Beirut, Lebanon 2008

We were approached by Ayadina, an NGO that works in Nabaa Beirut, to look at the leftover space behind their offices. We proposed a multipurpose garden for the elderly to enjoy the outdoors.

On a strict budget, we designed shading trellises over seating benches and swings, like the “grape vines or areesh” of the villages, raised planters for the elderly to do some planting, Jasmine, Rosmery, etc. for the fragrance and Vinca, Bougainvillea, etc. for the color…

The project turns an unhealthy dumping ground into a small garden with swings, flowering plants and herbs typical of Beirut gardens. Preserving the existing trees, the project builds on what is there and negotiates spaces for sitting while making the entire garden accessible to all.

The project  will also be an incentive for the owner to refurbish  the elevations and raise the profile of the area becoming a pilot project for the many left over places in the city Raised planters offer an opportunity for the elderly to plant and care for the garden themselves. Swings and a roundabout offer the elderly an opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, share a laugh and make friends. Have you ever seen anyone frowning on a swing?