The founders of TandemWorks, Mayssa and Alia Badawi, are pleased to announce their inaugural project, Hammoud Badawi, in collaboration with theOtherDada (tOD) Integrated Architecture Lab, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and UN-Habitat, as part of a scheme to rehabilitate the Beirut River. TandemWorks is a new, Beirut-based non-profit arts organisation which advocates social, cultural, and environmental change by means of multidisciplinary interventions in public places. Under the guidance of tOD’s founder and architect, Adib Dada, the strategy is informed by biomimicry (design inspired by nature) to restore the lost ecosystem, and bring Beirut River back to life. This will involve implementing green infrastructure systems around the river, and in the surrounding neighbourhoods, bio-diverse public parks, and a pedestrian bridge alongside the existing Yerevan Bridge, connecting Bourj Hammoud to Achrafieh, and Badawi. Perceived as underdeveloped and critical areas on the margins of Beirut, these neighbourhoods have a complex and rich history, and social fabric that has been adversely impacted by the implementation of the river walls.
The project can be divided into three distinct sections: Voice, Engage, and Share. In Voice, ongoing focus groups are organised around the neighbourhood’s relationship with the river and its urban context, with the dual objective of facilitating dialogue between the communities across the river, and providing a platform for their concerns to be publicly expressed. The second section, Engage, consists of a temporary art installation on either side of the river which will channel the natural sound of running water into the urban areas surrounding it, re-calibrating the way in which people view the river. This installation, by the artist Vartan Avakian, will be on site for one year. Finally, Share will be a one-off multilingual publication, which will be published, and freely distributed to the public, containing contributions from members of various practices and disciplines, including urban planners, architects, sociologists, researchers, artists and writers.
The Hammoud Badawi zine will be launched at Sursock Museum (Beirut), on 9 November 2015 from 4-5:30pm. The event features a panel discussion including Omar Fakhoury and Marwan Rechmaoui, moderated by Mayssa Fattouh.
More information about this event and the project in general can be found on the TandemWorks website.