Bernard Khoury
Lebanon’s radical architect – Beirut
2005 – Ongoing
  • ‘Local Heroes’ Book

In a 2006 New York Times article, Nicolai Ouroussoff refers to Bernard Khoury as “…the bad-boy architect of the Arab world.” All reputations are difficult to live up to (or ignore), but this one is particularly burdensome. Basically, bad boys don’t care; they float between non-conformity and veritable performance. It is not surprising then that when the widely celebrated Lebanese architect set out to publish his first book, he opted for a much more authored take on the conventional architectural monograph. He decided to infuse the content with a sizeable component dedicated to an ongoing narrative of identity, place and belonging that lies at the heart of a post-war generation. In a sense, Khoury’s story is everybody’s story, a very different reality from the predictable megalomania of a rock star architect. We ourselves were more than thrilled to take part in interpreting this chunk of history in which we all feel implicated. The publication design process was akin to storytelling: moving through people, places and times, and punctuating the bookscape with moments that are nothing short of spectacular. Veritable performance, probably. Non-conformity, most definitely. Bad boy, not so much.

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