Nadim Karam- an artist and architect working from Beirut- initially trained in architecture at the American University of Beirut then earned a doctorate in architecture from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He has recently finished building his own workshop, A.MUSE.UM in the Lebanese mountains, which will be also used as a platform for art, research and exhibitions.

With Atelier Hapsitus, the pluri-disciplinary group he founded in 1996, he has realized temporary and permanent urban interventions in cities worldwide Prague, Beirut, Melbourne, Tokyo, Nara, London, Kuwait and Yerevan, using public art as an instrument for urban stimulation. Based on a cross-fertilization of disciplines and nationalities, the twenty-year-old practice has a multidisciplinary composition, which feeds into the experimental nature of its work. He has held academic positions in Tokyo and Beirut, gives lectures internationally and has published several books.

Inspired by the nomads whose travels followed the borderless movement of clouds, The Cloud of Dubai is a landscape-in-the-sky, a public garden in visual antithesis to the sum of skyscrapers spreading over the city.

The Elephant City-Diagram- The idea of a moving city was born. The elephant becomes a moving living machine, a carrier of a new kind of urbanity.

His research focuses on the conviction that cities need to dream; he re-examines contextual issues with global significance and relevancy, and his work engages in enhancing perceptions of pluralism and difference within a society as a source of enrichment rather than a reason for conflict. Karam considers that the role of the artist is to provoke this dream by injecting art into still structures and urban contexts. He says that “[in the city] Memories of the past were shaped into cultures. It is up to us to sustain the stories of the past and create new stories that fuse with the unique sounds, views, smells, tastes and textures of our cities.”

Winner of the BLC Headquarters competition, 2011

Nadim Karam was selected in 2002 by the UN as co-chairman of the conference on the reconstruction of Kabul and by the first Rotterdam Biennale as the curator for Lebanon. The artist has been commissioned to create large-scale urban art installations for cities across the globe and has participated in international biennales. He has received many awards; in 2002 for The Archaic Procession project in Beirut, which was one of five selected worldwide by the Van Alen Institute in New York to highlight the role they played in the rejuvenation of city life and morale after a disaster. He also received awards for his 2006 work commissioned by Victoria State and the city of Melbourne, The Travelers, which recounts the story of the Aborigines and of the migrants in Melbourne.

Hiatus- Karam’s approach in this proposed project is to engage with the highway through the façade expression, gain access to sea and mountain views through the large balconies, and create a vertical gap garden to link the Zokak El-Blat hill to the sea.

A.MUSE.UM interior space- The Muse has been designed as an inverted architecture and integrated landscape, bringing back the terraces and emphasizing the old architecture of the traditional house above it.