May 28, 2019 – NDU, in its leading role among Lebanese universities took part in the Serail Creativity Hall Design Competition that was organized by IDEAS Group at the Grand Serail – the Lebanese Prime Minister’s Palace. Team #2 from the department of Interior Design was honored by winning the second place among the three finalists.
In 2018, the President of the Council of Ministers, H.E. Saad Hariri, announced the transformation of the historic cross-vault hall in Beirut’s Grand Serail into a technologically-empowered working environment. The hub is to be a digital oasis created to serve as the nation’s beacon for technological change and innovation - a creative space to be embedded within a historical Ottoman-built setting.
IDEAS has invited all faculties of architecture and Interior design on the Lebanese territories to submit their conceptual designs following an 8-week competition. A total of 140 students within 21 teams submitted, with 11 teams shortlisted and 3 teams reaching the finalist stage following assessment by a technical and conceptual jury, as well as an open public vote through An-Nahar’s online platform.
NDU was represented by 4 projects from the departments of Architecture and Interior Design which went through multiple selection phases after which, NDU’s Team 2 from the interior design department was chosen among the three finalists.
The shortlisted project designed by Team #2: Marc Karam, Nathalie Abou Chakra, Michel Hajal and Rita Sahyoun instructed by Rina Shebaby, aimed to preserve the 400-sqm space in its original historical identity while functioning as an efficient, professional, digitally-enabled working space. This was done through three different rhythmic forms: the old vaults, the new Beirut’s skyline linked by the transitional bridge.