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Abboud with his model of The Wave.

Abboud with his model of The Wave.

Soma-designed Beirut tower wins top award


International architecture firm Soma has announced that the Michel Abboud -designed tower Wave based in Beirut, a marvel of both contemporary design and ingenious problem solving, is a winner in the Architizer A+ Awards for best mid-rise building.

The New York-headquartered Soma was founded in 2004 by Michel Abboud. With its focus on incorporating craft, digital technologies and environmental responsibility, the firm's designs and work have attracted critical acclaim for their boundary pushing nature.

The winners were recently announced on the Architizer website.

The Architizer A+ Awards is the largest architecture awards program that celebrates the year's best architecture, appreciates meaningful architecture in the world, and champions its potential for a positive impact on everyday life.

On the win, Abboud said: "I am honoured that Wave has won this award. It is exciting to see my design chosen among so much great talent."

"We wanted to design a responsive parametric building that reacts with the site and the program, and I'm thrilled that our vision resonated with the public jury," he noted.

While Soma is renowned for double skin projects, Wave wears its second skin out of necessity due to location and exposure: the longer site edge faces south and the shorter one faces west and demands that one extremely important and problematic issue be solved in terms of solar exposure and heat, explained Abboud.

According to him, a unique identity was created through this second layer skin or sunscreen.

"Extensive research revealed that a horizontal louvered system was efficient for sun screening. The regenerated parametric design reacts to an interior program whereby the depth of the louvers is variable according to which interior function it is shading and which interior function requires more or less privacy," he stated.
"The less privacy required, the thinner the louver, the less sun shading, the thinner the louver; the more privacy, the deeper the louver and more sun screening, the deeper the louver. The effect: organic waves," he added.

Wave not only contrasts starkly against the present buildings awaiting demolition and/or renovation, but also assertively against future, new structures yet to be constructed.

"I am very proud of Wave and how our concept came to life. The site was challenging because of its corner location, the result a sculptural element that emerges within the site," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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