For the past twenty years, Beirut’s nabil gholam architects, ngª, has been developing an urban and architectural language for societies in flux; an approach that is informed by architect Nabil Gholam’s personal experience of conflict and rapid, often loosely planned change.
Gholam’s grounding in Lebanon’s richly diverse cultural and historical tradition and its openness to modernity and the outside world, has further served as a catalyst in the development of his pragmatic, jubilant and humanist approach to building.
The result is the contemplative creation of a resolutely modern architecture that nevertheless distils the realities of the program and its context. ngª’s architecture is characterized by airy platonic volumes, with legible layouts and flexible spaces that evolve over time. Passive cooling, careful orientation and attention to the play of light over natural materials contribute to design that creates not just a sense of discovery, but also a lasting simplicity and serenity.
ngª’s many completed buildings optimize the contemporary living experience, reflecting a profound dialogue with the place they’re in, its climate and culture and in the process help to forge often missing civic bonds through the built form.
Having gained early experience in the burgeoning urban metropolises of the Levant and the Gulf—Beirut, Doha, Riyadh, Mecca, Cairo, Muscat and Aqaba—the practice’s cosmopolitan, Modern/Mediterranean architecture has subsequently been applied to projects elsewhere, including Moscow, Monaco and Seville. As a practice, ngª has proven itself to be as comfortable designing and developing large-scale architectural projects—with a particular focus on high-rise and mixed-use programs—as it is working on private houses, interior and product design as well as the realm of urban planning. Through drawings, images, sketches, photography and interviews, this compilation present an insight into the multilayered creative practices of a contemporary architectural studio.