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Arab Center for Architecture (ACA)

National Network: 
Lebanon
Address: 
Mrad Bldg., 7th floor, Selim Rustom Baz street, Ashrafieh
Beirut 1100
Lebanon
Telephone: 
+961-3-359935
Telephone (other): 
+961-3-209226
Organisation Type: 
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment: 
2008
Fields of Activity: 
General Information: 

Founded in 2008 in Beirut, and registered with the Lebanese Ministry of Interior of Lebanon under number 171/2008, the Arab Center for Architecture (Association for the preservation and dissemination of modern Lebanese and Arab built heritage) is a non-profit organization addressing modern urban design, architecture, design, and planning in the Arab world. Its board members are: George Arbid (president), Nada Assi, Fouad El Khoury, Bernard Khoury, Hashim Sarkis, Amira Solh, Jad Tabet. ACA presently employs, on part time basis, a project manager, a documentalist and a number of architects and architecture students engaged in the digitizing activity. The ACA is currently collaborating in a project on "strengthening capacities in the cultural world" funded by the EU and the Heinrich Boll Foundation in partnership with many associations working in the field of modern archives. Seminars, trainings, publications, exhibitions and conferences are among the main activities developed by the center.

Mission and Objectives: 

The aim of ACA is to raise awareness about architecture and urbanism within civil society. Its ambition is to provide a public forum for debating the present and future of architecture and cities. ACA wishes to develop the cultural value of architecture and design and the recognition of the social impact it has on urban regeneration, building communities, education and vocational development. ACA considers that it is insufficient to dwell on past glories and not recognize the value of our more recent heritage. By understanding the value of modern architecture, design and the built environment, society is far more capable of developing a contemporary image of itself. The recent development of architecture in the Arab world calls for a platform to discuss issues pertaining to the built environment. A growing interest in the cultural importance of architecture, along with a lack of professional and public awareness, testifies to such a need. Lebanon, where the ACA office is based, serves as a perfect example of a country lacking the needed infrastructure and debate, which in turn undermines the economic and social impact of architectural activity. An unprecedented initiative in Beirut, ACA aims to act as a reference point for ideas and debates; a platform for the professional community and other sectors of society.

Main Projects / Activities: 

Besides its constant efforts in collecting, archiving, and developing its database, ACA is currently engaged in many activities, namely: • The establishment of a research center, with assistance from the European Commission and the Heinrich Böll Foundation for equipment purchasing and staff training • Participation in MoHO (Modern Heritage Observatory), in partnership with the Arab Image Foundation, IRAB and the Cinémathèque de Tanger, with the support of the European Commission & the Heinrich Böll Foundation www.modernheritageobservatory.org • Participation in the experts group created by UNESCO “Patrimoine des modernités dans le monde arabe” • The creation of a Lebanese Chapter of Docomomo (accepted at the 12th International Docomomo Conference in Finland, August 2012) • The elaboration of a guide on Modern Architecture in Beirut • An exhibition of archives related to Modern Architecture in Lebanon • Organizing,in collaboration with the MoHO platform, the first edition of the International Archives Day 2013

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?: 

ACA is a pioneer organization in the field of the preservation of architectural archives. Its board members are all committed in increasing knowledge and awareness regarding modern architecture in Lebanon and the Arab World at large. ACA is ready to organize events, publish books, advocate for the protection of modern heritage and facilitate training to persons interested in the preservation and digitalization of archives. ACA can also promote cultural tourism. ACA can give access to its database and archives for students from allover the world and play the role of a research center. ACA needs as well to benefit from trainings in Europe in order to increase its know-how.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?: 

In order to preserve and promote Arab modern architecture, the Arab Center for Architecture is always seeking knowledge and know-how in the various fields related to its activities. The Anna Lindh Foundation offers great opportunities for transnational collaboration between countries and institutions that share common history and mission.