A Lebanese man in the 1950s elevated petty sibling rivalry to another level when he built the country’s skinniest building that looks just like a wall — with the sole purpose of ruining his brother’s seafront view.
It is now one of the most-valued real estate properties in the city, says Sandra Rishani, an architect and urban planner who researched the extraordinary history of the building.
The building — called “The Grudge” — dates back to 1954, when it was constructed reportedly out of brotherly spite. Standing near the old lighthouse in Beirut, the property known as “al-Ba`sa”, meaning “the grudge,” is just two feet wide at its narrowest and 14 feet at widest, reported The Insider.
But despite its petite size, the building was habitable and has rooms, kitchen, huge windows for sunlight and, of course, a sea view.
According to the story widely known among the locals, it started after the brothers inherited two plots from their father. They were unable to reach a conclusion on how to split the land and the dispute was further exacerbated after one part of the property was taken into road infrastructure.
The series of events, including municipal infrastructure projects, led to the origin of the oddly-shaped building.
The building not only blocked the sea view for his brother but also devalued his property, Ms Rishani told The Insider.
“I would love to live there! It’s a very linear plan,” she said. “You enter from a room to another room. The side where the other brother had his land has really high windows so they get a lot of light and then the sea view.”
“The Grudge” was designed by Salah and Fawzi Itani, who were also two brothers.
It is not known who owns the building now as the space remains vacant. The building served as a brothel during the war and host to a number of refugees in the past.
The building remains protected from demolition due to a law which prohibits new structures in the place as the plot area of the building is smaller than what is allowed for construction.