1st page of exective article on the egg

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1st page of exective article on the egg

  1. 1. LEBANON) Real estate center, mOVIe theater. and office building. The dev"elopers, Sama Beirut jn an eggshell and Salha, had ambitious plans fo this development; and wanted to make it the biggest multi-use center in the Middle Ea~t" The egg-shape .. cinema was designed to hold 1,000 "" seats and is 24 meters wide and 11 meters high. It was to be accompa- nied by two towers, of which only one was built and has since been de- Bulldozers of development loom for one the citys last iconic buildings stroyed. George Arbid, professor 0- architecture at the American Uni- versity of Beirut (AUB), explaine n the heart of Beirut is the dis- Solidere sold the land without that the distinctive shape of the Eg tinctive shell of what was once a any legal protection or financial in- came about through unintende complex called the "City Cen- centive to save the Egg, meaning its consequences. ter," also affectionately known destruction is almost inevitable. For "The building code at this time as the "Egg." now, the July 2006 war stopped its was very strict about building movie The Egg, with its nose imminent demolition and the finan- theaters for structural safety," Arbie chopped off and deep scars on its cial crisis delayed the bulldozers fur- said. "So the architect, Joseph- once smooth concrete exterior skin, ther. However, the end appears to be Philippe Karam, convinced the au- has passed through dramatic changes near for one of the last iconic, mod- thorities that the law did not forbid in its nearly 50 years of existence. ernist architectural structures in the the use of the space below the movie Ever since Solidere in 2005 sold the center of Beirut that also carries theater, so he created a retail space land to Abu Dhabi Investment with it the physical manifestations underneath. Once the movie theater House (ADIH) as part of the Beirut of the civil war years. was raised and visible, he was force Gate project, the Egg has been con- The Egg was built between 1965 to give it a distinguished shape. stantly threatened with demolition. and 1968 as a multi-use shopping hence the concrete egg shell."48 I J u n e 2 DOg

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