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16 INSIGHTS


T Sakhi PRACTICE PROFILE


A practice run by two sisters, T Sakhi is embracing the challenges as well as potential of their home city, Beirut, in order to make architectural interventions which help improve urban living in a difficult context


B


ased in Beirut and Milan, T Sakhi is an architecture and design studio co-founded by Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa and Tara Sakhi, whose stated aim is to produce “designs that provoke new modes of human interaction, questioning our contemporary understandings of identity and living.” The manifestations of this intriguing – and artistically interpreted – proposition have recently included a “series of urban interventions” across the formerly war-torn city the firm calls home. The project, called ‘Holidays in the Sun’ saw the firm making a similarly empowered stance to the ironic Sex Pistols song it alludes to, turning the metal security barriers seen all over Beirut into stools and housings for greenery.


The project was an attempt to bring some respite to the citizens of a city not only rife with political instability, but also unfinished construction projects. The practice notes: “The only real public spaces in Beirut are the streets; the city is over-constructed, congested with buildings and construction sites. There is barely any greenery for the citizens to enjoy or to feel free in their own city.”


T Sakhi’s work gives the local community a chance to engage with what public space there is.


Origins The firm’s genesis occurred “very organically,” says Tessa Sakhi. From their time studying for their degrees together, they have enjoyed collaborating on projects. “When our first client came to us (for an interior project), it was only natural to start working on it together. We haven’t stopped since then,” Tessa explains. A couple of projects later, in 2016, the sisters decided to set up their own studio, “while maintaining a flexibility for our common and separate interests.” Tara admits that their diverse range of skills – centred around architecture but extending into a myriad of creative endeavours – could be a double-edged sword: “In the beginning, people often asked us whether we were architects, designers or artists. Our response was we simply do what we love and what moves us. We are curious to intersect our different interests and watch the results.”


FLEETING HEARTS


A transportable structure transforms a Beirut seaside landmark into an open air club © Tony Elieh


HOLIDAYS IN THE SUN


A series of ‘urban interventions’ brought Beirut citizens greenery as well as furniture © Tony Elieh


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF NOVEMBER 2019


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