karen madi


architecture
︎work
︎academia
design
︎product

︎furniture









2019

villa alma

with  paul kaloustian architect
conceptual work
several playful volumes are attached to each other without any doors to create a new housing typology where each function is given privacy and the minimum space required to be considered comfortable.








2019

pavilions




with paul kaloustian architect
conceptual work
conceptual pavilions exploring different dynamics between geomatry and nature.






2019

guaja pedestrian bridge




with paul kaloustian architect
competition

award
second prize winner



“the bridge is only a fitting landmark and a welcoming station if it truly heralds the rich natural environment of the gauja natural park. it must therefore contain this promise within its design and become a peaceful promenade between the existing trees creating a sense of poetry and wonder as a prelude of a walk in the forest and transform into a pier over the lake as a signal of the gauja river running free. the information stand welcomes the pedestrian visitor onto a smoothly ascending platform offering different paths which hold in them a sense of discovery. the cut out form of the bridge takes a natural flowing shape that offers overlooks and rest areas as the visitor moves through.

the shape also helps the wind to freely circulate around its curves. the mesh balustrades create a visually blurred boundary letting the elements of nature pass through it seamlessly and yet it keeps the visitor protected and safe within its boundaries. from the street, the visitor in a car will soon encounter an unusual white cloud hovering between sky and earth and beckoning their proximity to the majestic park. finally, the light structure sits with a minimal footprint over the white columns replicating the tree trunks and morphs in with the nature around it defying the usual nonplaceness of a bridge as simply a transient path between two points and becoming a actual space and a landmark.”










2017

la montre




with karim nader studio
under construction

location
beirut, lebanon
“yehya sells watches and jewelry. the move to a new location in verdun is the occasion to reflect on notions of time, spatial sequence and the cinematic.”






2018

edge effect: design for
eco-activism




final year thesis project
research, conceptual work

location
golan heights, syria

awards
AIA Middle East Design Award Distinguished Graduate Award

publication
read
the unique location of palestine at the junction of three continents, has made it the focus of political strife for many years. on the other hand, it has made this region a ‘bottleneck’ and a crossroad for bird migration, second to almost no other site in the world. research over the past decade has shown that about 500 million migrating birds fly over palestine’s narrow airspace. these birds also migrate over lebanon, jordan, and through egypt to africa.
located in banias, in the occupied syrian golan, the hermon stream reserve has become very popular for israeli and foreign tourists for its natural elements and ruins. banias is the arabic and modern hebrew name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the greek god pan.


this site became the starting point for my thesis project, titled edge effect: design for ecoactivism. my year long exploration first questioned and later on answered how architecture can be used to create a methodology for researching, surveying, representing, and eventually designing for occupied territories that are inaccesible, beginning with google earth as my first tool. the end result was a bird sanctuary that caters for migratory and resident birds, protecting them from low flying military planes, the surge of tourists, and hunters, while maintaining the natural heritage of the site.








2018

beirut performing arts center





design studio
conceptual work, model

location
lot 1132
downtown beirut, lebanon




the beirut performing arts center is proposed to be a central project that will become a unifying platform encouraging local performing arts (theater, dance, music). this project aims to bring back a strong local theater, housed in a central location in beirut, with supporting functions that can support local initiatives and artists.

it is a pivotal landmark, attracting both international and local performances, and highlighting central dance and theater companies in the country. the center aims to attract as well a young crowd of enthusiasts by enabling public outdoor spaces, informal practice areas and shared working areas.










2017

saga: a family affair




vertical studio II
conceptual work

location
lot 979

mar mikhael, lebanon

saga is the architectural exploration of the spaces and lives of a fictive lebanese family that includes parents, grandparents, grandchildren, cousins of several degrees, but also maybe drivers, gardeners and nannies...the members of this extended fictive lebanese family have multifarious spatial requirements. elaborating on a ‘made-up’ geneological tree, every student will spatialize those desires, in past, present, and future tenses.”