Type: Office
Location: Baabdath, Lebanon
Architect: Wassim Melki

Studio Invisible (Wassim Melki, Sir Mark Sykes and François Georges-Picot) envisioned this vertically mobile unit for their working spaces. Located in the Hills of Baabdath, Lebanon, the terrain is vastly surrounded by natural elements, including a 400 years old Oak tree, as well as a couple of old demolished farming houses. (shelled during the lebanese civil war) In order to be respectful to the context, and to be esthetically environment-friendly, the architectʼs concept is to create a structure that is only visible when functioning, while it completely disappears when not in use.

Architect Wassim Melki Explains : “ The idea of having my studio in this area is almost 6 years old now, and I have designed tens of options for it, in vain, as they all stood as an aggressive intervention, however light or integrated they might have been. Until I realized that the best solution was actually not to do anything at all, and this is where “Studio Invisible” came into being.”
Inspired by the infamous pop-up mushroom bunkers of “la Ligne Maginot”, the circular structure has a diameter of 6 meters, and is placed on a scissor lift that can travel 6m vertically. In order to be more striking while visible, the 2 main colors opted for are metallic black and shiny red. A central core consisting of a kitchenette and a W.C. holds the structure together. It also has a ladder and an access latch, like a tank or a submarine, to be accessed while fully lowered. To accentuate the volumes integration, its rooftop is covered with greenery. Moreover, since the scissor lift has a maximum capacity of 3 tons, all materials used for finishing are to be lightweight. Polycarbonate sheets (translucent & transparent), are used instead of glazing and instead of traditional interior partitioning.
The underground pit being 3m deep, the structure can either be fully lowered and invisible, slightly elevated and peaking over the landscape, or elevated to ground level. It can also be elevated furthermore to 3m above ground, hence turning into a viewing platform overlooking the surrounding landscape. On the other hand, the vertical movement of the studio allows it to interact and to adapt better to the harsh climate conditions, and more specifically the suns impact, as it can be lowered or elevated accordingly, hence controlling the inner temperature while still providing the necessary light for a working studio.
About Studio Invisible
StudioInvisible (pronounced in French), is a multidisciplinary design consultancy working in the fields of Urban Planning, Architecture, Interior & product Design, Visual Branding and Political Science, and aiming to provide the world with Avant-Garde Design interventions as well as in-depth Cultural, Social and Political guidance. Composed of Architect and Urban Designer Wassim Melki, Colonel Sir Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picot, the studio is an open platform for debate and thought-sharing.
Wassim Melki - Urban Designer/Architect
Sir Mark Sykes - Deceased Colonel/Diplomat
Francois Georges-Picot - Deceased Diplomat

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  1. joseph beaino

    Black is a color that absorbs heat and temperature at a high level, thus my opinion is to change that color to much lighter one that indeed suits its surrounding nature. You also posted that you can change the studio’s temperature by changing the height of the studio. Can you please re-explain this point of view?

  2. Dr.H

    Adore the credit/project/team: Wassim Melki - Urban Designer/Architect, Sir Mark Sykes - Deceased Colonel/Diplomat, Francois Georges-Picot - Deceased Diplomat...
    nice one!