The Reappropriation of a Simple Form (2014)

The Reappropriation of a Simple Form is made in the framework of the Suspended Spaces project.1

The Reappropriation of a Simple Form starts from the idea of conflictual realities to be found in the historical as well as present sociopolitical contexts in which Oscar Niemeyer’s (unfinished) International Fair (1960’s) in Tripoli (North Lebanon) was realized. Since the outbreak of the civil war in Lebanon (1975) further construction had stopped, leaving the place like a huge empty lung (70 hectares / 175 acres) in a body of dense urban fabric. The International Fair was never used according to the functionality for which it was planned and designed. Its dysfunctional void and the archetypical architectural artefacts, illustrating the architect Niemeyer’s disciplinary maturity at that time, are no more than an exceptional bookmark of untouched modernist heritage. But in the same time, its museum-like appearance in a tense and troubled area in the Middle East, opens up questions relating its autotelic character.