Sursock 14th floor. Art collector's Beirut home, Lebanon

 Apartment overlooks the port of Beirut

Architecture & Interior Design: Karim Nader Studio
Project Design Team: Karim Nader and Lama Rafeh
Photos  ©  Walid Rashid

Karim Nader Studio:

In January 2022, on the 14th floor of the "Domes de Sursock" tower, a large and well-lit apartment overlooks the port of Beirut for the second time. A Beirut family, with an assemblage of artworks and artifacts of some age, emotional value, and narrative complexity, wishes to explore the contrast between the collection and a decisive sense of contemporary minimalism. However, it will also be an opportunity to reflect on that "look back" at the port that remains the main view from the flat, despite its remarkable state of ruin.

The collection is very wide and it will be necessary to make a careful selection to be able to fully appreciate a chosen object, but above all, and in accordance with the client's desire, to breathe through a certain white void in every corner.

We select:
- 6 Utamaru Prints
- 9 paintings by Lebanese masters of the 20th century
- 1 Chinese buffet
- "Three women watching" by Jean Jansem.
- 2 large Aubusson tapestries in delicate condition
- 2 Chinese screens, 6 panels each, floral front, village life background
- 4 screen prints by Salvador Dalí representing the 4 seasons
- 3 early 20th century gilded nesting tables
- Small table circular Chinese centerpiece inlaid with mother-of-pearl
- 2 small blue and white Chinese rugs
- A Lalique vase with dancing bacchantes in amber
- White marble sculpture of a group of dancing angels, medium size.
- Metal sculpture of Don Quixote with his spear, medium size.

The exercise is a game of composition and balance around three poles: items by Lebanese designers, pieces of contemporary European minimalist furniture, and one or two objects from the collection.

When the gold leaf of a coffee table on wheels is juxtaposed against a leather armchair with shiny bronze legs, a new kind of excitement is possible. It is this desire to make the object reappear in a vacuum that makes the floor breathe. And if the three women in Jansem's painting seem to look at the port with their forlorn faces through the now-repaired large window, the bar of a Thomas Trad will continue to be an invitation to the joy of today.

In the lobby, the dining room, the fireplace area, the library, the bar, the family room, the massage room, each of the rooms, an object will radiate its aura on the white walls, ceilings and floors of the vast apartment slightly enhanced by the presence of contemporary furniture and objects by Lebanese designers. Karina Sukar, Ounovis, Thomas Trad, Karim Nader, L'Inconnu, will dialogue with Catellani & Smith, Living Divani, Cassina, Poltrona Frau, Natuzzi in a delicate balance with the delicacy of a Utamaru print, now framed in gunmetal graphite, two tapestries by Aubusson on a large hanging system, the Dancing Angels statue on a white cylindrical base with a gilded Catellani & Smith stick and a Lalique vase on a concrete table

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