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Antoine Chaaya

Renzo Piano Building Workshop


  Architecture and Context

DATE: 04 MAY 2024 | TIME: 14.00 - 15.00

Regionalism, Critical Regionalism, and architecture in context are three different notions.

Despite the difference in‐between some similarities remain.

I choose to talk more about Architecture and Context, which is more general notion, with a quite wide

range of components that comes into play and goes beyond the appearances, the formal aspect of a

building, so that architecture is not only an exercise of style, but above all a real science.

To start it is important to understand what Architecture in Context does mean, and what context does


The context’s components could be:

  • Direct: Physically related to the site, such as Urban rules (Urban fabric), Local Code and Regulations,

Architectural (articulations, materials, colors), Environmental (site conditions, weather), Technical,


  • Indirect: Driven by a Cultural context, Anthropological, Historical, Social & Human, Archeological, or

even a Political, because Architecture, Urbanism and Politics are strongly connected.

Designing in harmony with the context, helps to connect the building to its several different environments,

and offers a real opportunity to create a meaningful architecture.



Architect DPLG based at Paris Office, Antoine Chaaya was born in Lebanon in 1960. He

studied architecture at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Lebanon. After

graduating, he joined the Paris office in 1987. He worked as a lead architect on a variety of

projects including the Kanak Cultural Center in New Caledonia and the Potsdamer Platz in


Since becoming a Partner in 1997, he has been the Partner in charge of other projects

including the “Il Sole 24 Ore” headquarters in Milan, The Broad Contemporary Art Museum

(BCAM) and The Resnick Pavilion at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New

Columbia University Manhattanville Campus with four academic buildings and a residential

tower, a residential project in Miami, the Headquarters of the SGBL Bank in Beirut, as well as

the Beirut City Museum. Currently, he is the Partner in charge of the Grand Hospital of Saint-

Ouen Paris Nord, Pathé Headquarters in Paris, and The Center For Arts and Innovation in

Boca raton , Florida USA.

Antoine was appointed member of the RPBW board in 2014.

He has been elected as a distinguished alumnus at USEK and was nominated as the patron of

the class of young architects 2017. He received a new distinction in 2018. He is also an

honorary member of the Lebanese Green Buildings Council (LGBC) and has been Inducted

into the Prestigious Marquis Who’s Who Biographical Registry in 2021. In 2024 he was

appointed Member of the Scientific Orientation Council of the Archidessa Chair,

Architecture, Design, Health.

He has lectured in France, Italy, Denmark, Lebanon, Canada, and the USA, including talks at

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, as well as the AIA – NY and Middle



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