PRODUCTIVE CITIES THE RECONFIGURATION OF THE URBAN BLOCK
A dissertation submitted in partial fullfilement of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture Housing and Urbanism 2015-2017 Architectural Association School of Architecture. Tutors: Jorge Fiori Elena Pascolo Francesco Zuddas Author: Lea Haddad
I would like to thank Jorge, Elena, and Francesco for their utmost dedication and guidance. Anna, Larry, Hugo and all the AA tutors for the enriching discussions and support throughout the programme. Karim Arslan! thanks for making London feel like home. I am also greatly indebted to Anthony Haddad, Ahmed Assad, Camy Saad, Hamzah Reda, Jihane Bou Khalil, Joanna Saade, Katia Chehayeb, Lynn Haddad, and my advisor Tamima Armanazi for their material and immaterial contribution and for listening to my â€œLondon stories.â€? for my amazing AA family, for their friendship, sarcasm, support and for sharing amazing food and this adventure every single day for the past 16 months. And finally, I am most grateful for my loving and supporting parents. Lalouso and Arlout thank you for making it possible! I dedicate this research to all refugees, everywhere and to my fellow Lebanese, in hope that our country is one day everything we dream it would be!
ABSTRACT My research investigates a spatial and cooperative rearrangement of small businesses in Bourj Hammoud (BH), part of greater Beirut, looking at how this might occur and speculating on whether and if so, how it would enhance local skills and technology, to support the economic competitiveness of the Lebanese capital. Beginning with a critical assessment of the spatial coherence of the souk as an armature of spaces supporting the productive system of the district, we shall analyze the opportunities and challenges of a structural arrangement of deep blocks. Our proposal will use the concept of a ‘building-as-block’ to show how a layered and varied set of areas for intimate encounters (e.g. an enhanced workshop and retail space) and large-scale associative exchanges (e.g. fabrication workshops and training facilities) might be accommodated within the existing fabric. This model will enhance the productive capacity of urban districts and perhaps even new forms of governance and financing, demonstrating how design can be a tool for transforming these other sectors of urban operation and development. •How can we work together with local producers to cultivate a new economy when the production process is in the heart of town? •What kind of urbanity can this new economy produce? •If small-scale manufacturing really is going to have an impact, what spaces will we need to support it so that it becomes a facilitator for innovative manufacturing models, while fostering collaboration between manufacturers? •How can we reconfigure the deep and narrow block in order to host new kind of associational behaviors? The ambition of this dissertation is to look again at the urban block, as a single entity, right from the start. Furthermore, to look not only at its production capacity but at its potential as a driver of change, involving more than mere structural and spatial logistics, to incorporate, even rescue the productive core of the city. And we will look at the role of technology, local producers and syndicates, since together they may create a productive ecology, to reach a larger market and unfold new possibilities. My aim is to create a synergy across the BH territory, from an increase of productivity to the expansion of markets and the knowledge of entrepreneurs. Fed by the use of various scales, bound to a locality and in context. Hence the importance of the block. A block that transcends the parish!
“Equally, to strive for leisure as an alternative to work would be considered a complete misunderstanding of one of the basic truths of human existence, namely that work and leisure are complementary parts of the same living process and cannot be separated without destroying the joy of work and the bliss of leisure.” Ernst F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered
INDEX: PAGES 8
CONTENTS Introduction: Productive urban districts
Chapter 1: BH a productive city
1.1 - Bourj Hammoud - a fertile metropolis
1.2 - Souks as a productive system
1.3 - The urban potential of institutions
Chapter 2: The block as a productive tool
2.1 - Rethinking the format of manufacturing 2.2 - Factories in the block
2.3 - Block as a factory
2.4 - Procurement
Conclusion: Productive territories
PRODUCTIVE URBAN DISTRICTS
In the past, cities rose as a result of their position as a defensive fortress or their location as a center for agricultural markets or trade. Today, with unprecedented mobility for both labor and capital, cities “must display themselves for human and corporate investment across the globe. In this, the city’s cultures play a vital part” (Hall, 1999: 10). So culture and creativity have been positioned as key tenets of successful urban regeneration, in what Miles and Paddison (2005; 833) call a ‘new orthodoxy’. Cities are not only a place to live or work, but are about learning new skills, engaging and growing. Since the Industrial Revolution, cities and industry have evolved together, with towns and entire urban regions growing up around expanding industries. In fact, in the history of manufacturing, “the monolithic single-industry model has evolved, as manufacturers see the benefits of being smaller and pay attention to how patterns of consumption, ownership and use are shifting” (Arieffi 2011). Small-scale productive enterprises can thrive in the urban world, accommodating entrepreneurial collaboration and a connection between knowledge and applied knowledge, which is stronger than ever. Small-scale productive enterprise has the potential to be an economic driver, so why not exploit that potential and open platforms for it to happen? Buyers increasingly want something more authentic, of better quality and customized. Consequently, small companies no longer need to produce larger amounts of the same product, to differentiate themselves from their competitors. As Murphy (2004:45) states, the value of proximity and the value of social interaction remain very important, especially for cultural industries. Furthermore, “the place of production is still important for the experience economy, where tourism and the search for authenticity require consumers to visit first hand”. Many other scholars have established the idea that culture has very much “become the business of cities, and the symbolic capital of cities is transforming their present and futures” (Porter and Barber, 2007: 3). Authenticity, culture, proximity and craftsmanship: all these we find in the industry of Bourj Hammoud (BH) in Lebanon, originally an Armenian refugee settlement with makeshift shelters but now a densely populated conurbation, active commercial center and an industrial and handicraft activities hub. Apart from being the most important commercial district of greater Beirut, what is interesting about the town is how the formal and informal blend. It is full of contradiction, since congested, insecure and poor urban conditions, leading to environmental and social deprivation, have turned it into one of the most important production hubs in Lebanon – exceptionally competitive, yet still short of realizing its full potential In developing countries, casual firms account for up to half of economic activity. They provide a livelihood for many millions of people. Yet their role in economic development remains controversial. The informal economy is inherently difficult to measure but it is certainly very powerful. Low productivity is often associated with informality as such firms are typically small, inefficient, and run by poorly educated entrepreneurs. Development is a continuous process of higher productivity through innovation, investment and technology. Increasing their productivity is more than a question of economic and social politics but is part of a spatial strategy; hence the importance of locality and context. Articulating the different scales is central to the logic of increasing productivity – often a question of context, ownership and multi-scalarity. This understanding is based on the assumption of a strong similarity between the physical city and its digital counterpart; a similarity that goes beyond the image of physical space to include structural and functional characteristics.
Focusing on the now established but relatively nascent economic activity, what kind of development would enhance the economic sector so as to create a productive ecology within BH, reach a bigger market and open up new possibilities? In his 2012 industry-defining book, Makers: The New Industrial Revolution, Chris Anderson wrote “The past ten years have been about discovering new ways to create, invent and work together on the Web. The next ten years will be about applying those lessons to the real world.” In reality, the ‘maker movement’ is both a response to and an offshoot of digital culture, enabled by the convergence of several trends. New tools and electronic components have given independent inventors, designers, tinkerers and whoever else the means to integrate the physical and digital worlds, simply and cheaply. People are rediscovering the pleasure of making physical objects and interacting with other enthusiasts in person, rather than online. This is an ‘indie’ culture, celebrating a direct connection between makers and small-scale industries, whilst in parallel, building an economy that goes beyond mass production and a dissatisfaction with globalized crony capitalism. A close relationship is rising between this new culture of physically ‘making’ and the already established digital culture of software and IT production. The start of a new economy, an ‘indie capitalism’ where, as Nussbaum says, “good things come from and are made locally by people you can see and know” (Future of Capitalism.., 2011), is socially, not technology focused, albeit that the latter plays an important role. It is more designer/artist centered than engineering-centric. Indie music reflects many of the distributive and social structures of this emergent form of capitalism. It is no accident that Portland and New York have vibrant indie music scenes and are also the centers of the rising new indie capitalism. Another characteristic can be seen in equipment for the materials and products. Making fewer things of higher quality and utility is important. Reusing and sharing material of quality is valued. The touch and feel of things, the entire notion of ‘brand’, is overturned in this indie capitalism, now superseded by the community involved in the creation of a product or service. Authenticity has become the “brand”. The ‘makerspace’ (a community space with tools) also has its roots in the MIT’s Fab labs. Neil Gershenfeld, of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, is an originator of the Fab lab, which has had a significant influence on makerspaces (Burke, 2014). Designed to fabricate things, that “consist
of digital equipment for designing products and the digitally driven tools to create them” (Burke, 2014, p. 12), there are now hundreds of Fab labs throughout the world, as the concept has gained popularity, “all of which operate with a common minimum equipment requirement and a shared mission” (Burke, 2014, p.12). Anyone can make anything. With the rise of the maker movement, many schools and educational institutions have adopted the Fab lab idea as part of their educational programming. One driver of this increased interest in maker spaces in the U.S. was President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign of 2009, promoting the value of such experiences: “I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, in science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage them…to be makers, not just consumers of things” (Sheridan et al, 2014, p. 506). The White House hosted its first Maker Faire in June 2014, after which a number of large companies began to support community-based activities. We often hear it said that we are entering the era of ‘the learning society’. Development does not start with goods but with people and their education, organization and discipline. All those need to evolve with a good measure of subtlety, to fit the changing circumstances. (Schumacher, 1977)
A multi-use research and collaboration space developed for students, faculty, and technical professionals in the Tech Square hub near MITâ€™s campus in Cambridge.
