Beirut-based Architectural Firm Wins Design Competition for Engineering Complex at AUB  
Trustee Philip Khoury Named MIT Associate Provost  
AUB and UAE Center Sign Agreement to Offer EMBA Program to Emirate Institutions  
Fourth AUB Faculty Seminar on Teaching and Learning with Technology  
New Faculty: Hussein Shahidi  
New Faculty: Kirsten Scheid  
New Faculty: Tima al Jamil  
Office of Grants and Contracts Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day  
Staff Profile: Ghaleb Halimi  
Fifth Annual FEA Student Conference Held  
Engineering Alumni Recognized for Outstanding Achievements  
Studying Biodiversity in Lebanon and the Region at AUB  
Construction Update  
Renovated AUB Archaeological Museum Inaugurated  
Renovated Pediatrics Clinic Opened  
Women's Rights Club Holds Conference on Gender and Sexuality  
Tenth Annual AUB Job Fair Largest Since Its Inception  
Letters from a New Campus by Daniel Bliss  
Winners of the Coca-Cola 'Make Every Word Count' Essay Competition Announced  
AUBMC Research Group Awarded NIH Grant  
Science Students Reveal Bonds Between Chemistry and Art  
Understanding the Political Economy of Islamic Movements  
Extreme Makeover: AUB Graduate Transforms Gulf Television  
Science, Math, and Technology Fair Promotes Environmental Thinking  
School Fair 2006: Prospective AUB Students Visit Campus  
Situation of the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon  
Remembering the Writer, Khalil Takieddine  
Promotions 2005-2006  
Piano Recital by Arnimée Choukassizian  
Lecture on Space Exploration by World Expert  
Teleconferencing Brings Students Together Across Continents  
"Something Is Happening": Fairuz and Ziad Al Rahbani  
Cultural Genocide and Assyrian Cultural Survival  
Lecture on the History and Origins of American Islamicism  
Business School and Arts and Sciences Team Wins Soccer Championship Match by Narrow Margin  
  Red Cross Club Celebrates its 26th Anniversary at AUB
  History of the American University of Beirut: A New CASAR Course
  First Stereo-photography Exhibit at AUB  
  Photo Exhibition by President John Waterbury  
  The Cats of Renée Deek: End-of-Year Theater Workshop Performance  
  Film on Euthanasia-A True Story  
  Part Two of the CVSP Forum  
  Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said  
  Mozart and Schumann Celebrated at Assembly Hall  
  Austrian Chamber Music Duo Performs at AUB  
  Mathematician Alain Connes Visits AUB  
  Rima Khcheich Concert Plays to Sold-out Crowds at Assembly Hall
  Women's Auxiliary  
  33rd Annual Folk Dance Festival Hosts 20 Performing Schools  
June 2006 Vol. 7 No. 8

Beirut-based Architectural Firm Wins Design Competition for Engineering Complex at AUB

View from below

The winner of the architectural and urban design competition to develop the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture District (FEAD) master plan and guidelines, and to design the Irani/Oxy Engineering Complex (IOEC) building was officially announced on the evening of June 17 at the inauguration of an exhibition showcasing all five finalists who submitted designs.

President John Waterbury announced that Beirut-based Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning SARL was chosen by a nine-member jury of academics and architects to build the engineering complex which will be a state-of-the-art laboratory facility designed for faculty and students conducting high-quality research. Gholam is an architect, urban planner, and the principal owner of Nabil Gholam Architecture and Planning, which he established in Beirut in 1994. Today, his company has grown into a regional practice with an office in Barcelona, Spain.

It has won several awards and distinctions including Cityscape and the Overall Winner prize from MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards 2006. "I've always wanted to be part of AUB, said Gholam during the inauguration of the exhibition. "It's great to be able to redesign at least a part of AUB, a forgotten part. This is a truly exciting project."

The new engineering complex will house laboratories which will be equipped with the latest tools and technologies used in civil, environmental, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering research. The design for the new complex will be characterized by several environmentally-friendly features that would conserve energy and water consumption while providing a comfortable and high-tech space for students and faculty. Occupying a surface area of approximately 2,200 square meters in the heart of the FEAD, IOEC's estimated construction cost, including furniture and equipment, is 10 million US dollars. It is because of the generosity of Dr Ray Irani, noted AUB trustee and Occidental Petroleum CEO, that the construction of this new building was made possible.

Faculty of Engineering and Architecture Dean Ibrahim Hajj highlighted the educational value of the IOEC design. "Not only will the new complex provide our students and faculty with a space that is equipped with the latest high-tech laboratories, but its environmentally-friendly design will also serve as a real-life application of the modern and eco-friendly engineering and architectural concepts we try to teach our students in and outside the classroom," he said.

"The designs of all five finalists were outstanding. It was not a question of good and bad, but a question of good and better," said President Waterbury. "But the winner has come up with a stunning solution for a whole group of problems." Waterbury, who described the new plans as "transformative" and a "celebration of the past, present and future," said that as a result of these upgrades to engineering facilities, "engineering and architecture are on an upward curve, attracting great students and great faculty and serving the region."

The main urban and architectural challenges of the FEAD and IOEC competition arose from having to revitalize an underused and industrial part of the campus and to integrate it within the existing overall fabric. The Facilities, Planning, and Design Unit (FPDU) at AUB, which organized and oversaw the design competition, conveyed these challenges to competitors.

Derived from the American University of Beirut Campus Master Plan, the FEAD and IOEC project marks a new milestone in the development of AUB's masterplan. It forwards AUB's academic mission into a future of world-class proportions. The development of the FEAD and IOEC demarcates the third major urban and architectural project in the first phase of the master plan implementation in the lower campus of AUB. The IOEC building component of the winning project will be developed and implemented under the supervision of AUB.