Dubai 2019 – Beirut and Milan-based T Sakhi Architects has created WAL(L)TZ, the Lebanese Pavilion for this year’s edition of ‘Abwab’, Dubai Design Week’s annual curated platform. The interacting structure invites visitors to explore the concept of the wall as a physical and psychological construct, addressing Lebanon’s socio-political climate in recent years.
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The pavilion consists of a 15-meter linear wall – one that is overwhelmingly present, yet porous. Seeking to overcome the perception of the rigid structure as a barrier, WAL(L)TZ is crafted in recycled foam, throughout which cracks, “loopholes” and other happenings are playfully interspersed, thereby encouraging audiences to connect and interact through – and in spite of – the wall.
“WAL(L)Z transforms the wall into an activator for awareness and sociability” explain sisters and cofounders Tessa and Tara Sakhi. The visitor, turned performer, finds himself taking part in a choreographed protest, a reinterpreted waltz – “one that reflects the voices rising against oppression in Lebanon – and globally – today”.
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The pavilion echoes a Lebanese society congested with physical walls, seeded throughout its urban infrastructure and public spaces. Moving beyond its materiality, the project also delves into the wall’s psychological and emotional dimension.
“WAL(L)TZ represents the act of resilience in overcoming any obstacle and transforming it for constructive change. We see the project as a platform for bodies to reconnect and interact with each other – finally reuniting them.”
Based in Milan and Beirut, T SAKHI is a hybrid multidisciplinary architecture and design studio cofounded in 2016 by Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa and Tara Sakhi. Questioning contemporary understandings of identity, memory and living, T SAKHI draws from the emotional and psychological experience of space, often through sensorial synergies.
All photos: courtesy of T Sakhi Architects.
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