1.2 MIT FABLAB LABORATORY, MA, USA 1.3 MIT FABLAB CLASSROOM. MA, USA 1.4 MIT FABLAB CO-WORKING SPACE. MA, USA 1.5 MIT FABLAB AXONOMETRIE 1.6 MIT FABLAB PLAN AND ORGANISATION
In Bourj Hammoud, there is an opportunity for this ideology to grow and so rescue the productive capacity of the inner areas, by capitalizing on the close relationship between local producers and consumers. Addressing the amateur, the maker movement slogan is indeed “Anyone can make anything” and we shall take this idea and direct it toward the already established small businesses of Bourj Hammoud: a more specialized group that can benefit from the maker movement ideology, to enhance their skills. By focusing on the cooperative nature of Fab labs and their ability to centralize the means of production, businesses could access higher technological facilities and a better work environment, and thus enhance their local skills, knowledge and production, so as to position Bourj Hammoud as a truly productive territory, perchance to extend throughout Beirut. Our project is enriched by apparently contradictory elements – display spaces, research labs, and teaching rooms on one hand; local genetic and avant-garde techniques and production ecologies on the other. My proposition weaves the town’s various productive populations and functions together through the inclusion of businesses, with their workshops, Fab labs and training centers, in the urban block. By rethinking the use of the block as a single entity, and organizing the area to a productive ecology pattern and needs, communal life starts to exist and matter, as something that brings people together at different levels. The block starts to have a collective presence through the reorganization of institutions, working together with the souks, and the productive pattern of clusters. The activated ground level establishes a relationship between BH’s productive ecology and the larger city beyond, while the upper floors allow different associational behaviors, nay neighborly life to grow! These urban spaces can become a basic, organic and inseparable element to the making of the town and its connections with occupants. The whole project can be seen as a social experiment, where architecture creates a place of friendship in collaboration and even in competition. The use of passages, courtyards and planes provide viable transitions between established parts of the neighborhood and the newly productive spaces and by hosting activities for spontaneous and semi-private life, are arguably responsible for giving BH as a whole its livability, such that will affect and boost productivity, making the workspaces more pleasant and effective. The project tries to understand and work with the various scales, it is working with a specific site but one whose dimensions spread beyond the site, to target an environment whose cognitive skills, abilities to learn and innovate, we will improve. The mobility of various local and more pandemic scales, political, social, economic and cultural, is fundamental to the understanding of the project. The project is bound to a spatially but this articulation among different scale transcend it from a locality The first chapter will look at the history and current economic activities of Bourj Hammoud, studying the Souks and workshops in order to identify the problems and to find the links, or missing pieces in order to rescue this productive neighborhood, and induce change. The second chapter will test the role of architecture, institutional arrangements and reconfiguration of the block in order to make use of scale. Focusing on the possible synergies, we will test how infill within the urban fabric, or a complete reconfiguration of the deep and narrow urban block, might help BH with productive implementation and the use of investment as a tool to open up those new opportunities.
1.7 EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC
BH A PRODUCTIVE CITY
1.1 BOURJ HAMMOUD, A FERTILE METROPOLIS
Little Armenia is often what the Lebanese call Bourj Hammoud (BH),
a municipality that is an eastern extension of Beirut, separated by the Beirut
BEIRUT 20 Km² 1 200 000 Hab. 60 000 resident / Km²
River, at the mouth of which St George slew his dragon. BH is also the gate to
BOURJ HAMMOUD 2Km² 150 000 Hab. 75 000 resident K/m²
the capital from the north and is home to 150,0001 people over an area of 2.4 square kilometers within Greater Beirut, with distinctive traits of its location
R BEIRUT RIVE
and socio-economics, both of which still pose problems for its development. Until the early 20th century, the area was part agricultural and part marshlands, with scattered individual settlements. After 1928, Armenian refugees who had
B.H LOCATION IN RELATION TO BEIRUT
survived the Ottoman persecution found refuge in Lebanon, which under the French mandate had a flourishing economy. Armenian refugees were first located in camps on the edge of Beirut, forming associations according to their place of origin. Marash was the first to become active, collect money from its members and purchase land in Bourj Hammoud (BH). The area was planned as a dense grid and was fairly distributed among members of the Marash community. planned roa d
Refugees constructed their own dwellings, financed by loans from the Nansen office2 and most families ended up owning their own plot and able to construct
their own house. Others followed this example with compact quarters in grid patterns, around a school and church, each named after their homeland village.
Today, there are nine zones, with migrants from remote rural areas having joined
l r oad
hig hw bei ay rut
them, attracted by employment opportunities in Beirut. From 1946, immigrants from south Lebanon, for the most part Shiites and Palestinians, settled mainly
armenia str eet
in the quarter of Nabaa, while in the 1960’s BH saw an influx of Armenians from Aleppo in Syria, who settled in the town and established small businesses.
Nearly a century after it was established as a refuge for Armenians fleeing the
n b ri
Ottoman massacres of World War I, Bourj Hammoud still continues to be a haven for the downtrodden, displaced by war or fleeing economic deprivation: workers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia, all seeking cheap accommodation. Beirut holds the possibility of employment, and it is Syrians who now find refuge in the housing of the southeastern edge of BH. The Nabaa district is one of the densest and poorest areas in Lebanon, so Armenians with improved economic status live elsewhere but maintain their businesses in the district. 1 Official figure data unhcr.org 2 First convened by Fridtjof Nansen, as League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,1930
1.9 B.H BOUNDARIES AND DIVISIONS
CHURCH SCHOOL DISTRICTS BH MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES
dense regular network - 7 -10 floors
shatiq al bahri
dora Dense regular grid network - 2-4 floors
dense irregular network - 1-2 floors
+ nor marash
density network per floor number
mar doumit + 50 000 AND OVER
10 000 - 50 000
ghilane 1000 - 10 000
residential density people pe SQ.KM
1.10 B.H DISTRICT DIVISION, AND DENSITY
2-Camp Qarantina 1923 6- Nor Hadjin 1930 1- Grand Camp Saint-Michel 1921 5- les pentes 1930 4- Nor Marach 1930 2-settelment ashrafye Hills 1927
Camp Sandjak 1939 Nor Adana
y to Be irut
Nor Adana Terrain Khalil Badaoui
Les Pavillons Blanches
Nor Marach Tramway
Damascus Road Trad
Karm El Zeitoun
Nor Sis GulabachĂ¨ne
1.11 B.H EXPANSITON FROM 1930-1945
The area’s receptiveness has made it one of the most diverse and dynamic neighborhoods in Lebanon, while resulting in some paradoxes and difficulties in recent years. Highways form distinct boundaries within the town and the industrial zone north of the Dora Highway is a selfstanding major job provider, including tanneries, solid waste plants, construction material factories (cement, metals, wood, stones etc.), producers of petro-chemicals, cleaning products and appliances, furniture and a multitude of vehicle services. Meanwhile, the first hints of gentrification have begun to show, with the neighborhood now considered hip by Beirut’s youth. Lately, furniture galleries, art studios, creative industries and clubs have moved into industrial areas, enhancing these as well. On the other side of the Dora highway, new construction is developing and the Sanjak camp, the only remaining shanty area, has already been removed for a municipality project targeting the current middle-class population. Around two hectares of land has been expropriated, displacing the local population and small artisanal enterprises. At the other end, new construction and development can be seen compressing the internal zone of BH, itself remaining stable. Between the Dora highway and the Yerevan flyover are new handicraft and service activities and a commercial production hub for middle and lower income groups.
