Issam Fares Institute. Lebanon, Beirut
Winning Project for the 2016 Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
The IssamFares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at AUB is now based in its new permanent home by architect Zaha Hadid. Developed with the support of a generous donation by former Deputy Prime Minister Issam Fares, the 3,000-square-meter building represents AUB’s ambitions into the 21st century.
“This building asserts confidently that we are not a university that stays rooted in time and place; rather we challenge conventional thinking and actively promote change and new ideas,”
said AUB President Peter Dorman.
“However scintillatingthespaceand however ambitious the Institute’s plans, none of this would have been possible without the forward- looking vision and unbounded generosity of the Institute’s namesake, His Excellency Mr. Issam Michael Fares,”
Founded in 2006, within AUB, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs has established itself as the leading academic think tank, producing original research related to regional issues and international affairs.
The independent institute develops, and initiates policy-related research. It is committed to increasing and deepening knowledge-production in and about the Arab region, and to creating a forum for the inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas among researchers, civil society actors, and policy-makers. It currently works on several programs addressing the region’s issues including, the refugee crisis, climatechange, food security,and water scarcity, youth, social justice and development, urbanism, and the UN in the Arab world.
Paying tribute to the visionary, Lebanon-loving, education-promoting and peace-building Issam Fares, AUB Chairman of the Board of Trustees Philip Khoury said, “It is this core ambition the desire to make a positive impact on society founded on research and education, that makes it so appropriate for the Issam Fares Institute at AUB to bear the name of Issam Fares.”
IssamFaresspokefromParisandwasrepresented byhisson,Michael, a member of the AUB Board of Trustees for over two decades, a successful investment manager, an active philanthropist, and co-founder and president of the Fares Foundation. Joining Michael Fares were his wife, Lara, and their children.
Zaha Hadid explained the design “interweaves the pathways, links, and views of the campus to create a forum for the exchange of ideas a center of interaction and dialogue at the heart of the university.”
Hadid added: “The design establishes the institute as a crossroads; a three-dimensional intersection and space for the University’s students, faculty, researchers and visitors to meet, connect and engage with each other and the wider community.... The Institute’s work looks to the future and challenges us all, enriching our understanding of the Arab world by expanding research and broadening debate.”