LiNOrd | By Gabriel Mattar

Gabriel Mattar


From a tender age, my heart gravitated towards the captivating world of architecture. This intrinsic connection propelled me naturally to ALBA university, where I pursued my academic journey in this very field. The allure of architecture, with its potential to shape cities and societies, proved irresistible, inspiring me to delve deeper into its intricacies.

The profound realization that buildings hold the power to shape not only skylines but the very essence of communities drove me to elevate my education. This led me to the path of pursuing a dual master’s degree, encompassing both architecture and urban design. This academic pursuit became a voyage of discovery, allowing me to grasp the intricate interplay between urban landscapes and architectural aesthetics.

As the years have unfolded, I find myself blessed to be living my passion each day. Presently, I am an integral part of the urban planning and urban design department within a distinguished multidisciplinary consulting firm. This firm stands as a paragon of excellence, specializing in architecture, engineering, and planning. Within this dynamic environment, I am empowered to channel my architectural fervor into projects that transcend blueprints—they metamorphose into living, breathing entities that shape the way we inhabit and experience our surroundings.

Through my journey, from the budding aspirations of youth to the sophisticated realm of urban design, I have come to understand that architecture is not merely a profession but a profound art that intertwines form and function, aesthetics and impact. My story stands as a testament to the fulfilling synergy between passion and profession, where the structures we craft become testaments to the fusion of artistry and practicality.

In essence, every structure we design carries the potential to become a narrative—a narrative that tells the tale of both architect and inhabitant, of dreams and reality, and of how we harmonize with our environment. It is a privilege to be part of an ever-evolving landscape that bridges the chasm between human imagination and concrete existence, and I embrace each day with gratitude for the opportunity to sculpt spaces that leave indelible marks on the world around us.


ABOUT THE PROJECT Under the astute guidance of Mr. Jihad Kiame, I embarked on an enthralling endeavor named “LiNOrd,” a visionary project poised at the crossroads of architectural innovation and urban revitalization. This ambitious undertaking is centered around the rejuvenation of the waterfront within the Metn region, specifically the expanse stretching between the embracing arms of Nahr Beirut and Nahr Antelias. This very canvas is an extension of the notable “Linord” project, yet it holds within it a novel narrative that echoes a bold departure from convention.

In the name “LINORD,” resides the essence of a paradigm shift—a transformation that challenges the preconceived notions of urban expansion. This creative vision manifests as a counterpoint to the 1996 “Linord,” pivoting from the concept of a “Mega-Gated Community.” Instead, the ambition is to organically extend the fabric of the city towards the sea, infusing it with a spirit of accessibility, openness, and vibrant communal engagement.

The significance of the title “LiNOrd” extends beyond semantics. The “NO” encapsulates the core tenets that questioned the original “Linord” project. It serves as a rallying cry against the perceived limitations of the past, a manifesto of sorts that redefines the trajectory of urban development.

The first dimension of this counter-narrative challenges the privatization of the public maritime domain. Rather than enclosing these precious waterfront areas, the project envisions dynamic, accessible public spaces that celebrate the natural beauty of the sea and encourage a symbiotic relationship between urban life and marine ecosystems.

The second “NO” addresses the overreliance on expressways as a remedy for congestion on the Beirut-Tripoli highway. Instead, the focus shifts towards implementing a comprehensive regional public transportation system—an ecosystem that not only resolves traffic woes but also fosters sustainable, interconnected mobility.

The third facet of “NO” defies the domination of infrastructure at the expense of public well-being. The project advocates for a harmonious balance, recognizing the importance of nurturing communal activities. It seeks to revive and rejuvenate public functions, such as the historic fishing port of Borj Hammoud, reclaiming them as vital elements of urban identity and cultural heritage.

Through “LiNOrd,” a new narrative unfolds—a narrative that celebrates openness, interconnectedness, and a commitment to harmonizing with nature. This project echoes the belief that architecture can be a conduit for dialogue, a canvas for cultural expression, and a catalyst for sustainable urban evolution. With each element meticulously designed, each principle thoughtfully instilled, “LiNOrd” invites us to reimagine our cities as dynamic, living entities that flow seamlessly into the embrace of the sea.

In forging this new vision, I am reminded that architecture is not solely about bricks and mortar but about forging a connection, both spatially and experientially, between people and the environment they inhabit. “LiNOrd” is not just a project; it’s a declaration—a declaration of the city’s embrace of its waterfront, of its people, and of a future that melds urban ingenuity with the rhythm of the waves.

This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.