+ FORCES OF CHANGE -
1.12 FORCES OF CHANGE
1.2 SOUKS AS A PRODUCTIVE SYSTEM Most of BH’s working force (77.6%) are artisans and semi-skilled laborers engaged in handicraft manufacturing or the service industry, with some (15%) commerce and a few (7.4%) private businesses . In the main, Armenian entrepreneurship has blossomed from unemployment and discrimination. Lewis (1954) argued that labor markets in developing countries are often highly segmented as many workers are rationed out of the formal sector jobs and so forced to start a business in the casual or unregistered sector (necessity entrepreneurs). This view of the sector is broadly consistent with the low level of efficiency and wages typically associated with it. However, more recent work by, among others, Maloney (2004) provides evidence that entry into the informal sector is often by choice and an attempt to take advantage of business opportunities, and this was the case with BH. Related activities in a cluster of locations give the place a character of traditional souks, varying from small crafts to industries, over a range of trades. Clusters are concentrations of interconnected companies in a particular field, which encompass an array of entities; important for competition. They have grown spontaneously, to benefit from opportunities not found in scattered locations. Competitive advantages might be the proximity of a raw material, specific skill or indeed, customers. The pooling of these small enterprises, with the affordability of products and services and the advantageous location of the district, create the potency of the BH souks, and accentuate the town’s landmark position within greater Beirut. Here one will find diverse crafts and trades, both scarcer elsewhere. The attraction of Bourj-Hammoud extends to visitors from Syria and the Gulf and even European tourists are attracted by the ethnic authenticity of the town and its exotic vibe. The mother tongue is always spoken in the working environment and usually jobs are offered to fellow countrymen with less pay and no social benefits. BH has developed as an ethnic economic enclave1 but from the 1970’s, the second generation of Armenian entrepreneurs acquired more capitalistic characteristics: investing in developing sectors of the economy, entering into partnership with non-Armenian businessmen and losing some of the characteristics of an ethnic economy. A class of financially savvy entrepreneurs was born, with a pioneering heritage and aptitudes.2 Today, most are small and medium size enterprises; 91.4% employ less than 5 persons, only 0.2% have more than 50 employees and many are run by a lone owner with no employees3. The majority are family businesses where skills are passed from father to son and occupy less than 25 square meters at street level, while some crafts and larger enterprises develop on the floors above. Within a generation, Armenians in Lebanon have been able to achieve economic maturity thanks to self-employment, regrouping in clusters. Diasporic existence was a determining variable in maintaining self-reliance; since the Ottoman Empire, Armenians have been famed for jewelry, metal works and shoe manufacture, and the master craftsmen who survived the massacre of 1915-17 resumed their work in BH and Beirut, imparting their skills to young apprentices. Artisanal work, notably jewelry, carpentry and needlework were also taught in the Armenian orphanage and these industries in BH are today considered leaders in the Middle East. Many outlets fall short of realizing their potential, operating in uncompetitive production isolation and yet the jewelry outlets probably represent between 204 and 375 percent of Lebanese exports. The sector, however, is loosely structured and marred by money laundering and gemstone trafficking.
1 2 3 4 5
A commercial niche regrouping economic activities derived from skills acquired in the country of origin – jewelry design, shoemaking, metal work Boudjikanian, 2005 municipal study ,2009 Source: International Development Association (IDA) Source: The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC)
1.13 PRODUCTION AND COMMERCIAL MAP
1.14 ARAX STREET - TEXTILE SOUK
planned roa d
l r oad
hig hw bei ay rut 1
armenia st reet
n b rid g 6
BH SOUKS 1. JEWELRY 2. TEXTILE - FASHION 3. SPICES 4. CRAFT 5. VEHICULE SERVICES 6. FURNITURE
1.15 BH SOUK LOCATION
MARASH SMALL-SCALE PRODUCTIVE ENTREPRISES
1.17 SCULPTOR 0 EMPLOYEES WORKSHOP SIZE. 20M2
1.16 JEWELLER-REPAIR 0 EMPLOYEES 5 M2 W.S
1.22 SEAMSTRESS 0 EMPLOYEES 12 M2 W.S
1.19 JEWELLER-DESIGNER 0EMPLOYEES 30 M2 W.S
1.24 SHOE DESIGNER 2 EMPLOYEES 50M2 W.S
1.18 JEWELLER-POLISH ER 0 EMPLOYEES 25 M2 W.S
1.23 SEAMSTRESS 0 EMPLOYEES 6 M2 W.S 1.21 SHOEMAKER 9 EMPLOYEES 150 M2 W.S
1.20 SCULPTOR 0 EMPLOYEES W.S 35M2
ESSENTIAL WORKING DEVICES
1.27 ARMENIA STREET -
1.26 ARAX STREET - TEXTILE AND FASHION STREET
While the selling path is linear, the production process is highly networked and dispersed. Collaboration between businesses follows from strong community ties and cluster proximity. Armenian clusters are divided into two specialties:
• FACTORY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD A contained model: Often organized in one building, manufacturing takes place on upper floors, with a sales outlet on the ground floor. Most jewelers are regulated, with their own shops and retail outlets. They often develop their own brands, manufacture and distribution and a myriad now have retail stores across Lebanon.
1.28 TYPICAL PRODUCTIVE BUILDING
• NEIGHBORHOOD AS A FACTORY A distributed model: Representing most of the manufacture of Bourj Hammoud, artisans and craftsmen work in simple workshops or in their apartments. The productivity of these firms is too low for them to thrive in the formal sector and they are typically small, somewhat inefficient, and run by poorly educated but astute businessmen. Some act as sub-contractors for brands, either designers or traders. Others are the master craftsman and landlord of the workshop, selling their produce wholesale to other Armenian companies in Hamra or down-town Beirut, usually family members. It is a well-structured consumer chain, with ‘business to business’ marketing, engaging with other networks and other types of industries.
1.29 PRODUCTIVE NEIGHBORHOUD SECTION
1.30 DIAGRAM OF SELLING + PRODUCING SYSTEM
Informality is present in both models, some firms simply do not exist in the eyes of the authorities: they do not register or comply with regulations, they make sales and pay for inputs including labor in cash, they have no bank account and they do not pay taxes. On the other hand, as occurred in transition economies (Johnson, Kauffman, and Shleifer 1997), registered firms may hide some of their sales from the tax man to reduce profit, but they still hire registered employees and comply with most regulations. Of course, there is everything else twixt the two. “The informal sector is both a symptom of economic backwardness and a drag on economic development” claims Surdej. (2017). Certainly, in the context of developing countries, the this sector offers opportunities to gain a means to survival. Hence, in a way, it serves inclusiveness. Yet low-productivity inclusiveness does not necessarily contribute to better lives, usually found in developing countries only through high-productivity inclusiveness. The informal sector worldwide is huge and has stunningly low productivity compared to the formal economy. In any case, “informality is a fundamental characteristic of underdevelopment and is better understood as a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. It is determined by both the models of socio-economic organization…and the relation the state establishes with private agents through regulations, supervision, and… public services. Informality is not only a reflection of underdevelopment, it can also be a source of greater economic backwardness. It implies the inadequate distribution of resources and entails losing the advantages of legality, including police and judicial protection, access to formal credit establishments, and participation in international markets.” (Loayza, 2005)
Yet in 1940 two Armenian brothers of the Arslanian family immigrated to Lebanon and started a diamond trading commerce with a fellow countryman, also from Alep and already established in Beirut. One of the brothers later moved to South Africa, the main producer and supplier of diamonds, while the second moved to Anvers in Belgium, the center of diamond cutting and trading. Following Armenian independence and during the Lebanese civil war, the brothers’ sons opened a diamond cutting industry in Armenia and later invested in Canada, where they developed a second industry, in time employing over a hundred of their compatriots. Here we have a typical example of a family, social and ethnic network investing within the same sector of activity, demonstrating the different ways that community life can develop itself.
The streets of Bourj Hammoud, all accessed from the main thoroughfare in backbone fashion, play an important role in the productive network, since they act as the extension of both display and working space for all the shops in the township. This is done both to extend usable area and to attract stronger attention, goods often being offered for sale on the street, in similar fashion to a market square or souk. So it is that the shops become a part of the public territory, which in turn penetrates the interior of the store. The relationship between in and out, public and private has been blurred. The street is also an extension of the workshop activities, notably in the case of cars and carpentry. BH hosts unplanned casual trading and activities: in addition to the more formal shops there are also a variety of mobile traders whose proprietors sell their produce, preferably near the main vehicular traffic nodes, inside the grid. The highest density of these can be observed in the arena below the Yerevan flyover, where farmers and fishermen do their selling. Streets as a place of leisure: because of the lack of public parks or squares in BH, indeed in Beirut, a few green spots and the pavements of residential areas have developed into meeting points for the local population, as interiors are often too small or in bad condition. Streets and their pavements are treated as a courtyard between surrounding buildings, and are appropriated by their inhabitants, who block the ends of streets with vehicles, so as to make them their own with furniture and plants. Streets represent symbolic occupation: All manner of political and social association1 are active in Bourj Hammoud and members use the streetscape to propagate their views and encourage membership. The streets take on a symbolic partitioning of the town into social, even emotional urban zones, readable by the neighbors, with each building, block or quarter marking its territory and demonstrating their political or religious adherence, or simply their origin.
