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Iwan Maktabi opens contemporary flagship store in Beirut


Beirut-based architectural practice, Maria Group, has designed the Iwan Maktabi project. Completed in 2014, the contemporary store was designed for Iwan Maktabi an antique carpet shop based in Beirut, Lebanon.

While designing the flagship store, the challenge the designers faced was to address a new type of shop window experience, revisiting ways of displaying and storing carpets.


According to the designers: “On the ground floor, the shop has four tall windows facing a main vehicular and pedestrian artery, as well as a corner window. Instead of displaying carpets right behind the four windows, the idea was to occupy the space of the shop window, widening it into the depth of the shop: The carpets, fixed on white walls 2m away from the windows, are now visible from inside and outside the store.


“When going through the side door, the visitor is invited to cross the 2m wide space of the shop window, before entering the exhibition area. The hallway doubles as a gallery with large display cabinet occupying the space between the windows, accentuating the rhythm of approach from the door.


“The solemnity of this gallery space is further enhanced by the proportions of the white walls, the tall windows, and the reflective ceiling duplicating the height of the space.


“Once inside, the shop reveals itself as an open space divided in two: a display area with white walls on one side, and a working area with the reception desk and a meeting room on the mezzanine level all finished in smoked Oak wood on the other side.”

Images courtesy of Iwan Maktabi and Geraldine Bruneel

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December 28, 2014 | Property | View comments

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