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The Rashid Karami International Fair Complex in Tripoli is of major economic significance both locally and nationally because of its role in he progressive recovery of the national economy following the Civil War. The purpose of the Fair is to identify and to illustrate the wide range of Lebanese, Arab, and foreign products available in the country and to inform commercial and industrial interests of the progress made in reestablishing the various parts of the national economy.

The following are four objectives of the Fair:

_To illustrate the continuously expanding state of the economy in terms of commerce, industry,and agriculture.

_To provide an opportunity to strengthen the Lebanese trade , industry, and agriculture and to further develop economic relations with other countries.

_To present various characteristics of the Lebanese culture in order to encourage international investment in the country and the use of available and developing facilities.

_ To encourage commercial relations between Lebanese, Arab, and foreign exports.

The site is located 15km from the central business district of Tripoli and 600m from the seashore. The total area of the Fair site is approximately 100 ha, of which will be used for the exhibition buildings and display areas. An area of 36 ha will be used for landscaping and gardens and will provide parking spaces for 2000 cars.  Top


The portico’s pavilion is divided into two floors, an upper level and an intermediate level. Both levels are based on an open plan layout. The upper level was supposed to house the service center for exhibitions, buyers, and visitors. The lower level was planned as a rest area with toilets, lockers, and writing desks. Both levels have the same width. The lower level is two and a half times longer than the upper one. They are connected by two staircases.

All external finishes are in fair-faced concrete. Finishes inside the pavilion are mainly white marble of the upper floor , terrazzo for the lower floor , and white emulsion paint for the ceilings. Structural elements are in fair-faced concrete. Walls are faced with bricks. Fenestration frames are in aluminum .

The Basement Floor Gross Area is 825sqm approx., the Ground Floor Gross Area is 363sqm, the Desk and Ramp Gross Area is 2400sqm.     Top


The Main Exhibition Space is the features that give to the Fair its uniqueness. Neimeyer’s intention was to join all of nations in one pavilion while spotlighting the host country. The boomerang-shaped cover stretches 640m in length and 70m in width and is supported by two rows of columns placed 45m from each other. The distance between two columns is 17m.

The boomerang is in fact an arc of 300m with straight stretches of 170m in length at both ends .

Rest area should separate the arc from the straight elements where cafeterias and sitting spaces were supposed to be located.

The roof is open in an eye shape over these areas. Toilet clusters are located at the same level; however, they are placed outside the roof. The number of toilets should be sufficient for forecasted 50,000 visitors per day.    Top


The Guest House is only one floor high and completely introverted.

Exterior walls have no windows; only the entrance door and some service doors have windows. The Main Entrance located on the north facade leads to a central space. A restaurant that seats 100 people is located on the south side. A variety of functions surrounds this space. The Atrium is open to the sky.

On the east side , there are 14 VIP hotel rooms with a terrace and a garden . information desks, telephone booths, and the reception are also located in that space. Other services such as hairdressers, toilets , laundry facilities , and the restaurants kitchen are on the west side. There is a partial basement under the service area for the machine rooms and laundry services.

The supporting structure of the roof is extroverted to recall the shape of Mediterranean bungalows.

Structural elements run in a south north direction. Finishes on the exterior as well as on the interior walls are rather dark because of the use of bushhammer dark cement or local Grey volcanic stone.

All glazed windows are framed in aluminum .ceilings are covered with emulsion paint .only a few spaces have suspended ceilings.

The Basement Floor Gross Area is 640 sqm approx., the Ground Floor Gross Area is 2950sqm, and the Total Gross Area is 3590sqm approx.   Top


The Lebanese pavilion represents Neimeyer’s modern interpretation of the Lebanese architecture. The plan, which is a square that recalls the shape and overall plan of typical Lebanese house, is divided into an ambulatory along the four sides with a main core.the ambulatory is defined to the exterior by screens of light arches , an interpretation of the Lebanese arch , dipping their base in the surrounding reflective water pool. A screen of glass framed with steel and divided into regular patterns defines the main core on the four sides. Visitors use a concrete –paved passage to cross the water pool to reach the ambulatory and then to enter to the main core at a split level. The higher level is accessed by a large ramp on the right-hand side, and the lower level is accessed by a flight of stairs on the left-hand side. The upper and lower level are connected with a staircase. At the entrance , a marble-finished wall acts as a balustrade for the split level. Toilets are located on the lower level and in the basement under the split level of the entrance.

External finishes are all in fair-faced concrete. Inside the split level and the upper level , floors and walls are finished with marble. The basement floor gross area is 175m approx. , and the mezzanine floor gross area is 300m , the bridge floor gross area is225 sqm, the floors gross area is 1225sqm approx. And the total gross area is 1925 sqm approx.   Top


The Experimental Theatre , which was originally designed as a flexible theatre layout , has a circular rotating scene. It is covered by a concrete shell cupola. At the southeast side , a staircase leads to the main entrance and to the atrium of the theatre , which is , located at the basement level. The atrium is open to the upper floor ; public toilets are located on both sides of the atrium. A staircase leads to the seating area. The number of seats is approximately 1000. A bar, an office, and toilets are located opposite the atrium at the upper level of the ground floor plan. Four exit doors are located at the four cardinal points of the same level.

Another staircase opposite to the main one leads backstage and to service areas where changing rooms , toilets , showers , and electrical and mechanical rooms are located.

The basement floor gross area is 1777sqm approx. The ground floor gross is 3023 sqm and the total gross area is 4800 sqm approx.

N.B: the description of the Rashid Karameh International Fair Complex , is not limited to the physical description of the buildings and the other structures of the complex in their current state.  Top

Text Reference : PERSPECTIVE Magazine

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WB01444_.gif (299 bytes)

WB01444_.gif (299 bytes) Entrance
WB01444_.gif (299 bytes) Main Exhebition Space
WB01444_.gif (299 bytes) Guest house
WB01444_.gif (299 bytes) Lebanese Pavillon
WB01444_.gif (299 bytes) Experimental Theatre
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