From Town Hall to Town Plan

The case of Byblos, Lebanon

Authored by: Sandra Frem , Hashim Sarkis

The New Companion to Urban Design

Print publication date:  May  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138302129
eBook ISBN: 9780203731932
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter recounts the experience of developing a master plan for Byblos, the famous historic city, subsequent to the competition for the design of the city’s new town hall. The location of this new landmark town hall aimed at re-centering the city and connecting it to its expanding footprint created a series of urban design challenges. A new plan for the city literally unfolded from the new municipality site out, through a series of concentric interventions. This eventually led to the development of a coherent framework for the residents of the historic city and those of the suburbs, as well as the tourists as they navigated through Byblos and interacted across social and physical divides. While this experience of going from an architectural intervention to a master plan for the city is unusual, it does illustrate the potential urban impact of certain architectural projects.

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