The American University of Beirut (AUB) campus commands a striking location on a promontory jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. The upper campus has spectacular views of the sea while the middle campus consists of lush vegetation. The lower campus exists on a prominent location of the Beirut corniche. The campus master plan for the AUB, which was developed by Sasaki in close collaboration with Machado and Silvetti Associates, defines a two-decade vision for the physical development of its 24 hectare site. The master plan addresses matching the existing condition of the campus with the future needs of the campus community in an inspiring plan that will guide this world-class institution into the future and help advance its academic mission.
The master plan contains several key recommendations. The first provides appropriately sized, state-of-the-art facilities by renovating 120,000 square meters of existing buildings. The plan also preserves the function of the upper campus as the historic center of the campus by developing an overlook and creating a pedestrian promenade.
The master plan embraces the medical center—part of upper campus—through site improvements and building renovations, and makes recommendations for continuing renovation and development of the medical center to ensure that it remains a leader in the delivery of medical care. The plan also ensures the quality of the middle campus through landscape management, amplifying its importance on the campus with an active improvement program. The lower campus is transformed with the construction of the Hostler Recreation Center and the business school, totaling 30,100 square meters. Site improvements of plazas and pedestrian promenades in the lower campus create multiple interconnected centers. Finally, the plan creates pedestrian links among the academic, administrative, student life, and support facilities by locating parking on the perimeter and building defining pedestrian links.