Bernard Khoury

Young Bauhaus Research Colloquium




Bernard Khoury

Architect, Beirut

Bernard Khoury studied architecture at the Rhode Island school of Design (BFA 1990 / B.Arch 1991). He received a Masters in Architectural Studies from Harvard University (M.Arch 1993). In 2001, he was awarded by the municipality of Rome the honourable mention of the Borromini Prize given to architects under forty years of age. In 2004, he was awarded the Architecture + Award. He is the co-founder of the Arab Center for Architecture. He was a visiting professor at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, L’Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris and the American University of Beirut. He has lectured and exhibited his work in prestigious academic institutions in Europe and the US including a solo show of his work given by the International Forum for Contemporary Architecture at the Aedes gallery in Berlin (2003) and numerous group shows including YOUprison at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2008) and Spazio at the opening show of the MAXXI museum in Rome (2010). He was the co-curator and architect of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national pavilion at the Venice Biennale’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition in 2014. His work has been extensively published by the professional press. Khoury started an independent practice in 1993. Over the past fifteen years, his office has developed an international reputation and a significant diverse portfolio of projects both locally and abroad.

Local Heroes

Local Heroes are not superheroes.
They are the valiant mercenaries who protect my grounds.
I searched for them here and everywhere; from the cities of the collapsing Arab nations to those where the cathedrals were white.
Those bitter territories are the marvellous and playful grounds on which I construct my optimism, the last enclaves where meaningful convalescences are still possible.
Local Heroes are rooted in very specific political grounds.
They are not the protected citizens of any comfortable nation.
They own the streets that others walk through cautiously.
They do not belong to any familiar place.
Their places escape all consensual definitions of territory.
They do not fit in the undisputed and often simplified histories of their time.
They are the proud romantics who fearlessly resist the cynicism of the wise.
The stories I tell do not frame any protagonist, any situation or any architectural act in any sort of tangible or immutable definitions. I am not interested in such definitions as much as I am not interested in the theoretical postures that produce them.
In my worlds of uncontrolled dissonance, I build alliances. Those are often contradictory ones. My heroes are not all cut from the same cloth.
As my stories unfold, I remain in the hope that I will not be afflicted with the censure of unscrupulous fraudulence.