Un grain de sable exploits an abandoned plot of land on Jounieh's coastal edge. The project sets grounds for a visionary implementation, towards a public insertion on the otherwise very privatized Lebanese coast.
A few decades ago, Jounieh's bay was a pure strip of sand, bordered by lemon trees and punctuated by a few red tile roofs. Right now it is a concrete jungle, segregating and blocking all free access to the sea.
The intervention reclaims the lost sand shore and states that nothing should be built on our over exploited coasts. Therefore it takes the morphology and texture of grains of sand.
The program intricately merges public moments, landscapes and entertainment within an ecological framework.
On the periphery of the land, a native landscape jungle welcomes the user into the project. A large fish pond is fueled by a rainwater collection system that filters into a potable well. Later on, a giant sand area is powered by a smartflower solar system.
At the heart of the project, three organic rammed earth volumes shelter flexible programs: workshops, event space, communal area, library, exhibitions. They can open on one another for larger scale occasions. Those programs are complementary and activate the intervention at different hours throughout the week.
On the edge, between land and sea, a cocooning SPA space captures the spectacular views and celebrates the surroundings. An outdoor amphitheater floats on the sea, for punctual concerts and performances.
The experience within those grains of sand is further emphasized by glass pitched roofs, as a reminiscence of the traditional coastal fabric of Jounieh. The sand body disappears at night, while the roofs glow and appear as hovering above ground.
Grains of sand emerged from the ground to sustain and inhabit the edge with various programs and ecological landscapes.