Beirut, Public space, Urban realm, Urban design, Lebanon, Lebanese design studio

T Sakhi transforms Beirut's defence infrastructure into hospitable public spaces

Italy and Lebanon-based architectural design house T Sakhi has turned Beirut’s former security infrastructure into public spaces for human interaction.

Militaristic security barriers have been turned into seating areas for locals, while former crowd control barriers have been given new life after T Sakhi’s co-founder sisters, Tessa and Tara Sakhi, turned them into planters.

Both public installations are pale blue in colour and aim to add vibrancy to the city.

According to Commercial Interior Design, the sisters set out to create two urban interventions – Holidays in the Sun and Lost in Transition – that challenge Beirut’s city-wide topography.

There is an “abundance” of unfinished construction projects and security infrastructure across the Lebanese capital, they said. And the two sisters wanted to create fresh urban spaces that helped the public engage with the area in a new way.

Security paraphernalia can often be jarring on the eye, but T Sakhi has worked to challenge this perception by finding beauty in militaristic infrastructure, juxtaposing defence with comfortability.

Prefabricated CMU blocks, metal wire mesh, and security barriers have all been repurposed to enhance the streetscape of Beirut, providing new and engaging places for people to meet up.