Stone Garden (2020) is a 13-story residential tower imbued with hopeful futures for inhabitants of a postwar city. Conceived by Beirut-born architect Lina Ghotmeh as an inhabited sculpture, it transforms tumultuous events into creative potential.
Framing the sea, each opening is filled with verdant gardens that invite nature into the dwelling while providing natural adaption to the changing Mediterranean climate.
Standing as a landmark to Beirut’s experience, the architect describes it as “living archaeology“ that materializes what the city has endured in built form and signals a new belonging for the construction workers who fled neighboring wars, their handiwork visible in the towers striated façade.
Seeking to uncover, reveal, and reconcile the city through architecture, this model conveys more than the buildings physical form. Seen through its window apertures, micro movies and photography by Lebanese artists tell stories about Beirut people and creative energy; the cities history, archaeology, war, and revolution; and the making of the building.
Stone Garden has contradictory attributes of beauty and rawness, of ephemerality and permanence, end of presence and absence, which embodies a new way of living both in the past and in the future of Beirut, Lebanon.
Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan