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Inside A Concrete Apartment With Modern Design Classics That Lend It Color And Form

Karim Nader references high modernism in an apartment that champions Beirut’s revival


“I refuse to be labeled as an architect of the generation of war. I do not find interest in architecture as a war machine, nor in the war-torn building aesthetic. Beirut should be architecturally represented as always alive, forward looking, because forward is the way of life,” Architect Karim Nader writes in For A Novel Architecture (2020).


The Lebanese architect is engaged in preserving the architectural heritage of the city of Beirut as well as optimistically committed to acts of reprise in sites scarred by destruction.  As part of his commitment to the reprise of the city of Beirut, and in addition to his projects to restore iconic buildings from the modernist era, Karim Nader has also worked on several residential projects.   His recent work, Anthony Apartment, located in the Port of Beirut speaks of this dedication. 


Set on the 20th floor, its modernist architectural references brought to life in a play of lights and shadows, colors and muted grays.


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Karim Nader Studio. Anthony Apartment in Beirut, Lebanon. couch | brand: Living Divani, model: Extrasoft, designer: Piero Lissoni; coffee tables | brand: Mogg, model: Illusioni, designer: Sebastiano Tosi; painting | artist: Marwan Sahmarani; sculpture | artist: Alfred Basbous; armchairs | model: Wassily, designer: Marcel Breuer | Marwan Harmouche
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The apartment benefits from a spectacular exposure to light and view. Maybe too much of an exposure, so much light that it demands a darkening.


Combined with a certain affinity for modernity and the purity of its lines, clear architectural references - Gerrit Rietveld, Le Corbusier, Eileen Grey... find their way as the necessary accents in primary color of an otherwise neutral background.


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The consistent grey cement palette on floor and walls is only contradicted by the lightness of a natural wood ceiling where a Calder-like ‘mobile’ serves as a decorative light accent. Dark corridor and apartment entrance serve as ‘blind transitions’ while the multi-guest bedroom doubles as a yoga space and home office.


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Karim Nader Studio. Anthony apartment in Beirut, Lebanon; dining table | model: Grid Nature, designer: Karim Nader Studio; dining chairs | brand: Knoll, model: Roquebrune, designer: Eileen Grey; chandelier | brand: Fabraca, model: Calder Revisit, designer: Karim Nader; painting | artist: Paul Guiragossian | Marwan Harmouche


When Beirut eventually overlays itself in this modernist Mondrian-like collage, it is once again its moving shadows that activate all perspectives of this multi-layered city: north towards the port, south and east towards the mountains and west towards the central district.


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Caption: Karim Nader Studio. Anthony apartment in Beirut, Lebanon; couch | brand: Living Divani, model: Extrasoft, designer: Piero Lissoni; coffee tables | brand: Mogg, model: Illusioni, designer: Sebastiano Tosi; day bed | model: Barcelona, designer: Mies van der Rohe; armchairs | model: Wassily, designer: Marcel Breuer | Marwan Harmouhce


About The Architect


Karim Nader is an architect, teacher and yogi. Born in 1976 in Lebanon, he studied at the American University of Beirut (Bachelor of Architecture with distinction, 1999) and at Rice University in Houston, in the United States of America (Master of Architecture, 2003).


He has been practicing architecture for the last 20 years with work designed and built in Lebanon and the world. He is currently running Karim Nader Studio, an architecture and design practice based in Beirut. Since 2000, Karim Nader has taught at the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University and the Politecnico di Milano.


His references vary from Zen Buddhism to Western philosophy in a liberty to quote from the hybrid roots that make the Lebanese subject. The work of his studio as well as the fruit of previous collaborations has been widely published in the international press with notable acclaim and recognition both on built work and competitions.


For a Novel Architecture, his first retrospective book covering the years 2000 to 2020, was published in December 2020 by LetteraVentidue. The book was awarded “Le Geste d’Or” in Paris in 2021.

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Architect Karim Nader | Courtesy of Karim Nader Studio