A ‘group with a common interest or pursuit’
1.31 THE IMPORTANCE OF STREETS
The informality of using streets, alleyways, and staircases for display, sales or as storage facilities must inevitably hinder productivity and we can see Surdej and Loayza’s point. There is little or no room for branding or marketing, no access to finance, limited opportunities for creativity, let alone for innovative design and little likelihood of investment in new technology and machinery. Yet all of this could be changed with the introduction of new businesses within a center of production, where BH jewelers, textile workers and manufacturers could have open access to the means of production and higher tech - all boosting production! Scaling up would open new facilities and the enhancement of local skills and knowledge, markets and participants, without restraining learning skills through inheritance and in family businesses. While this might trigger the emergence of new souks and new productive clusters, Nikos Komninos (…Intelligent Cities 2006) would argue that innovation clusters cannot be planned, being almost the result of chaos and unplanned synergies, combining in time and logistics to make possible the development of clusters which cannot be replicated. However, we can at least learn from the experience and extract the necessary elements to facilitate innovation between, for example, the jewelry and textile industries and discover a technology where new patterns of production and a new form of collaboration can emerge. Many businesses in BH, however, just do not have the flexibility to reinvent themselves and this rigidity is costing the town its craftsmanship. A very specialized group of artisans effectively rely on the proximity of other specialized artisans’ workshops, and their wide range of commercial activities does not help matters. The small amount of land available for essential properties inevitably means that the dense grid structure and closed block will remain the principal urban arrangement for the foreseeable future. The old center of Beirut was destroyed during the civil war and the former Beirut souks have been replaced by a shopping mall that has no right to use the word souk in its name. The souk-like way of functioning within the Nor-Morash neighborhood in BH takes on increased significance as Beirut’s last traditional venue for small scale commerce and a local economy. Due to its proximity and affordability, the area between Armenia Street and the Yerevan flyover constitutes the most important small-scale production district in BH. Its low rise closed blocks, in a mesh of narrow streets in grid pattern, host the most significant commercial hub, including souks along the lines of ethnic handicraft workshops. The small residences on the upper floors suffer from the liveliness of the street activities, and the area presents the highest vacancy rates of residential units, with a large number of those turned into storage or workshops.
Currently small scale enterprises are not reaching their full potential. The problem with informality and production is multi-scalar, it relates to various factors on various levels; to increase productivity is not just a question of social or economic policy, it is also a spatial one. Local small scale enterprise could thrive in the right environment, even to have a wide scale impact, while also improving local patterns of service delivery and providing the necessary conditions for business development. If we take on board what Fab labs might procure, viz. access to finance, technology and markets, Bourj-Hammoud has the potential to be a long-term commercial and handicrafts hub, with the exotic characteristics of the orient replacing depersonalized shopping malls, and groups of similar trades and activities rendering possible the emergence of strong trade clusters
1.3 THE URBAN POTENTIAL OF INSTITUTIONS Focusing on the patterns of the productive ecologies in BH we must
by retail outlets to attract pedestrians and showcase their product,
now consider how to reconfigure the dense block in order to enhance
mainly due to the lack of interior space but also a vital part of
them and provide small scale productive enterprises with the corpo-
marketing. Lack of places is a major problem in BH, with staircases,
rate arrangement they need.
upper apartments and streets turned into storage areas. Dispersed throughout the town, such distances between production, storage and
In order to enhance the productivity of economic activity and rescue
display simply slackens productivity.
its production capacity, we need first to redefine the production
The aim will be to provide the jeweler and textile manufacturer a
space, learning from its current arrangement certainly but providing
place to store their product in an efficient way, right next to the
a public zone that will reconfigure the urban block and provide the
productive cycles and the display minimizing waste of time and
possibility for collaboration and synergy to take place. The new
maximizing yield and efficiency.
arrangement would provide:
New methods of display would let manufacturers show their products
- Access to finance
directly in the souk, cutting out the middleman. A place to foster
- Access to technology
occasional display in a booth-like setup, with the opportunity for
- Access to the market
spontaneous activities. The display area will act as an entrance to the production center from the souk
The institutional arrangement will provide the opportunity to come up with new ideas, with business opportunities, creative networking and
support for young designers who are starting or developing business
to resources, infrastructure and equipment, so as to develop their
in a creative industry, offering them the conditions for budding
projects (e.g. 3D printers, modelling lab and materials library). As
entrepreneurs to develop. The visibility of the sector will improve,
an environment to encourage ideas and experimentation, the Fab lab
encouraging globalization with sales activity in foreign markets.
will support interdisciplinary rapprochement between the jewelry and
Creative Industries Clusters will integrate into the national and
textile sectors to provide added value, only for small-scale enterpris-
international supply chains of ethnic designs and products, increasing
es and individuals working in those industries. Incorporating a maker
competition and market penetration.
movement ideology, we will focus on cooperation, with the chance to
will provide BH designers and manufacturers access
centralize the means of production and enhance long term viability of The center of production will focus on three main facilities, viz: dis-
the various activities undertaken in the souk.
play/storage, the Fab lab and a training center. The TRAINING DISPLAY AND STORAGE:
What is display but storing what we
will provide access to designersâ€™ courses,
lectures, and seminars to improve professional skills and business
want to sell?
acumen, and introduce new technologies. Creative entrepreneurs will
Display plays an important role in the souks, streets are appropriated
PRIVATE RENTAL WORKSHOPS MANUFACTURING
TRAINING AND EDUCATION
- ACCESS TO FINANCE - ACESS TO TECHNOLOGY - ACESS TO MARKET
- ENHANCE SKILLS -HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY - OPEN UP NEW PLATFORM OF POSSIBILITIES
TEXTILE INDUSTRY WORKERS
1.32 INSTITUTIONAL POTENTIAL
1.33 FABLAB MACHINES AND TOOLS
The Syndicate of Jewelers and Goldsmiths in Lebanon recently criticized the paralysis affecting this major productive and commercial sector. While Lebanon is considered one of the top five jewelry producers in the world, universities are not engaged in teaching the subject/art, so transition of skills remains by inheritance. Those operating in our blocks will have the opportunity to open up to other participants and transfer their skills to a younger generation. Education is a fundamental resource to rescue these skilled Armenian trades and the training center will work together with the technical school and educational facilities of BH: the established craftsman passing on their expertise to young students, while international specialized experts teach craftsmen new techniques! Moreover, the instigation of new technologies will blend the talents of the new generation with the knowledge and craftsmanship of the older generation. A long term learning process for all. Our methods and equipment should leave ample room for human creativity. “What becomes of a man if the process of production takes away from work any hint of humanity, making of it a merely mechanical activity?” (Schumacher 1974) Schumacher is right that the poor worker would be turned into a perversion of a free being. Training practices must be not only technologically, technically and productive based but also and most importantly socially based. Collaboration and associational behavior between manufacturers themselves and between manufacturers and consumers should be able to flourish. The latest trends of production are based on the reorganization of hierarchy among the actors, suggesting a new set of spatial relationships, such as having research and development areas closer to laborers, rather than in offices on a different floor. Having these multi-functioning participants working together needs synergic spaces where they can exchange tricks and ideas about products that are developing at their hands. On a different level in the consumer market, demand is becoming increasingly diverse and customer power is increasing. So suppliers and customers find themselves in close collaboration at an early stage in the development of a new product. . It is not only commercializing the manufacturing, but being directly involved in the process of production, by including research, technology and innovation and the emergence of new spaces where all of the collaborative aspects comes together. All the actors involved in the value creation chain become indispensable knowledge acquirers; developers, fabricators, innovators and customers, all benefiting from their early mutual influence. Architecture bears the responsibility of providing new spatial configurations to facilitate these developments. When looking in Rappaport’s Vertical Urban Factory (2016), it is clear how architecture started to influence productive spatial reconfiguration, based on how industry was being reframed throughout the years. Earlier, she wrote: “due to expansive infrastructure networks and technical changes in manufacturing, a new contextual reconfiguration provided a spatial potential to rethink the space of manufacturing in the center” (Rappaport, Factory Futures, 2015). The notion echoed a multiple of scenarios, all dedicated to making things, whether as a static element in urban design or a tool that could create diversity with the assimilation of other programs.
On the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus in Louisville, Ky., an old storage building has just been transformed into what could be the first step toward this new model. FIRST BUILD is a 43,000-square-foot facility is crammed full of 3-D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines and enough software to design the next Martian explorer. “But the designers milling inside aren’t aiming for space. They’re aiming for your kitchen.” (PressRoom: University of Louisville 2016) The building is home to GE Appliance’s new FirstBuild™ micro-factory - one part makerspace, one part low-volume manufacturing facility and one part retail store, where local makers, students of the university and professionals can collaborate, design, prototype, manufacture and, eventually, sell kitchen gadgetry for the future. A place where ideas come to life - think of it and you can build it - the micro factory is a catalyst of making vision a reality.
