Great pace: creamy concept store The Slow opens in Beirut
Lebanese architect Sari Kassouf opens concept store The Slow in Beirut, designed by Copenhagen-based studio Frama
Bali and Beirut might, at first blush, seem to have very little in common, apart from a pleasing alliterative ring or the whiff of a Raymond Chandler potboiler. But the Lebanese architect Sari Kassouf was so taken by a trip to the South-East Asian isle – its serenely bucolic pace of life, in particular – that he returned to Beirut determined to create a similarly evocative space that catered for slow human interactions around healthy, organic food, as well as a casual retail experience stocked with only sustainably sourced products.
The result is The Slow, a soothing creamy concept store containing shop, organic café, working and gallery space, meeting room and terrace on the ground floor of a former café in Mar Mikahel, a neighbourhood marked by lively streets and heaving with restaurants and bars.
Copenhagen-based studio Frama gutted the space right down to the internal walls, floors and windows and installed customized furniture, whilst pairing beige and lime washed walls with green concrete and marble table tops. Oiled pine and blackened detailing, meanwhile, create contrasting and repetitive patterns. The aim, the designers say, was to create ‘a calm atmosphere zoned for various activities from socializing and a quick coffee to a longer stay hang out’.
All of which creates a calm setting in which to slowly explore the restrained catalogue of sustainable brands from around the world, not least accessories and stoneware designed by Frama, Rotholz clothes, Seljak blankets, and Haeckel beauty products.
Khalil Badawi Street
Daven Wu is the Singapore Editor at Wallpaper*. A former corporate lawyer, he has been covering Singapore and the neighbouring South-East Asian region since 1999, writing extensively about architecture, design, and travel for both the magazine and website. He is also the City Editor for the Phaidon Wallpaper* City Guide to Singapore.
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