Sustainable pay off: AUB

I visited my old college campus, American University of Beirut (AUB), in June this year and took a few quick shots of the Charles W. Hostler Students Center. Though the new center was opened to the public in May 2008, it was one of the shortlisted sites for the AGA KHAN AWARDS for ARCHITECTURE 2010, boasting of a simple contemporary, environment-friendly design that complements its surroundings. Though it did not win at the AKAA 2010, whose winners were announced on 24 November, it was voted in AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects of 2009.

Here's some more information on the project:

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and Lebanese mountains, the Charles W. Hostler Students Center was designed by Boston-based architectural firm Machado and Silvetti Associates as part of the Olayan Business School of the American University of Beirut.

The architects refer to their design as "based on the belief that the best surfaces for socializing and learning are to be found at the intersection of architecture, climate and behavior. The project is as much about human behavior, collegiate life, and even politics, as it is about questions of architectural form.."

Entirely smoke-free (very impressive for any Lebanese premises, kind of like trying to turn any part of Paris smoke-free), the center possesses an environment-friendly design that minimizes heat and cooling needs by recycling water, and employing energy-efficient lighting. Solar panels installed at the site heat the indoor pool and a green plant cover filled with landscaped vegetation maintains the coolness of the entire area during hot summer days.

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