A transparent canopy, olive trees reaching as high as 20 meters, steel beam scaffolding and a decades-old residential structure: this is the story of Enab’s architecture.

Enab, which specializes in Lebanese cuisine, was built inside a 1920’s home in the Beirut neighborhood of Mar Mikhael.

“It wasn’t easy,” says the architect behind the project, Joseph Chartouni. “We decided to leave the existing structure of the building untouched [and] co-extend our design [to fit] within the urban void.”

The project works as a transition piece, moving customers from the street level to the backyard area; from the grittiness of the urban jungle to the greenness of an outdoor patio.

In addition to the spacious backyard area, Enab also hosts an indoor space for dining, which features vintage tables, wooden chairs, funky lighting fixtures, and a stone wall facade. The interior decoration is mainly inspired by vintage Lebanese homes, with soft pastel colors emanating from the walls.

“The idea was to take the restaurant a step further from other Lebanese restaurants and turn it into a dining experience where clients would actually feel the homey atmosphere we created, and reminisce while dining,” says Chartouni.

The restaurant was designed with an open floor plan in mind, so that from the moment the customer enters, he or she has a clear view of nearly the entire place. Chartouni explains, “We had to surgically cut the stone out and make room for the openings in the wall. It was a critical process, structure-wise.”

“In the process of surgically slicing out the stone walls, the rooms had to be reinforced by jacketing the perimeter of all internal walls in order to protect the building… with a thick steel frame,” the architect adds.

Chartouni’s strategy of building a strong, permanent reinforcement for the structure means the decades-old architecture of the restaurant will be preserved for years to come.

With a space that hosts 300 seats in a 500 square meter complex, the restaurant is truly an inspiration for foodies and architecture-lovers alike.

Enab: A Story in Architecture

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Check out the Beirut.com profile for Enab here http://www.beirut.com/l/14403 The restaurant is on Armenia Street in Mar Mikhael... about 300 meters past Kahraba Lubnan

Angie Nassar on Sep 8, 2012 via web
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That looks amazing. Where in Beirut is this place? When I used Google Map, it showed me the sea port.

Omar Alikaj on Sep 8, 2012 via web