Notre Dame University-Louaize alumna Gioia Sawaya is a Lebanese architect who recently received an Honorable Mention from the IE Architecture + Design Prize, Young Architects and Designers 2017 International Competition, for her senior project titled, “The Third Landscape: The Case of Batroun's Abandoned Construction.”
In 1963, an unknown French architect designed Batroun's Abandoned Construction next to the shore. Originally designed to serve as an aquarium, the skeletal remains of this unfinished and archaic concrete structure has today fused into the urban fabric of Batroun, and by extension, Lebanon.
Sawaya’s project offers a new perspective into Batroun’s urban fabric. She said, “Its space, functioning as an open system, expresses a notion that is about responding, where responding to different stimuli in architecture, in opening up to external and internal configurations, and in trying to seek control in intrinsic physical conditions. The reason why the structure is considered to be a mediator, a machine, but a machine that is interested in control and not in power.”
She asked, “In the end, that structure and architecture, at some point fail, but what if this failure is adopted and transformed into a potential rejuvenation?”