1.34 FIRST BUILD CONCEPT DIAGRAM 1.35 FIRST BUILD FABLAB
NEW AARCH was an entry in the design competition for the new School of Architecture in Aarhus, Denmark. The winning proposal was praised for the sharp combination of flexible studios, specific function rooms and public spaces. The strong concept and integration of the school in its surroundings were other elements highlighted by the jury: “The new school of architecture will be a cultural hub that encourages interaction and dialogue. An open, pragmatic, flexible structure that allows for continuous change and adaptation to changing needs, and which focuses on the future life and activities inside the building. It will be a factory for architectural experimentation that will set the stage for cooperation with the city, the profession and the neighbors.” With a simple steel frame and light RC decking, the construction is that of many an industrial workspace. But the emphasis is not on the form itself, but the flexibility, creativity and productivity that is enabled.
1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39
NEW AARCH PLAN- WINNER PROPOSAL SECTION THROUGH THE CO-WORKING AREA AND FABLAB INTERIOR PERSPECTIVE OF THE FABLAB OUTDOOR PERSPECTIVE
1.40 PROGRAMMATIC CONCEPT DIAGRAM
THE BLOCK AS A PRODUCTIVE TOOL
RETHINKING THE FORMAT OF MANUFACTURING
Through the spatial arrangement of working establishments, the block acts as a tool in the hands of all. By rethinking the block as a service station in an urban context, enthusiasts and the general public become part of the manufacturing process, from conceptualization of an idea to its realization and display. The block improves transparency and turns each activity into a demonstration of how to operate at full scale. It is no longer just a Fab lab/innovation center but a center of production, storage, distribution and programming. Moving beyond a sanctuary of theory and technology, the block opens up to other professionals, to different users, to enthusiasts and tourists. A while back, the futurist Paul Saffo (Stanford University, 2011) predicted that a new ‘creator economy’ would replace the industrial and consumer economies of today. I prefer the term ‘indie capitalism’, since it captures more of the social context and values of this new economy. Potentially, the block is an area where political conscience arises between workers: the town is what used to be the factory, a place of control with only the distant possibility of emancipation. The densely built structure of the urban blocks, with an absence of open space, adversely affects the environmental and productive quality of the district as a whole; BH is a series of built entities, one next to the other, each facing another with no apparent communication. The town works as one functional entity – like many a city; indeed any accumulation of housing creates a difficulty for institutional life, since it is very difficult for hundreds of people to come together in one place, all for the same purpose. Where is the room for a large crowd, or several, to protest? – as the Lebanese tend to do regularly. Should we not rebuild the block as a single entity from the start, learning from the productive ecologies of BH clusters and their needs? To overcome the weakness of an accumulation of small units, separated in such a way that only their sum forms a whole. An entirely new way of thinking is needed, a system based on paying attention to people, rather than primarily to goods: Gandhi’s “production by the masses”, rather than Adam Smith’s mass production, so as to support the synergy and activity of the souk and harness the spatial potential of the deep and narrow block. We have triggered a transformation of the urban area by tackling the block itself, adding complexity to the grid by maintaining the existing pattern of habitation but processing useful change. The concept is based on understanding the deep and narrow 25x75m block as a production center working in synergy with the existing souks and small scale enterprises.
2.1 BUILDING IN NOR MORASH AREA SHOWING THE ACCUMULATION OF UNITS ONE NEXT TO THE OTHER
The experiment was based in the Nor-Marash neighborhood, where the principle souks and productive clusters are concentrated. The block was chosen based on the following characteristics: -SOUK FRONTAGE: The block will have access to the souk frontage and sit between two selected clusters (jewelry and textile). -SERVICE STREET: BH streets are narrow and usually blocked by residents, so the new business should have access to a wider street in order to be serviced (machine, trucks storageâ€Ś). -EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTES: nor marash is a small neighborhood with various educational and religious facilities, it would be clever to make use of those facilities for cost and efficiency purposes The proposal is not site specific, and could work on every block of BH and in similar neighborhoods around the world, but it took contextualization in BH in order to understand the difficulties, productive patterns and ecologies of small scale enterprise and souk related economies. It was in essence an exploration of the potential of a reconfigured urban block to trigger change. We were playing with different relationships: on the one hand, that between productive ecology , supported by the block as a collective presence, and the municipality as a whole; and, on the other, between workers, institutes and BH. Reinforcing the current patterns of production, important public/private, inside/outside relationships, the movement of goods and people and the use of streets, passages and courtyards as productive elements, the redesigned ground floor starts to open up opportunities for cooperation between suppliers and customers and between small scale productive enterprises. Based on Corbusierâ€™s notion of an open ground floor 1, this area becomes a common territory for collective and public use. The absence of privacy is compensated for at upper levels, with provision of storage and distribution facilities, economic activity rooms and small production workshops. The new productive spaces (Fab labs and training centers) have had to be highly flexible to accommodate the wide range of floor alterations and extensions. Material flows are organized around mobile transport units with additional areas provided for adaptation and learning. People come together and deliberate, talk, learn, cooperate, and exchange ideas in rearranged upper floors on different planes that allow associational behavior to develop, itself a new concept in the blocks of Bourj Hammoud! The potential of bringing people together has been seen in such a way that the industry is supported as something that has a collective presence and works in conjunction with the souks and the jeweler and textile clusters beyond. The first test looked at an infill approach: a factory in the neighborhood while the second set of tests looked for a more wholesale approach: the block as a factory2 .
1 Vide p.66 sumra 2 The term factory here refers to an institution that will bring together the souk and productive small scale established workshop with the new infrastructure proposed: the fab lab, the display/storage entity and the training centre.it is not a place where we pull all of the existing workshops into the facility but rather it is a productive center that will add to the provision of the clusters.
2.2 NOR MARASH DISTRICT SITE STUDY
2.3 COURTYARDS NOR MARASH DISTRICT IN BH
2.4 INSTITUTION NOR MARASH DISTRICT IN BH
2.5 ACTIVE FRONTAGE NOR MARASH DISTRICT IN BH
2.6 YARDS NOR MARASH DISTRICT IN BH
2.2 INFILL: FACTORY IN THE BLOCK. Jane Jacobs saw the messiness and apparent chaos of urban life not as something that needed to be corrected but as something that worked, a successful infrastructure to be sustained and built upon rather than dismantled and replaced. But then she was not talking of refugees’ settlements and our first stage in Bourj Hammoud was to work out which, if any existing buildings could be enhanced. The souks and the educational outlets are there but what is, significantly, missing is any version of the Fab lab. My first preoccupation throughout the design tests was to try and protect the history and the lives of the blocks, but the condition of most of the existing buildings did not justify their preservation or restoration. A study conducted by UN-Habitat (Profile and Strategy 2017) lists criteria to identify those deteriorated buildings in the BH Nabaa neighborhood that need emergency action, due to their appalling living conditions. Some of these have no electricity or water and are in danger of collapse at any moment. Following the same criteria, I tried to identify the parts of our block that were the most affected by time, allowing greater permeability on the ground floor, and the creation of productive and recreational activities throughout. The circulation was pushed to the outside allowing more flexibility in the center. The processes were arranged by floors, to allow the conception of an idea on an upper floor followed by design, manufacture and finally display on the ground floor. With this juxtaposed intervention, added buildings now stand next to the earlier ones without engaging in an obvious homogeneity with the older structure. The original remain distinct, there is no blurring of boundaries between old and new, no transfer of architectural elements, no architectural ‘call in response’. Yet the new building is integrated into the functional pattern of the combined architecture; it contributes from a kind of quiet distance. The visual separation is established by a combination of distinctive style and contrasting materials, colors and textures. This orderly separation adds to the value of the block albeit not to the value of the original structure itself. The ground floor is not actuated and does not become more cognate. The courtyards and the passages increase the permeability of the block but act mainly as passages. While the Infill model could be easy to fund and find ownership for, due largely to its scale and because it suits a limited number of plots and owners who couldn’t and would not in any case see the purpose of upgrading their own building, its spatial qualities do not really justify its feasibility. Not only does the model have limited zones for training, working, manufacture and access to technology and resources, but the spatial configuration of the block hardly fosters association and collaboration between the users. The proposal does not quite reach a practical scale and would accommodate only part of the jewelry or textile industry of BH. What about the industrialists all over Beirut and Lebanon? What is this intervention really adding to the block, BH and its economic activities? 2.7 DETERIORATE BUILDINGS
2.8 EXISTING URBAN BLOCK
2.10 PROPOSED STRATEGY
2.12 INFILL: FACTORY IN THE BLOCK
2.9 THE EXISTING COURTYARDS ARE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER
2.11 ATTAIN HIGHER PERMEABILITY IN THE BLOCK
2.3 WHOLESALE: BLOCK AS A FACTORY TEST 1: CONTAINED MODEL The most efficient and rational solution is to reconstruct the block as a single entity, a â€˜mall-likeâ€™ structure, in which the ground floor would replicate the existing block patterns, with retail facing the souk street and workshops on the perimeter all oriented toward the other streets. The upper floor would be vast and could easily accommodate all the necessary storage, the Fab lab and the training center. Playing with different levels could nurture associational behavior and make the transition from one stage of production to the next all the more easy.
