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Beirut Design Week explores the ideas that shape the contemporary city

Jun 28

Beirut Design Week explores the ideas that shape the contemporary city

In a car park on the east side of Beirut, a vehicle finds shade beneath a strange blue structure made of scaffolding poles and wooden planks. Above its roof, plants sway gently in the breeze. Urban Hives is an ­installation by local designer Nathalie Harb, who is addressing the lack of green space in the Lebanese capital with an ­innovative design ­capable of ­transforming car parks into ­community gardens – without reducing parking spaces.

Harb envisages that her modular raised gardens – which can cover a single car or an entire car park – could serve as community allotments, allowing local families to grow and exchange fruit and vegetables, as well as cultivate flowers and other ornamental plants.

In many ways, Urban Hives encapsulates the spirit and themes of the eighth edition of Beirut Design Week. By addressing a local shortcoming – lack of green spaces in the city – Harb’s design contributes towards solving a larger global problem: the decimation of the bees that are ­essential to our survival.

thenational