Partners: UN-Habitat Lebanon
Funding: UN-Habitat; Block by Block
This project aimed to rehabilitate and enhance the social activities on the stairs of St Nicholas, Vendome and Laziza in the neighbourhoods of Mar Mikhael and Gemmayzeh, Beirut. This was achieved by fixing damages, adding furniture, increasing play opportunities and improving accessibility.
Through a series of participatory workshops with the stairs users, the design for this project involved direct engagement with residents of these neighbourhoods with a focus on using Minecraft to co-design with youth.
The designs incorporated creative seating options spread along the stairs, in strategic locations, to enable the users to enjoy the social character of the stairs. A landmark shade structure and a stage were designed to facilitate social and cultural activities.
To increase accessibility, especially for the elderly residents, handrails were added. To make the stairs more playful, we integrated interactive sensory play items such as speaking pipes, rolling spheres and built a slide. We also added coloured tiles to create playful floor spaces for gathering and to bring a variety of colour to the staircases.
Once the construction was completed, we activated these public space interventions through community activities. These activities enhanced the community’s sense of belonging to the space and created opportunities for community building.
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