Cedar Mountain Resort

Credits:
Partner in Charge: Youssef Mallat
Architect in Charge: Joy Traboulsi, Richard Kassab
Team: Danny Arakji, Samer Bazzi, Sandra Richani, Toufic Dagher

Project Description:

The Cedars of Lebanon are a popular tourist destination, but the region is underdeveloped. The client intends to boost tourism in this remote area of the Cedars with exclusive residential chalets, a restaurant and a family hotel, eventually expanding the ARZ1 project to include a luxury hotel, spa and a gated community.

Set on 115,000 m2 of sloping land, the plot offers a brilliant view of the mountains and the Qadisha Valley. From one side, the u-shaped vista reveals the mountain range; from the other, the valley mystically materializes. 

Rather than confining the program to one location, the approach was strategic, designating each function its ideal spot and allocating the remaining space to private users without disrupting the project’s flow. This ensures the entire site can be activated and that all plots will retain maximum value.

Public functions
Two hills exist in the center of the site and to integrate the project into the landscape, 109 Architectes is inhabiting the hills with a hotel. Acting as a bridge connecting two knolls, a band-like structure forms hotel rooms. The void beneath it shapes the hotel lobby.

Near the hotel, a restaurant takes form beneath a pitched wooden roof. The roof unites a succession of diverse interior and exterior spaces, each offering a unique experience.

Chalets
The plots were divided and sold for private homes, and 109 Architectes was commissioned to design chalets for the development’s owners. Given the natural environment and our introduction of Swiss architecture to Lebanon in 2002, the client requested the project have a Swiss influence. We began with the functionality of the Swiss chalet, a box covered in a pitched roof that protects it from the elements.

But Swiss chalets are typically set atop the landscape, with little intervention on the land. The Lebanese inhabiting the Cedars were historically famers, their spirits and houses connected deeply to the land. The project marries both concepts to create a Swiss chalet integrated into its surroundings.

Additional functions
Project extension plans include multi-family chalets that encircle a natural pond. A youth inn will attract young people to the area with comfortable lodging and outdoor activities. The touristic gem of the project is a luxury hotel and spa in a secluded location that lends an element of magic.

The diversity of functions, and the people they attract, secure the project’s position as a thriving, independent community in the heart of Lebanon’s Cedars.


Collaborators:

Renders: Tony Antoun
Factsheet:
Location: Cedars
Client: Sedrar
Project area: 10000 m2
Year: 2013-2014
Project status: In Progress;