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LAU Jbeil Campus, Lebanon

88,000 SF Library/Gallery/ Administration Complex with 47,000 SF Landscaped Grounds

Passive Design Features and LEED Gold

IBC and ADA compliant

Completed 2019

Believed to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, the city of Jbeil (Byblos) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The Lebanese American University commissioned APT to design two new buildings: a new library and a central administration on a previously excavated site on its Jbeil Campus. 


Jbeil is the place of the earliest Phoenician inscriptions, dating from 11th century BC. The Phoenicians, as the greatest ancient world seafarers and traders, understood the importance of an efficient and global communication system.


APT’s design extends beyond the client initial request by adding an amphitheater nestled into the strikingly unorthodox site. Leveraging the difference in levels between the Campus and the excavated site, we designed the amphitheater between the two buildings with the exposed sedimentary rock as a backdrop revealing the stratification of time.


The stepped amphitheater will serve as an informal gathering space, to reflect alone and as seating during performances. It will also strengthen the connection between the Net Café and the Gallery in the new buildings with the existing Campus Green. The stage is defined by a reflecting pool against the mountain. The stage, the gallery and the exterior net café’ seating are an integral part of the fully accessible public space sequence of the library and administration buildings.

Passive design features inspired from the local typology are incorporated into the design: the open space between the two buildings allows the prevailing winds from the southwest to ventilate the amphitheater and create a cooler “zone” along the stage and pool.

Selected Publications/Exhibits


AIANY New York/New World group exhibit – New York, NY - October 2013


AIANY CHANGE: Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000-Present group exhibit – New York, NY – February 2012


APT ARCHITECTURE (Pagnamenta Torriani) is the design architect for the project, and RELK&P are the Consulting Engineers/Architects of Record.

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