In the Mix

Architects for Beirut

Wava Carpenter

Announcing our latest charitable initiative to benefit on-the-ground efforts to restore buildings and public spaces in Beirut

Art, design, and architecture lovers around the world hold Beirut—its beauty and the wellspring of creativity that flows from it—in their hearts. The city's intense suffering this year has spurred many to act.

Today, in partnership with esteemed members of the international architectural community, we’re launching a new charitable initiative: Architects for Beirut, a shoppable collection of 100+ original architectural drawings and artworks donated by 90+ renowned and rising star architects. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Beirut Urban Lab, a collaborative, interdisciplinary research space within the American University of Beirut School of Architecture, which is spearheading on-the-ground efforts to restore buildings and public spaces in Beirut following the devastating and historic blast at the city’s port in August.

The outpouring of generosity from donors around the world has been humbling, and we’re grateful to all those who have shared their time, talent, and tributes to Beirut.

L'Archeologia Fenicia a Beirut Sketch & Collage by Renzo Piano. Photo © Renzo Piano Building Workshop

From Ieva Saudargaitė Douaih’s photograph of a lone man diving into the Mediterranean Sea during a sandstorm that cloaked the city of Beirut in a yellow haze—“the same sea that swallowed most of the energy of the August 4th blast, as well as the city’s other tragedies and secrets—to Lina Ghotmeh’s hand drawn Stone Gardens Tower, a building ten years in the making, inspired by the city’s history and war-torn cityscape, itself hit by the August blast; to Sir David Adjaye’s lithographic depiction of his newly designed Abrahamic Family House, an interfaith complex in Abu Dhabi that will contain a church, mosque, and synagogue, intended to encourage “peaceful coexistence and acceptance,” the donated works are diverse, powerful, and poetic. They remind us of art’s ability to reflect moments in time and, in this case, to collectively respond to an urgent moment. We hope you’ll find the empathy and creativity demonstrated in this initiative as inspiring as we do.

Abrahamic Family House Unique Gold Leaf Lithograph by Sir David Adjaye. Photo © Adjaye Associates

Read on for tributes from a selection of our incredible contributors.

“Beirut is close to my heart. I have fond memories of the city and the people. Like many, I want to be a part of the rebuilding effort.... So this is a token of my love for the city and the people of Lebanon. From the ashes of destruction like Phoenix, Beirut will rise again.” —Marina Tabassum, Dhaka, Bangladesh

“Since the suffering of Beirut—including its beautiful people—I live in anxiety everyday not knowing if I can ever go back home to my motherland. I donate this work to help fight evil and support the beautiful soul of Beirut.” —Wael Al Awar, Dubai, UAE

“The Beirut explosion was a trauma that has been felt in cities around the world. Regardless of one's connection—or lack of a connection—to Beirut, countless people shared a sense of shock and deep loss from the calamity. The event raised an awareness of our shared responsibilities, as well as the social contract, of living together in a city…” —Phu Hoang & Rachely Rotem of MODU, Brooklyn, New York

Madrid Combination Diptych Lithograph by Thom Mayne with Brandon Welling, Ung-Joo Scott Lee, Mike Nesbit; donated by the Alison-Mayne Family Trust. Photo © Alison-Mayne Family Trust

“There are around 250,000 domestic workers in Lebanon, a large number of which come from Ethiopia. They have been laid off or displaced since the explosion at Beirut's port. We are donating this work… to help with the recovery effort and to support their safe journey back home.” —Emanuel Admassu & Jen Wood of AD—WO, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

“We submit this drawing to help fund the reconstruction of Beirut—a simple prayer for the restoration of daily routine for residents of the city and their future peace and safety.” —Toshiko Mori, New York, New York

“Prairie Avenue Residence directly evolved out of a close friendship with my client, who is Lebanese. It marks a fruitful point of connection found through a shared appreciation for design and culture. Traveling to Beirut last summer deepened my understanding and appreciation of the people and history of the region, and I was deeply saddened by the events of this year...” —Rene Gonzalez, Miami, Florida

Thank you again to all those who have responded so graciously to this initiative. 

Shop the full collection here. ◆


Social Topography, a one-of-a-kind collage by Tatiana Bilbao. Photo © Tatiana Bilbao


This charity sale runs now through 9pm EST, November 17, 2020.

Architects for Beirut was organized thanks to Reem Acra, Sean Anderson, Amale Andraos, Barry Bergdoll, Giovanna Borasi, Stephen Burks, Hiba Bou Akar, Aric Chen, Farès el-Dahdah, Makram el Kadi, Rodolphe el-Khoury, Lina Ghotmeh, Maxine Griffith, Ziad Jamaleddine, Prem Krishnamurthy, Andres Lepik, Nicolai Ouroussoff, Terence Riley, Zoë Ryan, Hashim Sarkis, Nader Tehrani, and Karen Wong.

This project is the second in Design Miami/’s ongoing series of charitable initiatives in collaboration with Anava Projects, intended to raise funds for urgent causes and support design for good. Design Miami’s debut initiative, Design for GlobalGiving, raised over $30,000 for GlobalGiving’s COVID-19 Relief Fund during summer 2020.