Lebanese jeweller Margherita Abi-Hanna’s ‘My Concrete City’ is a collection of pieces for men and women that pays tribute to the Modernist architecture of her home country’s capital, Beirut. Margherita’s work aims to celebrate old buildings whose beauty has been veiled, defaced or demolished.
What is particularly notable about Margherita’s jewellery collection is that she has not just recreated the aesthetics of the buildings. She has also honoured the main material used in their construction - concrete. The pieces within ‘My Concrete City’ are made using both concrete and silver.
Their shapes were influenced by five specific structures in Beirut. These are: the Nsouli Building, designed Karol Schayer, Bahij Makdisi and Wassek Adib in 1956; Nadim Majdalani’s 1958 Skaff Building; Pierre Neema’s 1962 Afeiche Building; the Banque du Liban, built by Addor & Julliard in 1964; and Beirut’s Holiday Inn, designed by André Wogenscky and Maurice Hindié in1974.
Margherita has incorporated certain structural aspects of these buildings’ façades into neckpieces, bracelets, rings and earrings. A square-patterned detail on the Skaff Building’s exterior is repeated in the designs of a men’s and women’s pendant, while slim concrete bars that are prominent in the Holiday Inn’s design have influenced numerous pieces.
Some of Margherita’s designs have drawn inspiration from the thick concrete window partitioning of both the Nsouli Building and the Banque du Liban, while the striking layers of concrete that partly make up the storeys of the Afeiche Building have inspired a rather futuristic aesthetic evident in a variety of the designer’s bracelets.
Photography by: Josette Youssef
Models: Karina Gouroldava, Firas Safa
Makeup: Sharbel Hasbany