12. Beit Beirut, Lebanon
Built in 1924 by the Lebanese architect Youssef Afandi Aftimos and then raised by two further floors by the architect Fouad Kozah in 1932, the neo-ottoman style building known as the “Yellow House” or the “Barakat Building” stands on the crossroad of Damascus street and Independence street. The name of the Yellow House comes from the ochre-coloured sandstone used for its construction.
The Yellow House comprises two bourgeois style houses, four-stories high plus a roof terrace. The central axis of the building is completely open to the sky. It leads to the main entrance and a front courtyard giving access to the staircases up to the properties and a passageway under the building that leads to the leafy rear courtyard. The facades of the two buildings are joined by raised columns, decorated with fine ironwork, which overlook the city.
Located on the former “green line”, the Yellow House was a forward control post and sniper base during the civil war. In addition to its strategic location, the airy architecture of the Yellow House, with its transparency and varied shooting angles, was used for military purposes to control the surrounding area, known as the “Sodeco Crossroads”.
Today, this building is therefore an unusual structure due to this combination of domestic architecture and “war architecture”, created by the snipers that occupied the building during the civil war.
Since the end of the war, the Yellow House, already badly damaged by the conflict, has continued to deteriorate from ageing and acts of vandalism. Threatened with demolition at the end of the 1990s, the Yellow House was finally saved thanks to the efforts of civil society and the commitment of the City of Beirut which led to an expropriation procedure granted on grounds of public interest in 2003.
Under the terms of the expropriation decree, the Yellow House will be restored to accommodate:
– a museum,
– a cultural and artistic meeting place,
– a facility for archiving research and studies on the city of Beirut throughout history,
– an urban planning office for the City of Beirut,
– an underground car-park.
The decree also provides for the construction of a new building on the free part of the land.
The project was initiated in 2008 following a cooperation agreement between the City of Beirut and the City of Paris.
13. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, Jakarta
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (Museum MACAN) will be the first institution of its kind in Indonesia when it opens to the public in Jakarta in 2017.
Dedicated to supporting interdisciplinary education and cultural exchange, the institution will provide the public with access to a significant and growing collection of modern and contemporary art from Indonesia and across the world, a wide variety of public programs, and a dynamic exhibition program. As part of its mission, the museum will be an important platform for local and international artists to present their work to a global audience, and will commission new works by artists that broaden perspectives on contemporary art in and beyond Indonesia.
Museum MACAN will also offer professional development opportunities for artists, curators, and other arts-focused young professionals to help build upon the energy of Indonesia’s vibrant arts ecology.