American University of Beirut

ArD Publications

​​​​​​Post-War recovery of Cultural Heritage Sites
Aleppo Ta7t AlQala'a: An Urban and Landscape Design Studio​

Howayda Al-Harithy and Jala Makhzoumi (2019)

Aleppo تحت القلعة documents the work of students in the URDS 602 studio offered by the graduate program in urban design at the American University of Beirut in the Spring of 2017-18 under the direction of Howayda Al-Harithy and Jala Makhzoumi. The studio investigated the role of urban design in shaping an “integrated social space" within the process of “cultural recovery," thus tackling one of the most challenging design problems of our region today. To that end, the studio took a critical look at the discourse and the approaches to post war reconstruction; from extreme preservationists who argued for the “obligation to make it again possible for future generations to experience historical continuity" to modernists who argued for the reconstruction as an opportunity to subject the city to rational planning.

The studio tackled as well the role of urban design strategies in the process of recovery using the framework of social and environmental justice. It focused on public space as a generator of the reconstruction process and will take Aleppo in Syria as its context.

Students proposed innovative, feasible, concrete spatial strategies for recovery in Aleppo through the reconstruction and reconfiguration of public space in post war times, particularly those charged with cultural heritage and focused in the area of Taht al Qalaa.

The position of the studio was four fold:

  • That the historical nucleus of the city is the most charged urban unit with the highest potential as a generator for urban reconstruction particularly in relation to long term sustainable cultural, social and economic development
  • That public space is a restructuring / a reconstructive element of the re-planned city
  • That cultural heritage is an adequate entry to post war recovery of identity and reconciliation of communities as it restores a sense of belonging through shared memories and cultural practices.
  • That the public realm is the platform to promote socially just governance and a participatory design approach
Download Aleppo تحت القلعة here

AUB Architecture 50th Anniversary (1968-2018)​

Vie​w/download: Yearbook (1968-2018)​ - Exhibition Catalog​​

Visit ARCH50 webpage for more​

Postulates of Architecture Drawings

Edited by Carla Aramouny / book design by Karim Farah (2019-2020)

This publication presents a selection of drawings from Architecture students' work, focusing on representation and reflecting on shifting approaches to drawing as a thinking and research tool in the program at ArD. The intent is not to present projects per say but rather a matrix of ideas through drawing, highlighting its expanding capacity and renewed role to encompass technique, meaning, and intention. The book also includes short essays by visiting professor Carol Moukheiber, alumna Zeina Koreitem, and lecturer Etienne Bastormagi.

A digital copy of the book is available here on ISSUU.

The Cities and Architectures of the Middle East: New Challenges, Emerging Practices
World Architecture Magazine, Special Issue, April 2020

Published by Tsinghua University, Beijing
Guest edited by Kivanc Kilinc and Carla Aramouny

The issue 'The Cities and Architectures of the Middle East: New Challenges, Emerging Practices' offers an overview of contemporary architecture and urbanism in the Middle East from two different yet interdependent angles: One deals with prominent architectural projects and dominant trends in urban development and the other with emerging local practices responding to global challenges. Those who adopt the second approach have been more interested in “healing" the city's broken parts in the architectural and neighborhood level, as spatial catalysts, than large-scale urban planning interventions.

The issue also features essays by faculty Carla Aramouny and Ghazal Abbassy-Asbagh, and highlights seminal local architecture including the 'ACS School building' by Mariagroup,  the 'House of Many Vaults' by Left Architects, and the 'Tripoli Fair Pavilion Rehabilitation' by East Architecture studio.

Inhabiting Invisible Plots

Edited by Carol Moukheiber and Rana Samara Jubayli​

Inhabiting Invisible Plots documents the work of the Beirut-Toronto design studio which took place between January and May 2019. The design studio -- an instructor led collaboration between the University of Toronto's Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and the AUB's Department of Architecture and Design (ArD) at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering & Architecture -- tackled the need to unlock domestic access to central Beirut. Underpinning the premise of the studio is an uneven zoning law dictating minimum areas for buildable lots. The studio was specifically interested in tracking privately owned plots below those allowable areas.

The projects, produced in the studio and shown here, act as adventurous sentinels probing the potential of these variant sites. The intention is to posit Beirut's complex context as an active agent in the production of novel typologies. Due their extreme constraints, the sites act as pressure cookers -- necessitating novel typological manifestations, or little monsters to emerge. By highlighting those typological inventions, the aim is to not only learn from and contribute to the toolbox of small site or infill strategies, but also to offer more experimental approaches to domesticity and collective living that can inform other scales of inhabitation.

A digital copy is accessible through this link.​

ArD Anthology

Edited by Carla Aramouny, Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh, Christos Marcopoulos
Book Design by Reza Abedini

©2019 by the American University of Beirut​

ArD Anthology is a book that documents the work of students from the Department of Architecture and Design, across its three programs: Architecture, Graphic Design, and Urban Design & Planning. The book is produced by the Department, under its Publications Committee, and is co-edited by faculty Carla Aramouny, Mona Fawaz, Ahmad Gharbieh, and Christos Marcopoulos, and designed by faculty Reza Abedini. As a first comprehensive and detailed compilation of recent student work (2017-2019), the book marks the different pedagogical trajectories across the three programs and highlights ArD's educational mission towards critical, creative, and socially relevant design.

The book is available for preview here and for purchase through the AUB Press website

Crisis as Opportunity

Taking crisis as an opportunity for innovation and sustainable design
Karim Najjar & Sarah Rita Kattan
Sustainable Design Week 2018
AUB Press, 2019 | ISBN: 978-9953-586-45-8

The book is a documentation of the 2018 SDW [Sustainable Design Week] seminar which is held annually at the American University of Beirut's Department of Architecture and Design. The three-day seminar offered a global perspective on what design can offer to communities living within crisis areas and how sustainability can be integrated within the design process to improve the quality of the built environment and the community. Taking “Crisis as Opportunity" as its theme, it examined how constraints such as limited resources and building materials can lead to innovation and sustainable design. Through articles authored by the invitees the book highlights the diverse positions of the speakers.​

A digital copy is accessible here​.​​

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