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St. Elie Church

Situated against the rocky hill of Mt. Lebanon in Chouf District is St. Elie Church, designed by Maroun Lahoud. The Paris-based architect was commissioned to design the project, which acts as a reconciliation between Christian and Druze groups following the civil war within the region.

St. Elie Church is constructed with different volumes of polished stones, which is a local material, to give a fluctuation in colours and textures to the warm-grey façade. Cruciform-openings introduce natural light as it reflects on the white marble flooring, creating a vast atmosphere to the main church. Linear lines adorn the design’s interior with rectangular entrances and a grand light wall. Looking at the entirety of this church, its silhouette stands strong and majestic.

The mentioned features might sound impressive, but the most attractive feature about this project is its integration of political contexts into the design. Using parts of destroyed houses during the war, Lahoud creates a clear contrast between old and new by utilising them as the base for the modern building.

Not only is St. Elie Church a beautiful piece of architecture, it is also a new symbol for the area that carries religious, geographical, political and environmental contexts within it; a definite winner in minimal architectural design.

2016.07.16 Nhat Vo

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