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Hashim Sarkis Studios was awarded the commission of the new Byblos Town Hall after an anonymous open competition.

How were you commissioned?:
Awarded competition 2011. Completed construction 2016.

Byblos Town Hall

What was the brief from the client and how much were they involved?:
We were given the general square footage, use and location. strategy, design and concept were open.

Byblos Town Hall

How did the brief affect the materials and design choices?:
Facade was positively affected, the location of the project right next to a highway also conformed the orientation of the three main volumes and made them open towards the inside, creating a public plaza that also works as an access to the second floor.

Byblos Town Hall

How did your previous experience help you with this project?:
We had experience in the middle east, with low budget institutional projects and understanding the site, traditions and cultural challenges.

Byblos Town Hall

Can you explain the layout of the project:
The building is broken down into three large blocks that span over the park, each housing a different component of the program, the gaps between them bring light into the park and the buildings. The park is maintained open to the public as well as the ground floor of the complex . The three blocks are carried by the circulation cores on east side and a long wall on west side that acts as a noise barrier with the highway.

Byblos Town Hall

What problems or challenges did you face?:
Budget, topography and urbanism connection between the old city and the extension of the neighborhood.

Byblos Town Hall

What do you feel were the most unusual design elements of the project?:
Certainly the facade, as the blocks are closed to the outside and clad with sand stone, the "official stone" of the city. The offices are open to the spaces between the blocks with the facades clad in aluminum louvers that turn horizontally to become pergolas over the park that weave between the blocks. And the connection bridges, that link the three volumes and their uses by crossing the outside and giving the view of the sea to the people who use the building.

Byblos Town Hall

How do you think this project is pushing design forward? What makes it special?:
Offering a program in a difficult site by solving the conflict between public space and existing highway. - Efficient allocation of all parts of the program allowing the neighborhood to have a new public space (entrance plaza for the townhall) and a Museum of the alphabet (located in the second floor) that shares the lobby with the townhall. - Local economic material used for facade that also contribute to a better insulation of heat and noise.





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