B018: Bernard Khoury

Beirut’s most legendary club is literally underground, on the site of the Karantina massacre.  Bernard Khoury, a native of Beirut, knows his city’s history well, having lived through the civil war that raged from 1975-1990.  His first built project was an immediate success, it’s subterranean metaphor not lost on the throngs of Beirutis flocking to dance till dawn or later.

As cars pull in to the circular parking lot, their headlights reflect off the retractable mirrored ceiling into the space below.  For effect the roof is opened and closed regularly, expelling smoke, clearing the air on the dancefloor, and filling the surrounding neighborhood with thumping dance music.  I showed up around 5:00 am.  The entire space was full.  To get to a place where i could shoot took ten minutes of crowd negotiation and dodging drinks.  Shooting from ground level, down into the space, was much easier but equally treacherous, as the steel becomes slick with dew near dawn.

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