Fransabank's update on ‘WeDesign’ Fransabank's Headquarters competition

Subject: Architecture Competition
Author: Fransabank

As the deadline for submissions in the WeDesign competition approaches, we would like to address concerns raised by some in the architectural community. Fransabank would like to reiterate that this competition is a purely academic one and no actual redesign is planned to the Fransabank façade, which is a historic Modernist building, designed by world renowned architects Alvar Aalto and Alfred Roth. We are very proud of the building’s history and hoped to share this with the new generation to inspire creativity.

Fransabank believes in students’ capabilities and is giving them the opportunity to learn about a famous Beirut landmark. By asking students for conceptual design ideas that is in keeping with the architects’ spirit, Fransabank is giving them the opportunity to deeply learn their work.

So far, the reaction has been outstanding. The WeDesign competition has attracted interest from 12 Lebanese universities thus far and submissions are pouring in from enthusiastic design and architecture students. Some classes have even adapted the project as a part of their curriculum.

We were however disappointed by the reaction of Bernard Mallat in his article “Fransabank calls to facelift (read desecrate) Alvar Aalto’s work”. We thought the competition description was obvious, and had it not been, contact details of the person in charge were listed at the bottom of the competition brief. Had Mr. Mallat taken the time to call or email, we would have had a pleasure reassuring him of our intentions. Fransabank is open to the voicing of opinions and exchange of ideas.

Our institution would once again like to assure the community that it is very proud of its headquarters and its history.

Should anyone still have points or opinions they would like to discuss, please feel free to email Miss Raida Daouk at

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