Ex-Sniper's Nest, Confuses Nation-Building for Peace-Building

May 23, 2017

Despite the obvious merits of the architectural responses and endeavors employed to resurrect the site over a 22 year period, and resiliently weathering the turbulence of Lebanese politics and bureaucracy (Saadi, 2016), the Beit Beirut project continues to echo many of the shortfalls in the peace processes which are employed internationally.......

 

"The Yellow House aka Beit Beirut (Beirut House) falls short of an architectural intervention capable of  untangling Peace-building from Nation-building" FMH

 

It could be argued that the newly reinterpreted building, ‘a one trick pony’(the snipers nest narrative) of western materials, lighting and programme, has become a gentrified and sanitised vehicle for nation building rather than a legitimate peacebuilding tool within the local everyday context of Beirut’s fractured society. An initiative which is a missed opportunity to create an authentic sense of place, reflecting the potential for conflict ownership........

 

Considering the rich tapestry of trauma, memory, meaning and cultural identities woven throughout this site, it is easy to see its potential for stitching together the social tears forced over years of conflict, fear and unpredictability. However, the adaptive re-use of the Barakat building subscribes to a common modern peacebuilding pathology, of applying an artificial western style appenditure to a complex and culturally rich site in the belief that it will remedy a variety of social ills within a post conflict context through modernisation and development.

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