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–also a popular nesting site for the endangered Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles, as well as the home of several species of local wildlife, such as 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 AUB students from the DI-LAB (Design Impact Laboratory) teamed up with environmental consultants and the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve to introduce a structure that acts as a hub for the Tyre Coast Nature Reserve. The center is located directly on the beach, where it acts as a meeting point, an information point, a presentation pavilion, an exhibition space, and a training center, among other things.
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