section AA

The essential is invisible to the eye, one cannot see rightly but with the heart.
— The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery


The snake, as it is shown in side view, digesting the elephant, takes the shape of a hat. The drawing was not a picture of a hat. It was a picture of a boa constrictor digesting an elephant. We tend to overlook the little details that are the essence of the object, and in that case would say that there is nothing frightening in the image of a hat. What needs to be realized is that the frightening aspect of the picture is invisible. This puts forward the idea of the absent and unseen, and declares that there must be something that we have failed to notice. However, to insist on defining the nature of this absence would be pointless : it would be trying to define something that has been absented from the field of vision and made visible in order to say that it is absent.

For example, to say that the elephant is not seen in the image would be defining the absence by opposition to what is seen.

This is why the thesis will simply put forward the hypothesis that there is a potential in the idea of absence in architecture. There is something of value in building, to see the essence of what is not there. So the main question becomes finding a way (methodology) to explore this phenomenon of absence. 

If architecture is often compared to cinema, it is because of their shared relation to both the visual world and the material world: the way they magnify, through their psychic image, the dimension of the physical universe: its surface, frame, light, depth.
— Manifesto For a Cinematic Architecture, Pascal Schöning




strategy of intervention diagram

strategy of intervention diagram




site plan

site plan

site section 

reference plan

reference plan

performance space options diagrams

section BB

north elevation - view from highway

south elevation - street view from bachoura 


The most beautiful is not to be present. It is the absence of an element that creates desire and activates the imagination. There is always a pursuit towards completion when a lack is sensed. The imagination takes place in the many trials of the user to fulfill his quest for the absent. The pleasure is granted when architecture fulfils one's expectations. But that is only momentary pleasure. The desire for architecture lies where spatial contrasts merge in the middle of Lightness. Lightness is the place where architecture is dematerialized into a thousand pieces, where elements are dismantled, to be eternally recreated. 

FYP Presentation 

FYP Presentation 


Dr. Carole Levesque, my advisor, for her devotion and positive energy. Karim Nader, for the inspiration. Afaf Zurayk, for the passion.
All the professors who contributed in the development of this work : George Arbid, Mona Harb, Abdul Halim Jabr, Karim Najjar, Robert Saliba.

Sahar and Bassem, for the good vibes. Yara, for being there.
and Maissa, for everything. 

Thesis Project :: Bachelor of Architecture, American University of Beirut, 2011