This is One Way to Get Around Planning Restrictions

By Chris Mills on at

What you're looking at is probably the most overbuilt answer to the centuries-old problem of 'I want to build a skyscraper, but there's a pesky protected building on the plot already'.

BOBO, a project designed by New York architecture firm SOMA, was originally meant to replace some abandoned shops and an old 1920s house on the edge of downtown Beirut. But at some point, they realised that the house was a protected building, and had to stay. The result? A cantilevered skyscraper that towers over the old building, which will now house high-end retail and an art gallery.

This Is One Way To Get Around Planning Restrictions

In all fairness to SOMA, the end result looks pretty great. The new building blends into the skyline about as well as you can expect from a glass-and-steel construction in a neighbourhood of three-storey buildings, and the way the protected house has been absorbed into the structure is surprisingly elegant. Even so, the symbolism of the old being amalgamated by the new (and much bigger) is pretty difficult to ignore. [SOMA via Arch Daily]