Beirut architecture: a thriving mix of old and new

Beirut is a great example of a city that has successfully blended the old with the new when it comes to the design of its buildings and architecture. There are so many great buildings from many different eras that it is hard to choose just a few to discuss. Here are a few buildings both old and new that you should be sure to admire or even visit if possible. You will be sure to find many more fantastic examples when you visit beautiful Beirut and the surrounding area.

Grand Serail

The Grand Serail dates back to the Ottoman Empire. It fell into some disrepair but was restored for government offices. The stunning entryways feature frescoes and artwork from a bygone era that will leave any traveller in awe. The Grand Serail is a secure building, so you have to admire it from a distance. Be sure to check out the Hamidiyyeh clock tower, which was added in 1897.

M1 Building

The M1 Building is one of the newer state-of-the-art structures hovering on the downtown Beirut skyline. A mixed use building, it was built using certified green practices, so it sets a standard for sustainability and beauty in modern day Beirut. Najib Mikati’s Bloomberg profile shows that M1 Group is dedicated to developing the most impressive and well-designed buildings in Beirut. The M1 Building was designed to reflect the great style and philosophy of the investment group. Tenants of the M1 Building will be able to enjoy some of the lowest utility and maintenance costs in Beirut due to the attention to detail that was put into the development and design of the building.

Hostler Center

One of the newest additions to the University of Beirut is the expansive Hostler Center. It features sports facilities, a cafeteria, meeting rooms, parking, and a fantastic residential space for students complete with green space. The Hostler Center combines stunning reflective glass with classic stone construction for an environmentally efficient design. Radial streets mean it is easy for people to find their way around.

Classic older homes

When visiting Beirut, you will want to be sure to wander the streets and see the unique older homes that date back to the time of the Ottoman Empire. The stunning stonework and balconies will leave you in awe. A walking tour can allow you to see some of the oldest neighbourhoods. A local guide or tour company can provide you with background knowledge, or you can get a self-guided audio tour.

Planning your trip

Since there is so much to see in Beirut, you will need to take the time to plan your trip well. It is also important to respect private homes and government buildings. Although tourists are usually more than welcome to take photos, remember to be respectful of rules. A guided tour can be a better use of time for those that want to see some of the greatest highlights of Beirut more easily.