The American University of Beirut is creating a twin campus in Pafos, Cyprus, that offers a public place in the city. The context has a unique historical and industrial characteristic that will be reflected in the project's design. Open and permeable to the city, the new campus is creating a public platea, a Greek public space, or a void within the urban fabric to attract diverse people from the city for a mutual cultural exchange between the campus and urban fabric. Acting as a cultural incubator, the campus is a generator of ideas, thought, and innovation. In addition, the project is expected to pave the way and inform the development of future potential campuses, part of the recently expressed strategy of expansion of the university.
The new facility is located on plot 71 situated 1.4 km from the city center and 1 km from the seafront and the touristic area. Plot 71 has a site area of 0.9 ha with an allowable built-up space of around 9,500 m2.
Dar Group prepared the master plan for the American University of Beirut – Mediterraneo, the first campus established by the American University of Beirut outside of Lebanon. In line with the university's “Global AUB" vision, the new campus is designed to enrich the interchange of ideas, knowledge, and purpose already taking place in the Beirut campus, empowering the university to serve a broader audience and to become more global, more diverse, and more inclusive. Dar Group is a leading, privately-owned professional services group with a diverse history and a global presence. Its world-class planning, design, engineering, and project management firms are dedicated to achieving clients' ambitions and supporting sustainable communities worldwide.
Set in a strategic location roughly between the city center of Paf os and the touristic area, the new campus will incorporate and showcase traces and memories of the site's industrial past, through the preserved stone walls of the former Carob Mill Warehouse, which will envelop the 3,488 m2 main administration building.
The new campus will be anchored by a Greek plathea, or large open plaza – a void at the center of the site, echoing the famous Green Oval of the Beirut campus and serving as a community space that attracts students and visitors and hosts events, talks, workshops, lectures, and shows as a center for cultural exchange. With a stoa for protected passageways, green public spaces, and seating, the grand open space grants access to the site's three main buildings: the main administration building, an adjacent auditorium and facility building (1,000 m2), and a 4,611 m2 classroom block housing student classrooms and labs.
The design of the new campus is also engaged in a dialogue with the original Beirut campus, reimagining and echoing iconic and instantly recognizable features such as the main gate and the Beirut campus clock tower.
The master plan also covers the second phase of the campus, which will feature a main academic building with classrooms and labs, a new multipurpose hall, and extra spaces for administration and facilities.
With skylights, greenery, and photovoltaic panels featuring prominently, the campus will form a vibrant, attractive, and sustainable destination.
The scope of works includes the following project components:
The administration building is located at the west front side of plot 71 adjacent to the main access road. It is located inside the existing stone walls of the Carob Mills Warehouse forming part of the building envelope. It includes the university administration staff and faculty offices with associated services (entrance lobby, vertical and horizontal circulation, elevator lobby, toilets, pantries, electric/telecom rooms, data center, offices, meeting rooms...) distributed on the ground and three additional floors with an overall gross building area of around 4,270 m2.
The classroom building is located at the east back side of plot 71. It includes all the classroom and spaces related to students (entrance lobby, vertical and horizontal circulation, elevator lobby, laboratories, study room, classrooms, toilets, electrical and telecom rooms) distributed on the ground and three additional floors with an overall gross building area of around 4,850 m2.
The facility building is located adjacent to the administration building at the south side of plot 71. It includes the project facilities and mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) spaces (auditorium, snack bar, water tanks and pump rooms, storage, electrical main rooms, generator, maintenance staff offices…) distributed on the basement, ground, and mezzanine floors with an overall gross building area of around 2,100 m2. The administration and classroom buildings are linked with an open colonnade at the ground level with an overall gross building area of around 425 m2. Between these two buildings as well as a bleacher with the electrical sub-station and storage underneath at ground level with an overall gross building area of around 230 m2.
The open spaces between the different buildings and plot limit are covered by hard and soft landscaping with infrastructure and furniture.