Architect, urban planner and researcher Adrian Lahoud has made the study of the existing environment and scale a main tenant of his career’s work. With his latest design, the Collective Tower, Lahoud has attempted to bring Tripoli, Lebanon out of the post-modern dark ages.

Tripoli is Lebanon’s second-largest city with a population of 500,000. Today it has a mass of faceless and formless concrete towers that house apartments and offices but say little architecturally, especially in relation to the small-scale and historic urban fabric that has filled the ancient city for centuries.

The Collective Tower is actually a bundling of three towers: the three separate structures join in the middle for support, but then splay from each other dramatically. The top portion of the building brings style and ample space, and allows the bottom portion to stay more plain, which has two benefits. The first is the obvious need for stability; the second is that the smaller base has a less impactful footprint on the city.

Lahoud has yet to specify what would be housed within the towers. But its form mirrors beautifully the history of this ancient city: the name Tripoli stems from the Greek “triple city,” called such because of its history as the center of the Phoenician confederation, which included the cities of Tyre, Sidon and Arados. By having three unique arms to one solid structure, Lahoud’s Collective Tower speaks to the past in a completely modern and artful way.

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