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Gilt is a restaurant and bar located in Saifi Village, Beirut. The concept for Gilt was created and realized by Marwan Keyrouz, an entrepreneur whose vision was the alignment of Music, Design, and Culinary excellence to create a comprehensive sensory experience. While consciously integrated within its urban vicinity, Gilt proposes a release into cosmopolitan flavors and presents Beirut with a select, trendsetting environment. It conveys ample personality catered by Keyrouz’s lifelong experience with music and entertainment in combination with expert collaboration in the fields of architecture, design, and gastronomy.
Gilt’s spatial experience is defined by Issam Barhouch and Sites Architects. Their foremost challenge was the introduction of new architectural forms while preserving and further highlighting the beauty of the preexisting spatial integrity. According to Barhouch, “the exercise revolved around the introduction of a new architectural form that seamlessly communicates with the spatial axes, follows them, identifies with them, and reinvents the positive and negative forms originally generated by the vaulted space.”
Triangular oak planes project from the vaults and juxtapose harmoniously against them, thus crystallizing the space into a new, unexpected form. The three-dimensional fragmented triangular planes simultaneously delineate the diverse functions of the spaces: music, bar, and lounge area. An assortment of varying, tailor-made wooden chairs unify design and functionality within the spatial experience and articulate the expanse while tables rest amidst them, effortlessly bridging the gaps. The entrance is well defined by a monumental installation of local customary chairs, affirming the personality of the space as a hub for design and aesthetics.
Amplifying the spatial experience, the lighting designed by .PSLAB provides a subsequent essential component in the composition of Gilt. Upon entering the space, one is immediately drawn to the unique formal aspects of the lamps draping systematically from the metallic structures above. This departure from conventional lighting validates the emphasis on specific ranges within the space, creating a consciously defined field of vision. The figures and patterns created by the lamps become art installations themselves.
The culinary synthesis is the creation of Chef Maroun Chedid. The finest food products coalesced with an acute differentiation in treatment and presentation are the basis of Gilt’s food serving. The location’s cosmopolitan personality is highlighted through a blending of Mediterranean, Asian, and Peruvian dishes, spanning a rich variety of palates and textures. The experience becomes a journey to different cities, borrowing from these contemporary flavors, offering them in nourishing and practical servings, and emphasized by the minutest details of glassware and tableware. The extensive beverage offerings encompass know-how in cocktail making, exhibit a refined character, and mirror the effortlessness of the space.
Gilt’s acoustic ambiance is approached as the fundamental element that embodies and compliments all else. Derived from Keyrouz’s own experience and foresight in the music industry, the sound is set through an array of genres, maintaining a selection of pre-release Indie tracks and the fresh resonances of tasteful singles, while sustaining the zenith of a trendsetting vibe. The eclectic rhythms merge charmingly with the setting, animating the space with its subtle presence and subtracting any notion of a static atmosphere.
The exuberance of the space, the cultural integration, and the comfort of functional experience all contributed to Gilt’s prompt success amongst the trendsetters of Beirut. Gilt’s subtle, metamorphic nature confirms its position as a go-to place for all those seeking an experience unlike any other and ensures that one will return to witness this transformation time and time again.