Appointed by the Maronite parish to design the new Hrajel church, MZ Architects’ vision was to conceive a design combining a particular sensitivity to the site’s religious and historical context with a modern architectural expression. The proposed church is a powerfully sculptural, symbolic representation of ascent and resurrection amidst the rocky mountainous landscape. The architecture uses simple yet grand means to evoke the desired religious effect. The austere building volume appears as a stairway towards heaven, a recurring biblical metaphor symbolizing spiritual ascent. This sloping façade which also serves as the roof of the structure is based around a triangular geometry as a representation of the Holy Trinity. The triangular shape of the façade directs the visitor’s focus to the standalone uplifted cross, rooted in the earth behind theChurchl. The entrance lies amid two stairways, at the end of an open-air porch serving as the narthex with a protective and nurturing feeling.
MZ Architects is a multi-award winning architecture firm founded and lead by Marwan Zgheib since 2002. Initially based in Qatar, the firm won several architectural competitions and had the opportunity to acquire extensive experience in designing and developing high-rise buildings in the midst of the construction boom in the country. Within a few years, MZ Architects became one of the leading architecture and consultancy groups in Qatar and in the Gulf, with a regional office in Abu Dhabi. In 2007, MZ Architects’ headquarters were reassigned in Lebanon as an architecture and urban planning firm