Rashid Karami International Fair Complex in
Tripoli is of major economic significance both locally and nationally because of its role
in he progressive recovery of the national economy following the Civil War. The purpose of
the Fair is to identify and to illustrate the wide range of Lebanese, Arab, and foreign
products available in the country and to inform commercial and industrial interests of the
progress made in reestablishing the various parts of the national economy.
The following are four objectives of the
_To illustrate the continuously expanding
state of the economy in terms of commerce, industry,and agriculture.
_To provide an opportunity to strengthen
the Lebanese trade , industry, and agriculture and to further develop economic relations
with other countries.
_To present various characteristics of the
Lebanese culture in order to encourage international investment in the country and the use
of available and developing facilities.
_ To encourage commercial relations between
Lebanese, Arab, and foreign exports.
The site is located 15km from the central
business district of Tripoli and 600m from the seashore. The total area of the Fair site
is approximately 100 ha, of which will be used for the exhibition buildings and display
areas. An area of 36 ha will be used for landscaping and gardens and will provide parking
spaces for 2000 cars. Top
The porticos pavilion is divided into
two floors, an upper level and an intermediate level. Both levels are based on an open
plan layout. The upper level was supposed to house the service center for exhibitions,
buyers, and visitors. The lower level was planned as a rest area with toilets, lockers,
and writing desks. Both levels have the same width. The lower level is two and a half
times longer than the upper one. They are connected by two staircases.
All external finishes are in fair-faced
concrete. Finishes inside the pavilion are mainly white marble of the upper floor ,
terrazzo for the lower floor , and white emulsion paint for the ceilings. Structural
elements are in fair-faced concrete. Walls are faced with bricks. Fenestration frames are
in aluminum .
The Basement Floor Gross Area is 825sqm
approx., the Ground Floor Gross Area is 363sqm, the Desk and Ramp Gross Area is 2400sqm.
MAIN EXHIBITION SPACE
The Main Exhibition Space is the features
that give to the Fair its uniqueness. Neimeyers intention was to join all of nations
in one pavilion while spotlighting the host country. The boomerang-shaped cover stretches
640m in length and 70m in width and is supported by two rows of columns placed 45m from
each other. The distance between two columns is 17m.
The boomerang is in fact an arc of 300m
with straight stretches of 170m in length at both ends .
Rest area should separate the arc from the
straight elements where cafeterias and sitting spaces were supposed to be located.
The roof is open in an eye shape over these
areas. Toilet clusters are located at the same level; however, they are placed outside the
roof. The number of toilets should be sufficient for forecasted 50,000 visitors per day.
The Guest House is only one floor high and
Exterior walls have no windows; only the
entrance door and some service doors have windows. The Main Entrance located on the north
facade leads to a central space. A restaurant that seats 100 people is located on the
south side. A variety of functions surrounds this space. The Atrium is open to the sky.
On the east side , there are 14 VIP hotel
rooms with a terrace and a garden . information desks, telephone booths, and the reception
are also located in that space. Other services such as hairdressers, toilets , laundry
facilities , and the restaurants kitchen are on the west side. There is a partial basement
under the service area for the machine rooms and laundry services.
The supporting structure of the roof is
extroverted to recall the shape of Mediterranean bungalows.
Structural elements run in a south north
direction. Finishes on the exterior as well as on the interior walls are rather dark
because of the use of bushhammer dark cement or local Grey volcanic stone.
All glazed windows are framed in aluminum
.ceilings are covered with emulsion paint .only a few spaces have suspended ceilings.
The Basement Floor Gross Area is 640 sqm
approx., the Ground Floor Gross Area is 2950sqm, and the Total Gross Area is 3590sqm
The Lebanese pavilion represents
Neimeyers modern interpretation of the Lebanese architecture. The plan, which is a
square that recalls the shape and overall plan of typical Lebanese house, is divided into
an ambulatory along the four sides with a main core.the ambulatory is defined to the
exterior by screens of light arches , an interpretation of the Lebanese arch , dipping
their base in the surrounding reflective water pool. A screen of glass framed with steel
and divided into regular patterns defines the main core on the four sides. Visitors use a
concrete paved passage to cross the water pool to reach the ambulatory and then to
enter to the main core at a split level. The higher level is accessed by a large ramp on
the right-hand side, and the lower level is accessed by a flight of stairs on the
left-hand side. The upper and lower level are connected with a staircase. At the entrance
, a marble-finished wall acts as a balustrade for the split level. Toilets are located on
the lower level and in the basement under the split level of the entrance.
External finishes are all in fair-faced
concrete. Inside the split level and the upper level , floors and walls are finished with
marble. The basement floor gross area is 175m approx. , and the mezzanine floor gross area
is 300m , the bridge floor gross area is225 sqm, the floors gross area is 1225sqm approx.
And the total gross area is 1925 sqm approx. Top
THE EXPERIMENTAL THEATRE
The Experimental Theatre , which was
originally designed as a flexible theatre layout , has a circular rotating scene. It is
covered by a concrete shell cupola. At the southeast side , a staircase leads to the main
entrance and to the atrium of the theatre , which is , located at the basement level. The
atrium is open to the upper floor ; public toilets are located on both sides of the
atrium. A staircase leads to the seating area. The number of seats is approximately 1000.
A bar, an office, and toilets are located opposite the atrium at the upper level of the
ground floor plan. Four exit doors are located at the four cardinal points of the same
Another staircase opposite to the main one
leads backstage and to service areas where changing rooms , toilets , showers , and
electrical and mechanical rooms are located.
The basement floor gross area is 1777sqm
approx. The ground floor gross is 3023 sqm and the total gross area is 4800 sqm approx.
N.B: the description of the Rashid Karameh
International Fair Complex , is not limited to the physical description of the buildings
and the other structures of the complex in their current state. Top
Reference : PERSPECTIVE Magazine