Workers and consumers alike in BH have so far resisted such development and attempts to implement large scale improvement of the urban layout have proven to be largely unsuccessful. As the biggest, the Harboyan Center has completely failed as the shopping center it was meant to be and lingers largely empty. The Harboyan and Afhil Centers have proven that the usage pattern of Bourj Hammoud to have all public functions at street level is so strong that any other model (shops on upper floor or store inside a courtyard, as in Harboyan) have proven not to be workable, remaining mostly vacant. The new Saint Jaques development, on the site of the last remains of the Sanjak camp, is currently making all the same mistakes and the development blatantly ignores the urban demands of BH, where the street is an essential element of urban life. Instead an internal courtyard on a raised platform connects the elements of the mixed-use block and excludes the project from the outside street network. Since the street plays such an important and specific role in BH, a contained inward looking model with a vast infrastructure will simply alienate workers and prospective customers. Productivity will be hard to come by.
TEST 2: DISPERSED MODEL The streetscape in general is an extremely important character of the area. The program starts to be built around courtyards allowing different types of activity to occur. The proximity between different companies organized around courtyards can develop an opportunity for collaboration and exchange of knowledge. The insertion of rented private workshops and retail spaces on the ground floor enlivens the interior of the block and turns the production process into a demonstration for the public. The courtyard cultivates a framework of green leisure around the working arena in order to develop a livable environment.
Every space is separated by the function it hosts. This dispersed model allows permeability throughout the block. Each building is interrelated with the others by opening onto a courtyard, so connecting visually during daylight hours and creating routes for the distribution of goods. Moreover the expanse of open area and its flow allows the yards to merge into one expanse that can be used for recreation or events for the residents of BH. An advantage in itself, with the lack of public spaces and parks in BH or indeed Beirut. The size of the courtyards needs to be limited as they need to be usable as productive areas and vitality is a major aim, less likely to be achieved in a large plaza.
THE COMMONS is a commercial project in Bangkok looking for a more active outdoor space. the project is conceived around the mix of voids and shifting of planes and levels. the ground lift through the use of steps and ramps and reaches effortlessly the upper floors, it opens up vertically through large voids, connecting to a large public open-air area. Those areas are well shaded by the upper-level volumes. given the spaces with an outdoor/indoor feeling
2.15 VOIDS AND PLANES ARTICULATION
AAU SCIENCE INNOVATION HUB is an extension to Aalborg University, rising as a terraced volume that forges new connections and urban intensification. It is an open and inviting building that provides spaces for both lively research and focused concentration. In order to promote idea generation and innovation, the users will be able to inhabit a new type of un-programmed workshop spaces – named Garages – referring to the architectural frame for some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. In these garages, the users define their own rules and methods of co-working creating space for new ideas to flourish. The garages alongside the atrium street are the innovative basis for informal learning, acting as a supplement to the formal education and research offered at AAU. 2.16 DIAGRAMS AND RENDERS HIGHLIGHTING THE QUALITIES OF SPACES
BLOCK AS ONE ENTITY The concept is based on understanding the deep and narrow 25x75m block as one entity from the start. maintaining a smaller grain on the ground floor to respond to BH activity at street level and establish a relationship between productive pattern and the wider activity of the town, while on the upper floors, communal interaction and domestic life flourish in a communal presence in a different setting, on wider and more flexible floor plans with interlocking volumes . The articulation of the ground floor starts to open up a series of opportunities for cooperation between suppliers and customers and between the different small scale productive enterprises.The streets set an example, there is also a value on maintaining a well-defined edge throughout the block, to give it spatial margins and continue the pattern of the city; an open area on the corner or facing the souk street would dissipate the souk and lose one linear path that the public have to take.
2.17 GROUND FLOOR DISTRIBUTION- DISPERSED WORKSHOP + HIGHER PERMEABILITY
2.18 FROM VERTICAL WORKSPACES TO HORIZONTAL INTERCONNECTED LAYOUT
2.19 EXPLODED AXONOMETRIE SHOWING THE DISPERSED WORKSHOP ON THE GROUND FLOOR AND THE INTERCONNECTED UPPER SPACES
2.21 EXSISTING BLOCK
2.20 INTERCONNECTED VOLUMES.
2.22 GROUND FLOOR PLAN
The souk frontage is an important asset, firstly because of the number of people that it attracts and then because of its importance for display, without any need of a middleman. The building becomes a shop front to what is happening on the other side of the block. The large stepped planed act as a stage where producers, informal seller, passenger and costumers mix. The steps act as a raised entrance to the facility, it is a window to the center of production.
SPACE , ACCESS FROM SOU
SPACE , ACCESS FROM SOUK
WORKSHOPS AND COURTYARDS ARTICULATION
By reinstating rental workshop units on an extended and more permeable ground floor, we are establishing a relationship between the productive ecologies and the larger ground of the town. Workshops are organized around courtyards inside the block, for collectivization or sharing of resources and facilities have the potential to draw on the economic and public activities inside the block, adding a layer of mobility besides the traditional street. Greater permeability is given to the block, transferring activities from the street and giving it back its designed mobility. The workshops are oriented inward, giving greater value to the courtyard and lesser value to the peripheries, creating a balance between active and full, private and public.
The notion of organization and orientation of the courtyard Vis-a-Vis the workshops on the ground floor play an important role in the collaborative process. Properly articulated, an empty room can take on public use. The courtyard in this project represents the public living room or an extension of the workshop for the occupants of the block, where people can act as they wish in a public space; finishing their project in the fresh air, reading a book, meditating or just having a ritualistic morning coffee. Everyone can find something to do. People can act freely because they feel they own the place. They belong. This sense of belonging, in a privileged location where all the occupants have something in common, ensures that communication becomes easier than in any other ecology, in an environment of trust. Courtyards provide yet more value, such as learning and productivity, by the introduction of activity driven workspaces. In such a scenario, the boundary between labor and free time, in and out, is completely blurred and leisure, social and working activities become one continuous circumstance. It follows the rhythm of the city that Henry Lefebvre (..Production of Space 1991) describes as being like music: the spaces between buildings work like a pulse: not always active nor always full, but an interaction between patterns, between the silence and the noise. It is a new form of sundial, a new form of time-telling device, as one can easily guess what time of the day it is by the pattern of occupation. Early in the morning, courtyards are mere passages for goods and people going to work; later on they become productive, as an extension of the workspace. Then, it’s time for lunch, when some workers take a break and play tawla1. At 4:00pm, the children come out of school and once homework is done, the courtyard is riotous. During the evening, when workers are back home, teenagers bring their music and smoke what they shouldn’t. It is a cycle affected by time, seasons and productivity. The courtyards also allow some sort of connection simply in observation between the different workshops arranged around it. They are seen as politic’s realm, a place for action, deliberation, and shared responsibility. Durkheim suggested that in order to be considered free and understood as somebody with individuality, you cannot isolate yourself. You must act in the presence of others, such that it matters, a political association: “we that do things together, our actions are among others and that is why they matter” (Division of Labor in Society, 1893). Because only a few workshops are organized around the same courtyards, workers will feel that this area belongs to them and will cherish it. “Men organized in small units will take better care of will take better care of their bit of land or other natural resources” (Schumacher, 1973) 1
Backgammon, played loudly
2.26 VIEW OF THE "IN-BETWEEN" SPACES
FROM GROUND FLOOR WORKSHOP IINTO THE COURTYARDS
2.28 SECTION AA: PASSAGES, PLANES, AND VOIDS
The courtyards are an important element to stimulate the ground floor, they reinvent themselves through the layering of multiple elements - time, programs and composition - to become a place where users can deal with crossovers of disciplines and activities. As for the URBAN PASSAGE, speculation on how to reinvigorate the urban block relies on the creation of greater permeability within a structures that is congestive and inaccessible, so that the passages offer access and draw peopleâ€™s attention to the inside of the block, in and out of the courtyards; in a sequence of full to empty, narrow to large, withdrawal to collaboration. As the movement of both people and goods starts going deep in the block, From being a line serving small retail premises, it shifts and changes for not only production amenities but also allows people to reinvent and to appropriate the courtyards The passages constitute a social event as they become a scenario not only for commercial activity but for entertainment in response to the demands of a new generation, enhancing their lifestyle and culture. Those passages are not mere circulation led by consumption, they are the window to the interior spaces and a space of association. Walking into the block, experiencing the play of levels of different buildings, the passages are a viewing platform to see people making things, de facto a performance space, where jewelers and textile industrialists exhibit their work as in a fashion show, colonizing the passages as their stage. These new movement patterns through the site are programmatically undefined but spatially rich in potential, to host a range of uses.
