Diary / Conferences


MOR.TUARY. A conference by Samer Eid

Subject: Architecture
Speaker: Samer Eid, Tarek Naga and Pamela Chrabieh
Date: May 14, 2014 At 19:00
City: Beirut
Address: Polyspace, ALBA, Sin El FIl, Lebanon

A country was struck by war... War emerged out of a schism… A people became many… Ideas clashed. A land was ruptured… Cities devastated… Body counts multiplied… Yet... No point was proven.

THE CONVERSATION WE NEVER HAD. Four decades and many battles later, that country was rebuilt and transfigured resulting in a complex urban fabric, absorbing the old and passively implementing the "new". Yet, no discussion was made about the form of knowledge that this new fabric would embody. Instead - and with a very dismissive attitude towards the tragic content of their own history - decision makers, promoters and land owners rushed for direct profit through massive land exploitation, creating therefore, an elusive platform of illusive growth. Hence, the threat of a schism still lurks, for without dialogue no lessons can be learned and reflections can never be translated into dynamic fields of action. So it could be argued that such a society failed to deal with death.

DEALING WITH DEATH. As time passes and struggles toughen, corpses keep piling up and cadavers are tucked into graves, horizontal towers we call cemeteries. Traditional rituals mourn beloved souls as they part with their physical bodies in cult places, then dispose of the ever-inflating number of stiff remains in ill-maintained urban plots. In a country with a complex religious map, where multitudes of groupings and splinter sects rule with intricate patterns of divisions and rivalry, a unifying culture of death should prevail. Needless to say, such a society needs a monument that unifies through history and death.

THE INVOLUNTARY ICON: MOR.TOWER… Thus, our focus turns towards the still-standing physical tools that served and survived the conflict, undisputed witnesses of death, marking - only through presence - a historical stop; a portal for change. MOR.TOWER is such an example, a living tissue of meaning. The unmistakable 120-meter-high-concrete-grid tower was still under construction when the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975. A featured building in most of that period's breaking news, made suitable for torture and execution, adequate to serve as a snipers den, a strategic military spot in urban warfare.  MOR.TOWER IS TO BECOME… MOR.TUARY! Proclaiming the sky, a new structure with two anchors, makes a host out of the vertical landmark, and, emerging from the closest cemetery, creates a conglomerate of a new complex kind, a hybrid flesh of mortar: MOR.TUARY!

An underground reflection of the physical tower will be the loaded structure's foundation: MOR.PIT conceals a secretive Scientific Research Cell in its lower networked compartments, labs and vaults, residing under a stratified Military Base with hidden barracks, convoy-attack vehicles parking and supplies bunker-units; artillery and troops forming one defensive shield against threatening forces.

The hollowed tower will be infiltrated by the new totemic structure, giving way to public vertical circulations and a labyrinth of prismatic imbrications, incorporating stealthy headquarters and meeting rooms for VIPs, military officials and leading politicians; entirely sheltered by the preserved exoskeleton.

Holding the upper platforms are clustered blocks where bodies will be buried and stocked, transported from the neighboring cemetery with sliding Funicular Pods upon-soaring-tentacles. Arriving visitors would be able to pay homage to the dead in respective chambers, unfolding memories in buffer-zones or contemplating their own existence in meditative inner-alcoves; the visit's culmination leading to the Living Dead Lair at the cluster's heart, and the Crematorium with its incinerators and smokestacks.

At the trilobed extreme, the Crystal Edelweiss in bloom… includes a cultural program, with cascades of suspended amphitheatres and conference halls looking downwards onto Beirut City, articulated through a myriad of vast spatial experiences:

Warlords_Doombox_│_Survivalists_Capsules_│_Soldier_Incognito_Tribune_│_Martyrs_Arena_│_Isle Of_The_Missing_│_Holograph_Of_The_Famous_Dead_│_Garden_Of_Absolution_│_Agora_Of_The_Free

Samer Eid

Né à Beyrouth (1977), il est diplômé en Architecture de l'ALBA (Prix Chaderji 2001)

Architecte practicien, il crée son propre espace de travail SEARCH / SAMER EID ARCHITECT

Il a participé à de nombreuses compétitions et a remporté de nombreux prix développant ainsi un portfolio de projets importants. Les concepts de SEARCH ont été publiés (2008 World Architecture Community Awards).

Depuis 2005, il donne le cours "Atelier Expérimental" à l'ALBA et encadre de nombreux étudiants.

Il a publié avec ses étudiants EPITOMEten & SPECIMENzero (2010) SPECIMENone (2011) AMALGAM (2013)

Parmi ses projets, on compte TOTAL Extension (Lebanon / 2011) Cotton Candy Kindergarten (Lebanon / 2009) House of Arts & Culture (Lebanon / 2008) Tall Emblem Structure (Dubai / 2008) Toyota Exhibition Pavilion (Kuwait / 2007), etc...

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