The new Banque Libano Francaise (BLF) building in Beirut, Lebanon will feature an interesting façade, which will also have the added benefit of keeping the inside temperature at a comfortable level. The building was also designed with economic, social and environmental sustainability in mind.
The building is called The Magic Box, and it will feature a façade made of limestone, which will vary in depth around the structure. Due to this, it will work to keep the interior of the building cool during the day, and warm during the night. They will also cut chunks out of the volume of the structure to create terraces, which can be used for social gatherings. These terraces will have the added function of ventilating the interior.
On the south facing side, the façade will be thick and the windows recessed which will minimize solar heat gain by limiting exposure to direct sunlight. On the north side of the building, which gets less direct sunlight, the façade will be shallower and the windows less recessed, so that planty of natural light will flood the interior. This side will also offer great views of the surrounding landscape and the ocean.
The depth of the façade on the sides facing east and west will be somewhere between that of the north and south facing sides, which will create a so-called moiré pattern effect. Due to the innovative design of the façade, no additional shading will be required, which will save on materials and building costs, while giving the building a clean aesthetic.
The building will feature both public and private areas and there will be a clear distinction between them. It was designed by the Norwegian-American studio Snøhetta, and there is no word yet on when construction will begin.
This design is a great example of eco-friendly building practices making their way into larger commercial projects, which is one of the key ways of ensuring a more sustainable future.