The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs building

Created as a nexus for academic study, research and policy making, the design finds harmony between natural and imposed landscapes, producing a building that emerges fluidly from its surroundings. A building that flows upwards, which is both open and spacious despite the constricted space that it occupies.

The IFI was established as a neutral, dynamic, civil, and open space where people representing all viewpoints in society can gather and discuss significant issues, anchored in a long-standing commitment to mutual understanding and high quality research. The institute aims to harness, develop and initiate research of the Arab world to enhance and broaden debate on public policy and international relations. It currently works on several programs addressing the region’s issues including the refugee crisis, climate change, food security, and water scarcity, youth, social justice and development, urbanism, and the UN in the Arab world.

Relocating the infirmary closer to the new university hospital presented AUB with the opportunity to build the institute on the constrained site with a 7 metre drop in elevation between its south and north boundaries. The existing AUB campus combines buildings constructed in concrete throughout the 20th Century in a variety of revivalist and modernist styles with different cladding and rendering treatments.

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