporary systems, as well as creating spaces that have a large social and programmatic impact.
Some of Lebanon’s longest sandy beaches are located in the Tyre region, which is a regular nesting site for endangered Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles. It also serves as a habitat for region-specific wildlife, including the Arabian Spiny Mouse and the Red Fox. Phoenician springs and freshwater estuaries dominate the Ras el Ain area which facilities a diversity of marine life, and a large part of this region has been turned into a protected area. Despite this, the Tyre region has seen severe destruction and devastation, which acted as impetus for creating a temporary pavilion that would help spread awareness of the importance of conserving marine biodiversity.
Architecture students from AUB’S DI-LAB (Design Impact Laboratory) partnered with environmental consultants and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to create a structure on the beach for the nature reserve. MARAH acts as a hub for meetings, presentations, training, exhibitions and more.
The pavilion was built using wood, metal ties and ropes and addresses the idea of creating a space that simultaneously generates a large social impact and minimal site impact.
Photos by Lorenzo Tugnoli