Banque Libano-Française (BLF) had launched an international architecture competition for the design of its new headquarters located in a strategic plot nearby the Northern main entrance of Beirut. Facing the sea and the Port, connected to the dynamic and creative, yet traditional Mar Mikhael area, close to the modernist building of Electricité du Liban, the site is set to place the Bank at the heart of Lebanon economic and artistic development, as the region has become the cradle of all industrial and cultural activities.
Keen to involve the Beiruti and particularly the residents of Mar Mikhael in the construction process and connect in a meaningful way with the neighboring community, BLF decided that the fence surrounding the plot gets dedicated to arts and culture. The idea was to convert it into a temporary exhibition spot hosting various artistic ventures.
No sooner said that done, it is during Achrafieh 2020 event and in a sunny festive atmosphere that Mar Mikhaël area witnessed the inauguration of the BLF’s fence of the construction site of its new headquarters.
Raya Raphaël Nahas, BLF’s General Manager, along with the bank’s executives and employees as well as participating students and Mar Mikhaël residents gathered with utmost enthusiasm around the fence that was turned to an art gallery wall.
The first exhibit showcased is a photography project titled “Faces of Mar Mikhaël” that was assigned to the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) first year students who managed to capture the essence of one of the oldest and most authentic neighborhoods in Beirut, of which BLF will soon become a main component. Pictures of the residents, traders, artists, artisans, students, clubbers… of Mar Mikhaël got exhibited on the fence, illustrating both the talent of the Lebanese youth and the many lively faces of this community.