Revisiting Dalieh

Revisiting Dalieh

This award winning project was submitted in the frame of a competition commissioned by the civil society to protect Dalieh, a natural site threatened by a big scale water front resort impeding its public use. Our concept was based on a line of thought which recognizes that the Dalieh geological formation is concomitant to the offshore rock formations of the Raouche, and that they should be dually designated as a single environmentally protected terrain.
Our intervention engages with the transience of the coastal frontier and its fragility by addressing three interdependent temporal systems (the aquatic, the coastal and urban) contextualized through the inception of a new governing coastal agency conceived as a joint public-private venture. It is an institutional strategy that feeds into exiting ministerial and municipal structures and which attempts to facilitate the management of what exacts as an undeniable common shared space for the city of Beirut. The materiality of urban ‘process’ usually dictates that process must end in product. The only escape is if the state declares otherwise, and expropriates the Dalieh and allows process to survive in such spaces devoted to closing the loop of cycles and functions at the scale of the city… We choose to interpret the Dalieh as a temporal medium, choose to privilege its process over product, and propose incompleteness as a given in our ‘finished’ proposal. This landscape is as much, if not more, about the grown as the inert, and is constituted of living, shifting, materials forces and practices to such a great extent, that it cannot help but change over time. This change must be sustained, and allowance in that space must be made for it.

October 13, 2015