This play on different planes is interactive - raised to be public, sunken for privacy, depending on the function it hosts - the ground floor is more playful. The large roof canopy responds to climatic, energy and information needs, generating a new type of space: the ‘in-between’. Such multifunctional arenas will cover events, whether concerts or exhibitions - loud and lively, experimental and fascinating, quiet for concentration or relaxation. A place of inter-disciplinary research and teaching, perhaps art or history, perhaps handcraft or technology. The canopies protect and partly shade the courtyards while giving a stronger sense of that “in-between” and permitting the limits between inside and outside to be blurred The Free Plan of Les Maisons Citrohan - one of Corbusier’s Five points, as open and unrestrained use of the ground floor - is flexible and allows people to appropriate spaces and relate to them differently; fostering various kinds of collaboration and associational practices. It also creates spontaneous activities where the boundaries between formal and informal are blurred. The fact that informality exists in BH tells us not only that it is present but that it works. BH’s use of space is so intense that it changes our understanding of the city; informality is prevalent, it works and the city structure needs it.
The proposal allows, indeed encourages spontaneous activity, using courtyards, passages and interstitial spaces as an articulator of the plan, hosting diversity and allowing future changes. The formal and casual are no longer distinguished; boundaries are muddied and the two sectors exist in synergy. Our proposition has started to build an economy that goes beyond mass production.
Customers and workers discover a shared platform to collaborate, present their ideas and generate awareness for improvement; knowledge is shared between craftsman and across the different industries and multi-disciplinary relationships start to be built. The ground floor integrates a common territory for collective and public use. The absence of privacy of the ground level is compensated by the collective arenas inserted on different levels, complemented by quality larger scale facilities, with a mix of opportunities and ways of integration. The openness and movement of courtyards and planes on the ground floor are also reflected in the interior, with a new understanding and interpretation. The new productive spaces (Fab lab, training center) are highly flexible to accommodate a wide range of floor layouts, production systems, alterations and extensions. Material flows are organized around mobile transport units. Ultimately, this provides for agile adaptation, execution, and eventually increased productivity and minimized costs. One of the paramount attributes of Bourj Hammoud is its capacity to facilitate meetings and exchanges between strangers. A successful environment, conducive to such exchanges, has been extracted from the existing metropolis.
Circulation has indeed been pushed to the outside of the block, allowing greater flexibility and a more open and flexible plan. The ramped circulation, allows an easy flow from one space to another, a stepped free passage allow people to carry on their ideas and transit to the next space. Movement of people inside the buildings, replicate the â€œurban passagesâ€? around the block. The passages are not so much circulation as a social event, they delimit the interior and its function and encourage a flow among different abstract compositions of volumes and planes; those passages are also the window to the productive zones allowing a new kind of association between observer and producer. Passing customers or users can observe the production processes inside, without interfering or disturbing them. The Associational is established by mere observation.
Courtyards are represented on the inside as “voids” - tools for both organization and circulation. They allow illumination across a vast distance and consolidate a visual relationship between different actors, across all levels. Distinct levels are built around the voids, allowing a more collaborative environment, working in conjunction with the souks and the jeweler and textile clusters beyond. The shifting and drifting planes on the interior differentiate and diversify areas of production and create different experiences as people stay or move on. Lines of movements are never the same - exhibiting the prominent effect of organization and demarcation. They allow different kind of associational behavior to grow and provide opportunities for citizen participation. The Relationship among different kind of actor in the building affiliated with one another and become to create a rich potential. It is “negotiable” and it can be made to respond to different needs and demands in collaboration.
The larger and more efficient floor planes maximize the use of available area, while the volumes now interplay on different levels, giving more flexible and interesting floor plans. Cantilevered locations act as a canopy for the ground floor and give a unity to the proposition; the block is seen as one entity, as if it is a single building. An easier flow of goods and people between the various facilities has been achieved, while maintaining the independence of each volume.
1ST FLOOR PLAN AT +3.00M
2ND FLOOR PLAN AT +6.00M
3RD FLOOR PLAN AT +10.00M
We are invariably told that huge organizations are necessary, but looking closely, they rarely attain any kind of smallness within that large size. The achievement of Mr. Sloan of General Motors was to structure this gigantic company in such a manner that it became, in fact, a federation of fairly reasonable sized firms (My Years with GM, 1963). The proposition maintained the unity of one big organization while simultaneously engendering the feeling of there being a federation of well-coordinated semi-autonomous units, each with its own drive and sense of achievement. In our Test 3 proposal, workshops and retail on the ground floor work independently from the upper services, as do blocks from each other, each having its own access and administration for management purposes. The Fab lab and storage facility are exclusively for jewelers and textile industrialists, but the education center is open to everyone, from apprentice to already established industrialist. This division and mix of users and actors all aiming at the same goal give the sense of unity. The project is enriched by apparently contradictory programmatic elements â€“ display areas, research labs, teaching rooms on one hand, time affected neighborhood and avant-garde techniques and production ecologies on the other. The propositions weave the cityâ€™s population and various functions together through commercial activity in the urban block. . By rethinking the block as a single entity from the start, and organizing the space according to existing productive ecologies pattern and needs, institutional life starts to exist and matter, as something that bring people together on different associational levels. The block starts to have a collective presence through the reorganization of business in conjuncture with the souks and clusters. The activated ground floor establish a relationship between productive ecology and the larger ground of the city. While the upper floors starts to allow different associational behaviors to grow, and allows institutional life to grow. The use of passages, courtyards and planes provide viable transitions between established parts of BH and the city and productive ecology and by hosting activities belonging to spontaneous and semi-private life, are arguably responsible for giving to the city, as a whole, its livability, inevitably to boost productivity while making the workspaces more pleasant.
