Ghaith & Jad build brass rod installation
inside Beirut boutique

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Interconnected brass poles loop over hooks on the walls and ceiling of this Beirut boutique by Lebanese architects Ghaith & Jad to form a suspended clothes rail (+ movie).

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

Ghaith Abi Ghanem and Jad Melki of Ghaith & Jad designed the retail space for Starch – a non-profit organisation that supports emerging Lebanese designers.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

"As architects doing an interior, we wanted to move away from the typical conception of a boutique and try to bring forth the identity of the foundation," the designers told Dezeen.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

"We wanted to create a dynamic space that holds infinite identities, therefore the idea of creating non-static entities in the space came to exist," they said.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

Ghaith & Jad installed a grid of 186 hooks across the ceiling and down the walls of the all-white interior.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

Brass cubes with hollow, circular centres were screwed onto each end of 27 brass rods. These allowed the rods to be latched onto the hooks and each other, forming an interconnected clothing rail that can be regularly reconfigured.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

"We took the basic hanger into a more spatial dimension that lead us to create structures from a single module, giving a three-dimensional web of hangers," said the designers.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

"By that we achieved our objective of an ever-changing space through designing a tool that allows us to reconfigure its form and the display of clothes instantly," they added.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

Clothes hangers can be hung through small holes punctured in the brass rods, or over the tops of the rails.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

Square-shaped pedestals have also been positioned beneath the rails, creating extra space for displaying folded clothes and other accessories.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad

A large bulbous light is strung on a length of rope in front of the store's rear wall, able to be raised or lowered via a pulley system of two balancing concrete weights. Additional spotlights allow light to be focused on specific areas or items.

Photography is by Basel Abi Hanna. Movie is by Christian Moussa.

Read on for more text from Ghaith & Jad:


Starch Boutique

Ghaith & Jad Architecture and Design, unveiled their new design of the Starch boutique in Saifi Village, 1051 Quartier des Arts, Beirut, Lebanon.

To inhabit, is to live in or occupy a space or environment. Yet, there is more to living within than there is to mere existing. It is only when the inhabitant occupies a space in a particular way and under particular circumstances, that opportunities to rebuild the narrative of the space start to appear, turning what is mundane into events.

Starch clothing boutique in Beirut by Ghaith and Jad
Floor plan - click for larger image

Approach

Based on the foundation's ever changing identity of designers, different entities start to invade a designed platform of possibilities. These current settlers seek to live within the space and begin to break from a frozen existence into a multitude of choreographed chapters, keeping the space alive and never dormant.

The boutique features a spatial installation of 27 brass members that slide along each other and hook to 186 wall/ceiling-bound hooks. These members on which the clothes are displayed, float over pedestals on a rough white floor, both made of casted plaster. With these contrasting elements of mass and outline comes a 1.1m spherical light source that moves in the space along the back wall, held by two balancing concrete counterweights.

All these elements react within the limits of the space and become a family of inhabitants; a family that turns space into place, place into playground, and playground into starch. Making starch this year not only a store but also a spatial installation that communicates with this year's designers, while creating a surreal atmosphere of a million identities.