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Standard Invest – Mitsulift HQ by Raed Abillama Architects


Matn-based architectural practice, Raed Abillama Architects, have completed the Standard Invest – Mitsulift HQ project. Completed in 2012, the functional space serves various commercial organisations. The building can be found in Dbayeh, Lebanon.

According to the architects: “The space is functional and serves various purposes: the aim was to create a polyvalent layout to accommodate different market needs. The top floors are dedicated to the headquarters of Mitsulift (a lift company), the ground floor for retail and a few office floors in between offer an open plan space that can be laidout into different configurations. The building needed to be cost efficient. For this, RAA endeavored to find smart ideas for using cost efficient and maintenance-free materials, such as GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) panels for the façade.

“A building that works efficiently and in a sustainable manner is one that has a carefully thought-out space from the inside, not that just looks good from the outside: the façade is an external translation of the internal efficiency not just an aesthetic frame.

“RAA main concern was the living quality of the users and the efficiency of the construction by minimising direct sunlight and heat intake. To optimise this effect the ceiling height was raised, and high, deep recessed slit windows were created so that the openings were in the shade on the east and west. This proportion of high windows gives more natural, homogenised light into the deep end of the office.

“The windows were not operable in order to enhance the insulation properties of the façade in terms of thermal, sound and dust pollution. The air exchange is filtered through heat recovery machines, this minimises thermal consumption. As the building is located on a highway, the idea was easy to implement; the result was a better quality of space in an urban environment.

“Ecological solutions are not always technologically driven. The sun is extremely efficient in Lebanon: it is an available energy. The architect must cater to the local climate and adapt to local lifestyle and culture. The other passive approach was the usage of thermal mass to absorb heat during the day and release it at night. Efficient technological systems such as solar heating for hot water, VRV air-conditioning machines, LED and fluorescent lighting, energy recovery, and variable speed elevators were also used in Mitsulift Headquarters building.”

Images courtesy of © Géraldine Bruneel

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July 9, 2013 | Property | View comments

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