Architecture & Design
Architecturely the Saint-George Hotel is one of Beirut’s outstanding works of early modernism – combining a revolutionary use of raw concrete with a feeling for traditional Arab forms, the balconies, for instance, serving as sunscreens. Inspired by the works of Auguste Perret, the French masterbuilder who pioneered the use of re-enforced concrete, the Saint-George was built by three French architects, Jacques Poirrier, André Lotte, and Georges Bordes, and a Lebanese Antoine Tabet. In contrast to the modernistic structural influences of Perret, the hotel’s interior decor clearly displayed the traditional artisan techniques and use of rich fabrics employed by famous Parisian designer Jean Royere, who from his galleries in Beirut and Cairo decorated the palaces of Middle East royalty.
With 90 rooms the Saint-George was the biggest hotel of its time in the Eastern Mediterranean and the first in the region to offer a degree of comfort and convenience on a par with the best European hotels.