By some wonderful chance, the area around Beit Misk is not drowning in a sea of concrete. Here, the mountain flows towards the sea seamlessly, like a small island of green, protected and cherished, peopled by pine trees, chestnut trees, and green shrubs. A walk here is an experience for the senses, where the sweet smell of mimosa mingles with the smell of wild rosemary.
One must approach this project with an open heart and an open mind. Let the fresh air of the Lebanese village sweep you away to yesteryears, where life was sweet and tender. Imagine small paths that wind around hills, overlooking the sea below. Imagine residents delightfully finding themselves in a green haven, that somehow, miraculously, escaped the concrete jungle. Imagine terraces, gardens, and windows overlooking the mountain majestically joining the sea. Imagine a spring that inspires paintings and refreshes homes.
Everything in this project has been designed around the pleasures of life. Here is where personal freedoms and great camaraderie meet. Spaces are created to facilitate an open exchange, be it through the nearby stores, restaurants, and cafes, or through the layout of the project, aimed at encouraging conviviality. It is a place to live, to meet, to share, to enjoy, and, of course, to have your own space.
BeitMisk came to be as a result of a search for well-being. Here, one can take a stroll, go for a jog, explore, walk, swim, enjoy indoor sports, play, socialize, all thanks to the many facilities and amenities that can be found in a modern club, submerged in beauty. One can even claim the right to sleep.
Reclaiming green spaces
The mountains of Lebanon are covered with green resources. BeitMisk seeks to re-establish a natural balance, restoring an environment that has long been abused by pollution, noise, and promiscuity. BeitMisk is a green meeting place. Safeguarding our environment has become a necessity that has been imposed by the catastrophic situation facing Lebanon, one that can only be done by the awareness and sensibility of people who no longer accept half-measures and compromises. It is no longer enough to be comfortable at home. It is now of an utmost importance to be comfortable within a world that is as natural as it is human. To think of tomorrow, one must remember the days where pleasures were simpler, and where well-being flowed at the source. Our modern day comfort can no longer be at the expense of the degradation of nature or with modern day pollutions, such as noise, waste, and nuisance.
“We will make use of solar energy and of a specialized sewage system that separates toilet water from the rest of the water,” explains Elie Gebrayel, CEO of Erga Group, the architecture firm behind Beit Misk. “We are building in accordance to international environmental norms. Among other innovative solutions, we will be treating used water at our specialized center.”
The four seasons
Beit Misk is not merely a real estate project. It is a place to live, the pride of Mount Lebanon. Maybe it will become a place that foreign delegations will visit to see a Lebanese success story, where perfect planning meets the preservation of our heritage. It will be the story of a charming mountain village, merging the best that city life has to offer. It will be a look into a near future, where environment and tradition are one. This marks the end of wasteful spaces, of endemic chaos.
A dedication to sustainable development is the key to the success of this project. Naturally, the environment became a common cause for all. “We plan to plant thousands of trees to create a green environment in complete harmony with the construction,” says Georges Aboujaoude.
Rebirth: Builders and Humanists
“We had to work to create a livable space that, while being completely integrated within its environment, would find its anchor in traditional architecture and would make use of leveled terraces that are typical of our mountains,” says Elie Gebrayel. “BeitMisk was imagined like the typical Lebanese village, spread out at an altitude starting at 600 meters, all the way to 900 meters. Because we are on a hill, it gives every single house an impeccable view. The project is divided into three zones: the independent villas, the townhouses, and the buildings, which will be 3 floors at the most, or 13 meters high.”
The project required architects with a vision for the future and a respect for the past to be able to conceive and create a space that is the result of a thought-out architecture, not only in accordance with functional norms, but one that integrates life’s requirements within a human environment, rich with heritage.
Architecture cannot exist without culture.
Architecture of life
The architectural concept is the cornerstone of the project. The harmony and the familiarity of the project make one feel at home. “In every structure in the village, we used the same proportions that were used in the olden days for the arches, the windows, and the doors,” says Elie Gebrayel. “In addition to that, all rooftops are red tiled, and have 4 sides. This gives every house and every building in BeitMisk a unique character, typical of Lebanese architecture.”
“In addition to this, we give every neighborhood its character, respecting an overall homogeneity,” continues Elie Gebrayel. “In some instances, we use wood as the key element, while in others; it is aluminum that is brought to the forefront. As such, every village within the village has its own, well-defined, identity.”
Looking forward, with an eye on the past
Here, one can live an authentic life, in true luxury. It is a jump into pure happiness, where one can live passionate moments. Here, it is easier to be yourself, be surrounded by people with similar expectations and values, be close to nature.
Here, everything is avant-garde, starting from the architecture that remains anchored in our heritage. Will it create a ripple effect?
There will be a style, a Beit Misk culture that we will refer to as the “open skies.” Everyone will find some quality, some nickname, because the minds behind the concept will not stop halfway.
This is a project that continues to evolve, season after season, new resident after new resident. This project is not made up of houses. It is made up of homes, of places where people live.
“Children will benefit from all of our attention,” says Georges Aboujaoude. “Here, there are open spaces designed to tickle our desire to discover, yet with reassuring landmarks, perfect for the entire family.”
Beit Misk: A wager for the future
Will Beit Misk be the example of a Lebanese eco-village? That’s what its developers are aiming for, since it is a project that is lost in time and space. It will evolve according to demand, but also according to needs and requirements, which will become more important over the years.
“Beit Misk is not a real estate project. It is a project that keeps on evolving gradually,” explains George Aboujaoude. “It is a series of villages, imagined as one homogenous and organic entity that will only be truly complete in fifteen years or so, naturally evolving throughout. It will respect the seasons and the natural evolution of the place and its people.”
Beit Misk aims to be elusive, disheveled, graceful, irreducible, but certainly not unique.
Engineers, landscape artists, and urban planners, all got personally involved in this project. They wanted to reinvent a space, bring it to life, and give rise to a joyful chaos, organized by very high quality norms and standards. Here, technology serves mankind. In the streets, the villas, apartments, and shops are alive with color, just as the painter imagined it with his inspired brushstrokes. Yet beyond the joy of arranged spaces lies simplicity and a taste for the old use of materials. With its numerous balconies, terraces, flower avalanches, greenery, this is a village where nature and culture unite forever.
First published in Men's Passion issue #34 October 2011