Handle With Care By Annabel Karim Kassar

“A Restoration Story”

Photo Credit: colomeclier

“Handel With Care” is one of a kind project where the designer ANNABEL KARIM KASSAR announced an ambitious restoration project of a nineteenth century Ottoman mansion in Beirut, with an aim to preserve Beirut’s architectural past and turn in within two years to her private family house.

“I was living in this area when I saw this abandoned house. It was beautiful and yet neglected and nobody was taking care of it” said Annabell.

After years of trying to reach the owners and convince them to buy the house she was finally able to have it.

“The ideas of this exhibition is to “Handle with Care” the heritage, for it is so fragile and precious ” Annabel said, “One cannot conceive a future without turning back on the past” she added.

To raise awareness regarding this subject Annabel chose to participate in Beirut Design Week. She opened the doors of “Beit Kassar” to the people for them to admire the first reconnaissance of the renovation work in process by examining architectural details.

She also shared survey drawings, photos, models, materials, and techniques used at the time of the building’s construction in 1870 during a panel talk.

“I wanted to show the technical side as well, so people wouldn’t be afraid to do it themselves and give them the lead” she added.

“It is an occasion to communicate with people and let them visit and explore the house so they can feel and relate to it” said Kassar,”I hope to communicate with people increasingly and make them interested to do the same and preserve historic buildings” she added.

The completed space will be presented with an original take on modern living, with rooms arranged and furnished in a contemporary way. “It is important to me that we show not only the beauty of the historical architecture, but how well it can exist alongside our modern lives.”

The house is 750 square meters,  and each of the rooms diffuses a singular light from the pavements. The ground floor is composed of open-front shops, while the family resides in the two remaining spacious stories of the building, overlooking the street and gardens below.

AWARDS of Annabel Karim Kassar:

London Design Biennale 2016 1st Prize – Most exceptional design contribution for  Mezzing In Lebanon

German Design Awards 2016  Communication Design: Architecture for Al Zorah Pavilion

German Design Awards 2016  Communication Design: Fair and Exhibition for Camera Chiara pavilion

Iconic Awards 2015  Architecture – Event/Exhibition for the Camera Chiara pavilion

Iconic Awards 2015  Interior – Hospitality for the Almaz JBR by Momo

WAN AWARDS 2015 Camera Chiara shortlisted, Temporary Spaces Award 2015

Iconic Awards 2014  Architecture for the Al Zorah Pavilion

Prix de l’ACEtylène 2014 Nomination ‘’Projet Coups de Cœur’’ for the Souk Entertainment Center

International Property Awards 2010 Best Architecture project for Al Zorah Pavilion

International Property Awards 2010 Best interior design for hospitality project for Momo at the Souk


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