The Mourning After: On Exhausting Ruins
- Elie Boutros, B.Arch. 2018
- Hometown Beirut, Lebanon
- Class ARCH 5902 Design X: Thesis
- Instructor Aleksandr Mergold
Through studies of the existing Burj el Murr tower in Beirut, this thesis seeks to challenge the hoarding of memorials and the objectification and fetishization of destruction and war ruins as physical artifacts. The thesis investigates an alternative way of reinventing deteriorating structures in post-war Beirut through an analytical process of a delayed, selective, self-contained top-down demolition, which would allow the city to reclaim the post-traumatic coping phase of "remembrance and mourning" that was taken away by Beirut's violent, "forward-looking" reconstruction strategy.
Rather than a merely physical artifact, Burj el Murr becomes a set of relationships, urban dynamics, and readings to be used to generate an emerging architecture stemming from the complexities left on site, bringing the tower's embodied richness into the everyday.