- 2nd year Master's 2016  / 2017 -

What is Time?

« You can not see, hear, touch or smell it, yet it governs our lives and everything around us. »

- Adam Hart Davis
Rendu Perspective 3D - Jennifer Kache


The absence of a presence, a ruin with many memories

When it comes to an abandoned place, many debates surface about its fate.

Should we keep it? destroy it? rebuild it identically?

This is a debate that is especially neglected in my country, Lebanon, knowing that we always favor the ease of destruction to the effort of preservation.

It is a country that has experienced various wars and crises, therefore in a perpetual struggle between its past and its present. It is for this reason that Lebanon chooses to create a new image of modernity by the destruction of these ruins.

In order to reflect these two facets of the country, mainly its state of existence with multiple scars and the architectural intervention aimed at destruction, the tripoli station becomes a message and memory for its heritage and history that it contains.




Tripoli's Train Station was opened in 1911 and was connected to the Syrian city, Homs, with one lane. It formed the terminus of the Orient Express line in the twenties, thirties and forties of the last century.
During the First World War, the Tripoli / Homs connection got severally damaged by the Ottomans. Ruined, the station was nationalized in 1920 at the time of the French mandate in Lebanon and Syria.

In 1943, after the independence of Lebanon, the station became the property of the Lebanese state. It has been abandoned since 1975. The station no longer exists after the collapse and destruction of one of its roof, but nevertheless two maintenance buildings remain, housing many trains and wagons in ruins.

Tripoli railway station

  Lebanon 1900 - 1920

Source: Library of Congress image
Source: Photo taken by Jennifer Kache

Tripoli Train Station

  Lebanon 2017


From the immaterial to the scenographic

Today, Tripoli's Train Station is found completely destroyed.
However, there are the two service buildings which had the function of maintaining the trains, and in which are still the locomotives and wagons.

In order to revive the memory of rail transportation and memory of this station, now these two non-functional and non-existent maintenance buildings are kept preserved. Nevertheless, a new architecture graft takes place between these last two and serves as a stitch. This structure echoes the many modern reconstructions by its glass hull and returns the image of reconstruction after a destruction by its white color, in reference to an empty base lacking history.
It is also on this spot that will take place the exhibition of the history of the Tripoli station as well as temporary exhibitions to show Lebanon through the eye of the younger generation.

Knowing that the elderly have known Lebanon in all its glory and its history, young people are eager to immortalize what remains of its heritage before it disappears. The young generation retains a very different image of Lebanon and rarely has the chance to express itself, which is why the exhibition space will be an opportunity for them to show their country in their own way.


04_Vue du Restaurant.jpg
3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache

The dining area reflects the love of the Lebanese towards their gastronomy. Much more than a simple culinary art, spending a moment around a meal extends over several hours, it is also one of the key elements for all gatherings and discussions. A family meal can last between 3 to 6 hours with a huge table filled completely. This is a point that I wanted to put forward in this restaurant area with tables in lengths for large groups knowing that a meal always includes a large number of people.


Highlighting the longitudinal axis of the building, the tables are placed in a row between the existing rails thus give the illusion of forming a single table that can accommodate several groups. There is also a locomotive and a car completely repainted in white , acting as a critic of society by making this vestige neutral and untraceable like a simple, worthless vase. The roof remains a highly impacting visual element since its renovation preserves the frame of the voids that time has drawn, and by consequence filled with glass plates. Always in the same idea of criticism, white panels cover some windows and serve as a table to make people look outside.

3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache


In order to extend the experience to the next day, the hospitality space offers a unique experience in Lebanon, that of spending the night in one of the wagons turned into a bedroom.
The charm of the devastated appearance of the wagons is preserved outside while the interior is rehabilitated in a more modern way to be able to spend a calm night while reflecting again the double reality of the country.

There is also a reading room with books either written by Lebanese authors or telling about Lebanon and its war, allowing visitors to discover the place and relax.

The roof also keeps its positive and negative grid with its glass plates that fill the voids. This omnipresent element makes the memories of the war vivid by its semi-destructed and its fragile aspect.

3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache


The exhibition space reflects the image of a blank sheet explaining the destruction and reconstruction from zero on a neutral ground.
This space is stitched to the existing architecture and comes in white on its points of contact.
It creates a visual contrast to expose the two facets of the country, mainly the heritage of these ruins and modern reconstruction that replace them.
In order to immerse the visitor in the history of the Tripoli station, the flow is created with a slope between the existing rails on the ground, and the structure of the cars acts as a tunnel below which the visitor wanders and discovers photographs.
These photographs show the old station and moments immortalized, and are represented on a transparent filter attached to the structure of the cars.
In order to reflect the dual realities of the country, the transparency of the filters is filled by a background of black color. The visitor is forced to face each photograph to visualize it correctly, which symbolizes the fact of facing the reality of two opposites that are superimposed in the daily life of the Lebanese: modernity against ruin.
There is also a temporary exhibition located on both sides of the cars. Their purpose is to offer young people the chance to express themselves in this space by showing Lebanon through their eyes.

We can also find structures created in a pentagon shape of the two buildings that serve as criticism of the destruction and reconstruction, symbol of the ease of duplicating an architecture to infinity.

Gare de Tripoli - Expo-01.jpg
3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache
Gare de tripoli - Expo 03.jpg
3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache
3D Perspective Rendering - Jennifer Kache
MODEL- CardBoard, Laser Cut
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