Four Palestinian architects, all graduates of Birzeit University in the West Bank, have won first place in an international competition for ideas on how to design and rebuild the destroyed port of Beirut in Lebanon.
The team won the 2021 Phoenix Prize presented by iDAR-Jerusalem, a Palestinian nonprofit organization that promotes innovative architectural design ideas for reconstructing stricken areas.
The winning team included three female architects—Ala’a Abu Awad, Diala Andonia and Mais Bani Odeh—and Majd Malki. Their design, which is named “The Aftermath—Productive Beirut,” focuses on building three models of temporary housing for 300,000 people whose homes were destroyed by the August 4, 2020, explosion. (See the related articles “Beirut Blast Cripples an Educational and Cultural Capital” and “Dust Left by Beirut’s Massive Explosion May Be a Major Danger to Health.”)
The design also proposes building a productive industrial city with workshops, factories, and vocational and agricultural schools to contribute to solving Beirut’s unemployment crisis and business-continuity problems. It also allocates large areas of land for wheat cultivation in order to bridge the food gap in the crop, after a decrease in the volume of production in recent years.