In 1966, the Syrian government's Ministry of Endowments solicited plans for a building to replace a 14th-century Mamluk mosque in Martyr's Square in the center of Damascus. A young architect proposed a design for a 5-star hotel and new mosque. In 1971, his plans were scrapped. In 1982, a building began to be built. Hospital? Parking garage? Military housing? The project—now called the Basel al-Asad Center—has been the subject of much rumor and speculation. As of 2007, the building remains unfinished. In this documentary video, an architect recounts the chronicle of the building and considers its possible future.
single channel video, color, NTSC, 2007
Produced by Julia Meltzer, Directed by Julia Meltzer and David Thorne
Written by David Thorne
Edited by Catherine Hollander
Music and Sound Design by Chris Kubick
Camera by Raed Sandeed
This project is distributed by Video Data Bank.