Complex history of Beirut interpreted by camera-style pavilions

Annabel Karim Kassar Architects has recreated a traditional Lebanese living room with its Camera Chiara installation – unveiled in Milan but set to tour the world.

The displays are in the form of two old-fashioned camera style pavilions facing each which draw in visitors to experience the interiors of a home in the city – with ambient sounds adding to the atmosphere.

Saint-Gobain’s hand-blown glass diffuses the light and allows the visitor to enter a different time an place.

The architects said: “The great Roman and prehistoric excavations – as well as the bombings – have left the city of Beirut pockmarked, exposing its insides.

“Many people live precariously here on mounds 
of soil with a bit of flooring. 
I decided to carry with me a ‘chunk’ with its thickness and layers of ground to try to show 
the complexity of the city.

“The visitor will find a cosy place.

“The wood floor was hand painted by craftspeople in the same patterns found on Lebanese ceramics. 
A sofa and vintage armchairs invite the visitor to sit. A vintage damask silk fabric covers the main couch.

“Lebanon is quite noisy. The noise from outside always comes inside. To show this, I wanted to play 
a recording of the hubbub of the city mixed with the traditional 
Arab music playing on a vintage gramophone and the singing of
a bird comfortably perched on
its cage. This place is like my place.”