2.4 PROCUREMENT Informality is associated with economic weaknesses and low productivity; such entrepreneurs are born out of survival (BH entrepreneurship grew from discrimination), not choice. They start with low financial, technological and human resources, usually from a poor environment. Public policy should aim at strengthening all these dimensions but this will take time and perseverance. The government could encourage small and medium-sized firms by reducing the regulatory burden of moving into the formal sector, thus raising productivity through economies of scale. Politics aside, the economic development will not happen without physical infrastructure; hence the importance of the spatial strategy of reconfiguring the block to allow a neighborly life. The expanded Fab lab will be a step to higher productivity, giving access to markets, technology, and finance. Our strategic framework will be erected in three phases: - Acquisition of funds and stakeholders - Procurement of land - Phased development BH is a hub of steel manufacturing and distribution in Lebanon, the use of light-weight steel-framed structure will ease construction with proximity easing transport costs, so the municipality could step in to lower taxes and provide working opportunities for the steel industries and foreign workers residing in BH. Professional bodies, syndicates and associations are well represented in Lebanon, examples being the syndicate of experts in goldsmith and jewelers, which has its office in Bourj Hammoud and a Lebanese-Armenian Jeweler (Boghos Kurdian) as president, and the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, (ALI) which is divided into various syndicates: most significantly the syndicates of jewelry and textile industries, both with offices In Greater Beirut. The syndicates “seek to create and maintain an environment which is favorable to industrial investment, job creation, growth and development.” Their “vision is to build a globally competitive industry.” (ALI Web2018) So the syndicate played an important role in enabling this project to see light and further steps will be to acquire funds, perhaps by increasing membership fees by a small amount! With 670 Jewelry Companies and 892 textile manufacturers in BH alone, and the project directly benefiting BH residents and national commerce, our case is a strong one. The project is also a great tool for all jeweler and textile manufacturer across Lebanon, and the location of bh within greater Beirut pushing it beyond being only locational
CENTRE OF PRODUCTION
The first step would be to acquire the freeholds in a block and mediate with their owners, offering them areas to rent out on the ground floor for private workshops (the syndicate maintaining ownership and previous plot owners the usufruct or a new workshop). A recent Building Reg. in BH (LebConstLawN646, 2014) makes new construction on land smaller than 200sq virtually impossible, and since almost all the plots on the block are indeed smaller, this makes new development on them highly unlikely, lowering their value significantly. The syndicate can relocate these residents to other dwellings in BH. The second step would be the construction of the new block in steps, over as much time as financial constraints dictate. Funds raised will initially be invested in the Fab lab and machinery, necessary and with a direct impact. The facility will be exclusive to all members of the syndicate for a small fee to cover expenditure. Meanwhile, existing educational facilities will be used (in the evening and on the weekend) for training purposes, until the new educational facility is erected. The remaining construction over time will follow this pattern. Speculation over ownership and procurement will be resolved as a collaboration between the different actors. The municipality has a role to play and can facilitate such development in lowering taxes, funding part of the project, and helping to relocate inhabitants. Various institutes can help in providing funds: e.g. the Armenian Jewelers Association can connect Armenian jewelers around the world and help to develop the jewelry industry. Syndicates and associations with offices in BH could relocate inside the block and help to manage its resources. All in all, a new form of partnership between public (government, municipality) services, private (land owner) enterprise, and the social system (syndicates), in close collaboration, will begin to induce change. 2.35
THE NEW CENTRE OF PRODUCTION
PRODUCTIVE TERRITORIES. Many of the significant urban transformations of the new century are taking place in the developing world. In particular, informality, once associated with squatter settlements, is now seen as a routine mode of metropolitan urbanization. But everyday intimacy, and likewise productivity, can and should be recognized on many scales and expressing these in built form is absolutely central to producing more, since the means of production should hardly be looked at in an enclosed space, still less a block disconnected from reality. For production will only be boosted by the actuation of diverse scales: whether economic, socio-political or cultural. In all their dimensions, these are bound to have a spatial context, to have territory - hence the need to express themselves in every aspect. It is about the block in its wider context. Having studied the productive ecologies of BH, my research led to a rethinking of the deep and narrow urban block as a single entity, giving it a collective presence by reorganizing its setup in conjunction with the souks, the clusters and their needs. We looked not only at its production capacity, but at its potential as a driver of change, involving much more than structural and spatial logistics. We considered the economic implications of businesses accessing technology, finance and the local, city and national markets; posing questions of scale. In particular, we studied the relationship between architecture and productive urban districts, testing the enclosed block as a single entity, factory in the block or block as a factory. Bourj Hammoud’s bustle of activity at street level today establishes a relationship between prolific ecology and the wider activity of the town, while on the upper floors, communal interaction and domestic life flourish in a communal presence. Urban areas have become organic and inseparable elements of the district and to an extent the city of Beirut, in the daily life of its denizens. The whole project can be seen as a social creation, where architecture has developed a place of friendship and to an extent, competition, by fostering a new kind of collaborative relationship between consumer and producer, and among producers themselves. Passages, courtyards and level surfaces provide usable transitions between long-established parts of BH and the newer fertile areas and by hosting spontaneous activities of a semi-private or communal nature, are arguably responsible for giving the area a new energy, a new spirit. Productivity is being boosted, the workspaces are more engaging and fun, not to mention effective. In parallel, a socially based economy is being established, leaving mass production in its wake. Finally, we have looked at new forms of partnership between public (municipality), private (proprietors), and the social system (syndicates), where close collaboration induces constructive change. The proposition is for ongoing research, to be seen as a testing ground for other clusters in Beirut and across Lebanon. It is currently tied to existing sectors but could potentially accommodate others and together, a fruitful ecology fed by interaction will be created, mixing uses and patterns and the city will hopefully be viewed as a shimmering, dynamic society, transformed by collaboration. Beirut could be viewed as a productive campus where various reconfigured blocks work in synergy with the educational institution across its territory. Spaces of more obvious interaction open up new possibilities, inter alia the emergence of a new souk. Beirut can become a new productive territory, working in collaboration with its populace and educational institutions. My research tested how to create synergies across the domain that reflect the increase in productivity with an expansion of the market. Such a relationship in context is a very important one: we are no longer talking just of the block but the block in a district, in a neighborhood, in a city!
+ + USJ
BEIRUT A PRODUCTIVE CAMPUS MAKERSPACES AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS WORKING IN SYNERGY
BIBLIOGRAPHY: - Arendt, H. (1969). The human condition. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press - Boudjikanian A. (2009) Armenian of Lebanon: From Past Princesses and Refugees to Present-Day Community -COBE - AAU Science & Innovation Hub. (n.d.). Retrieved January 20, 2018, from http://www.cobe.dk/project/aau-science-_-innovation-hub#0 -Delacampagne, A. (2014). Portraits d’une survie: Les Arméniens de Bourj Hammoud. Paris: Somogy. - Friedmann, J. (2010). Place and place-making in cities: a global perspective. Planning Theory & Practice, 11(2), 149–165. doi:10.1080/14649351003759573 - Hall, P (1999) Cities in Civilisation: Culture, Innovation and Urban Order, London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson. - Hediger, D. and Lukic, A. (2009) the armenian quarters in beirut bourj hammoud and karm el zeitoun, eth studio basel Contemporary City Institute - Harmandayan, D.(2009) BOURJ-HAMMOUD BRIEF CITY PROFILE. Municipality of Bourj Hammoud - Komninos, N. (2006) ‘The Architecture of Intelligent Cities’, Intelligent Environments 06, Institution of Engineering and Technology, pp. 13-20. - Gehl, J. (2001). Life between buildings. Using public space. Washington, DC: Island Press. - Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space, Basil Blackwell, London 1991 [La Production d’espace, Paris 1974] -- Murphy, M (ed.) (2004) Clone town Britain: The Loss of Local Identity on the Nation’s High Streets, London: New Economics Foundation. - Nucho, J. (2016). Everyday sectarianism in urban Lebanon. Infrastructures, public services, and power. Lawrenceville: Princeton University Press. - Nussbaum, B. (2011). 4 Reasons Why The Future Of Capitalism Is Homegrown, Small Scale, And Independent Retrieved on Septembre 12, 2017 from https://www.fastcodesign.com/1665567/4-reasons-why-the-future-of-capitalism-is-homegrown-smallscale-and-independent - Owens, J. (2016), restoring the Shine to Beirut’s Threatened Armenian Jewelers. Retreived july 15, 2017 from: https://www.voanews.com/a/littlearmenia-jewelers-beirut-lebanon-bourj-hammoud/3283639.html - Quijano, Aníbal. 1974. “The marginal pole of the economy and the marginalized labor force.” Economy and Society 3, No. 4, pp. 393-428. - Portes, Alejandro and John Walton. 1981. Labor, Class, and the International System. New York: Academic Press. - Pratt, A (2000) ‘New media, the new economy and new spaces’, Geoforum, 31, 4, 425-436. -Rappaport, Factory Futures, Actar, New York, 2015 - Research Report No. 1, London: Neighborhood Renewal Unit - Roy, A., & AlSayyad, N. (2004). Urban informality: Transnational perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books. - Roy, A. (June 30, 2005). Urban Informality: Toward an Epistemology of Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 71, 2, 147-158.
- Scott, A (1997) ‘The cultural economy of cities’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 212, 323-339. - Silberberg, S. (2013). Places in the making. Massachusetts: DUSP, MIT - Sennett, R. (1993). The fall of public man. London: Faber and Faber. - Sennett, R. (2012). Together: The rituals, pleasures, and politics of cooperation. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press - Stewart, M. (2002) Collaboration and Co-ordination in Area-based Initiatives, NRU
-The Public Realm and the Good City | International Making Cities Livable. (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2017, from http://www.livablecities.org/articles/ public-realm-and-good-city --The Commons / Department of Architecture. (2016, December 17). Retrieved Decembre 28, 2017, from http://www.archdaily.com/800497/thecommons-department-of-architecture - Wilchez L (2016) The distributed urban factory, Architectural Association. - Wu, T. (2015). Small Is Bountiful Retrieved on Septembre 12,2017 from http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/small-bountiful-smallbusiness-craft-beer - UN Habitat (2017) The Nabaa Neighbourhood Profile and Strategy.
IMAGE CREDITS: 1.1
image courtesy of joe keserwani photography
to 1.5 https://www.archdaily.com/551175/mit-beaver-works-merge-architects
Hediger, D. and Lukic, A. (2009) the armenian quarters in beirut bourj hammoud and karm el zeitoun, eth studio basel Contemporary City Institute
in collaboration with Lynn Haddad
The cultural cradle for Lebanon’s Armenians: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2015/11/cultural-cradle-lebanon- armenians-151112073614211.html
1.18 to 1.22
Hediger, D. and Lukic, A. (2009) the armenian quarters in beirut bourj hammoud and karm el zeitoun, eth studio basel Contemporary City Institute
Delacampagne, A. (2014). Portraits d’une survie: Les Arméniens de Bourj Hammoud. Paris: Somogy.
2.16 and 2.18
2.31 to 2.33
In collaboration with katia chehayeb.
Published on Jan 26, 2018