Scar Tissue: Stitching the Divide - Reintegrating Beirut's Central District Into Public Life
Bou-Saleh, Wessam Samir
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This thesis examines the role of ruins and memory in triggering public ownership, and using them as a setting for programs that encourage inclusion, reconciliation, and interaction between different sectarian and social groups - specifically, the marketplace. Contemporary rebuilding and redevelopment aims to restore buildings to their pre-war state, erasing all evidence of violence; this is to project an image of modern stability and to attract wealthy foreign investment. Furthermore, redevelopment focussing on the historical downtown Central District physically and visually alienated the rest of the city, and highlights the social and sectarian divisions that resulted in civil war. Thus this thesis seeks to investigate how the reconciliation between the old and new could be translated into spaces that encourage social integration, reinforced by the preservation of ruins, and thus the collective memory of the populace.