Brussels-based architectural studio, NOTAN OFFICE, founded by Lebanese architect Frédéric Karam, has been invited to partake in the upcoming Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Karam, who teaches architecture in Brussels, where he often references Beirut architecture to his students, formed the architecture practice in 2014.
Since then, his studio has taken on various projects between Belgium and Lebanon and participated in competitions in Switzerland and around Europe.
Among NOTAN OFFICE’s achievements, it won 1st prize for Contemporary Architecture in Uccle in 2018 and in the same year received a Highly Commended mention at the World Architecture Award in Amsterdam.
Earlier this year, one of its designs was nominated for the Arch Daily’s 2021 Building Of The Year award.
Karam will be the second Lebanese architect to represent Lebanon in the exhibition slated for May 22nd until November 21st.
In this 17th edition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, his NOTAN OFFICE will showcase two projects: LE 13EME in Beirut and LINCOLN in Brussels.
“We will do a parallel between those two contexts and these two projects,” Karam told The961.
LE 13EME would be the latest of 6 projects NOTAN OFFICE has worked on for Lebanon. It is on the 13th floor, the last floor of an Achrafieh building.
NOTAN OFFICE writes, “Privileged but at the same time belonging to the city, this last floor echoes Beirut with a similar brutality. The materiality is raw, stripped of all artifice.
“They are the most commonly used in the Lebanese construction but also try to reinterpret the ‘local taste’. For example, the floor is made out of crushed white recuperated marble instead of the standard continuous rectangular marble flooring.”
Here are some pictures of it captured by photographer Ieva Saudargaité: