Coming Back to Life

 
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COMING BACK TO LIFE is an Architecture movie, a cinematic narrative loaded with emotional content and dramatic sceneries.

It is an attempt to produce new understandings of what is an architectural concept. It is a simple idea represented through a storyline, a plot and a twist, basically a modern day fairy tale.

The movie revolves around an architect’s obsession with Burj El Murr, the tower of bitterness, a soaring monument and an old legacy of war, in the heart of Beirut.

The first scene portrays our mystery man entering his gloomy apartment facing his architectural fascination, to be surprised by an emerging structure suspended on the walls of the tower. Suddenly the disbelief is interrupted by a noise that appears to come out of the TV, and the frame blackouts out when it gets closer to the window. Directly we are transported inside an opening of the Burj el Murr, to ascend the body of the concrete brute, passing through the void, the green space, the memorial and the reception area. We are then driven outside, to discover a monument, elevated from the ground. Our architect’s car arrives at the scene while the structure is completing its growth. Finally the story ends on a shot of the tower in its new skin, standing tall in the midst of all the disturbing chaos of the capital.

CHAPTER ONE: HIGH HOPES   Overseeing the iconic downtown area, looming out of the old building's silhouette, a tower still stands tall. Burj El Murr, a 40-story monument, rests unfinished; its construction interrupted by the Civil War in 1978.  Initially an office block, the hopes of it becoming one were shattered as it was transformed into a hideout for numerous snipers - giving them more than 2 km of a panoptic view in all directions - and a host of endless bloody battles.  Today, the abandoned building remains an Icon situated as a reminder of the horrors and cruelty that the nation has overcome, however standing spiritlessly, hoping for someone to save the life that was never actually given to it.

CHAPTER ONE: HIGH HOPES

Overseeing the iconic downtown area, looming out of the old building's silhouette, a tower still stands tall. Burj El Murr, a 40-story monument, rests unfinished; its construction interrupted by the Civil War in 1978.

Initially an office block, the hopes of it becoming one were shattered as it was transformed into a hideout for numerous snipers - giving them more than 2 km of a panoptic view in all directions - and a host of endless bloody battles.

Today, the abandoned building remains an Icon situated as a reminder of the horrors and cruelty that the nation has overcome, however standing spiritlessly, hoping for someone to save the life that was never actually given to it.

CHAPTER TWO: COMING BACK TO LIFE   A metallic frame starts covering the tower, hovering above the urban fabric of Beirut city, creating an extension for the streets from the bottom towards the top. Life begins to pop up on the façade, as the new structure becomes the essence that makes the tower come back to life , radically shaping and framing the life in it; producing a framework for flexible programs which could change and develop over time.  The circulation path sits on the frame along the edifice, climbing its walls with ramps on the sides; now people can walk throughout the tower with new streets placed between two platforms of public spaces, galleries, workshops, souks, marketplaces, green space, houses, gyms, an outdoor playground, libraries, bookshops, reading spaces, offices ...

CHAPTER TWO: COMING BACK TO LIFE

A metallic frame starts covering the tower, hovering above the urban fabric of Beirut city, creating an extension for the streets from the bottom towards the top. Life begins to pop up on the façade, as the new structure becomes the essence that makes the tower come back to life , radically shaping and framing the life in it; producing a framework for flexible programs which could change and develop over time.

The circulation path sits on the frame along the edifice, climbing its walls with ramps on the sides; now people can walk throughout the tower with new streets placed between two platforms of public spaces, galleries, workshops, souks, marketplaces, green space, houses, gyms, an outdoor playground, libraries, bookshops, reading spaces, offices ...

Trees start to grow inside the empty spaces, encapsulating the concrete, eating away its lifelessness and giving the tower a heartbeat; and so it begins, one branch at a time, a new green lung amidst the chaos of the city.

Trees start to grow inside the empty spaces, encapsulating the concrete, eating away its lifelessness and giving the tower a heartbeat; and so it begins, one branch at a time, a new green lung amidst the chaos of the city.

CHAPTER THREE: EMPTY SPACES   Gazing at the Beirut skyline, you can see the framework of the Burj break at the cityscape limit, creating a void inside of the monumental tower. This void is a leftover token from the past of the building and it’s journey through time, partly stripping it from the futuristic cape it has engulfed itself in, revealing the monument's bare skin.

CHAPTER THREE: EMPTY SPACES

Gazing at the Beirut skyline, you can see the framework of the Burj break at the cityscape limit, creating a void inside of the monumental tower. This void is a leftover token from the past of the building and it’s journey through time, partly stripping it from the futuristic cape it has engulfed itself in, revealing the monument's bare skin.

CHAPTER FOUR: BLACK BIRD   At the peak, between the wispy clouds, lies a dark room. You can hear the sound of silence, the wind murmuring, and passing through the tiny holes from the sides. A ray of light emerges through the crack in the ceiling, enlightening the names of the martyrs on the rusty wall.  The rain floods the concrete mushroom, the water drops racing on its surface to the floor and forming a pond under its umbrella.

CHAPTER FOUR: BLACK BIRD

At the peak, between the wispy clouds, lies a dark room. You can hear the sound of silence, the wind murmuring, and passing through the tiny holes from the sides. A ray of light emerges through the crack in the ceiling, enlightening the names of the martyrs on the rusty wall.

The rain floods the concrete mushroom, the water drops racing on its surface to the floor and forming a pond under its umbrella.

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CHAPTER 5: GENESIS   Between the sullen days of clouds and dust, and the stormy nights of rain and darkness,  stretching across the east, all the way to the west, a soaring monument stands tall in the dark.  In the midst of all the chaos, this relentless image is an undisputable legacy of war and a constant reminder of the tragedy endured by the people.  In spite of it all, the day has finally come to bring back the Burj from the dead.  This soulless body will rise again, to become the source of life itself, a beacon of hope, and a lighthouse for this sinking city.

CHAPTER 5: GENESIS

Between the sullen days of clouds and dust, and the stormy nights of rain and darkness,
stretching across the east, all the way to the west, a soaring monument stands tall in the dark.

In the midst of all the chaos, this relentless image is an undisputable legacy of war and a constant reminder of the tragedy endured by the people.

In spite of it all, the day has finally come to bring back the Burj from the dead.

This soulless body will rise again, to become the source of life itself, a beacon of hope, and a lighthouse for this sinking city.

 
 
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