Following a series of successful international exhibitions, APEAL (Association for the Promotion and Exhibition of Arts in Lebanon) has been dedicated to the establishment of a Modern and Contemporary art museum on a plot of land in the heart of Beirut.
Chosen by APEAL, Award-winning Lebanese born architect Amal Andraos will be designing the BeMA: Beirut Museum of Art. The museum will be built on a site owned by Université Saint Joseph that once marked the green line of Beirut that used to divide Muslim areas from Christian ones.
WORKac, the architecture firm owned by Andraos and her husband Dan Wood had recently unveiled its design for the Beirut Museum of Art (BeMA)
The building will feature a facade of mismatched balconies that will be used to exhibit artwork. BeMA will take a cube-shaped form, wrapped by seventy “Mediterranean” style balconies, and made from stone and glass fibre reinforced concrete cladding.
According to Andraos, by blurring the lines between the interior and the exterior, the porous facade dissolves the traditionally closed white cube gallery model.
“BeMA will invite the public to engage directly with the work, creating new and varied possibilities for encounters and dialogue with the art as well as amongst its visitors.” – added the architect.
The museum will have six storeys above ground, and four below. It will feature 2,700-square-metres of dedicated exhibition space and will house a permanent collection of contemporary artwork from Lebanon and Lebanese diaspora.
Alongside the exhibition spaces, 70% of the BeMA will be dedicated to space for educational programs and public events as well as a library, offices and a cafe and rooftop restaurant from which people can enjoy the view on the city.
Below ground level, there will be a black box theatre and workshops for collection storage and restoration.
According to The Guardian, the first exhibition is scheduled to open in 2020. One thousand works have already been chosen to form the basis of the museum’s permanent collection.