Adaptation of Classical Architecture in the Heart of Lebanon


According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Architecture is the “art and science of designing and erecting buildings”. Architecture, in addition, is a palpable remnant of what went on in the history of a place. It signifies the different influences that mark the culture of different regions all over the world. Wherever you are, buildings all around you speak history itself.


Among its several types that are quite common to the human eyes is the classical architecture in Lebanon that Interior Architect Jeanine Chammas offers. By broad definition, it refers to the structures erected (or influenced at the time) between the classical period of Europe’s rich history. Although the exact beginning of this art remains undetermined, it is believed to have started during the Greek rise of power and ended at the fall of the Roman Empire.


In Lebanon, different architectural structures represent the different stories its history has painted on its land. Beirut, the heart and soul of Lebanon, holds an architecture scene that is quite unique as compared to the other cities in the Middle East. Arabesque Ottoman buildings are a handful and seated beside modern ones. The Ottomans who infiltrated Lebanon for 400 years have influenced this architectural design. Over time, European and American architecture was then introduced to Lebanon after the French governance that ended in 1943.


The capital city of Lebanon is also home to classical style architectural designs, mostly seen not only on huge buildings sprawling along its main streets but also in the ornate designs of verandas. Some structures display the art of the Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader eras.


During the Civil War that went on for 15 years, many of its buildings were torn down or left to crumbles. Post-war, many historical structures have been destroyed and replaced, or restructured into more modern ones. Today, the city of Beirut had been dubbed by the Architectural League of New York as “the avant-garde capital of the Arab world” because of its modernist approach to architecture.


Classical style architecture in Beirut, however, can still be seen in many buildings today---in houses, office buildings, and other structures in the city.

Jeanine Chammas – Interior Architect in Lebanon