Posts tagged with "Cairo":

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Zaha Hadid’s Nile Tower, the tallest building in Africa, will rise in Cairo

Zaha Hadid Architects’ design for Africa's tallest tower is reportedly breaking ground after nearly a decade of delays by the Egyptian government, according to Forbes. The 70-story Nile Tower will rise along the Nile River in central Cairo as part of an upscale new downtown district. The project is expected to spur growth and investment in a previously neglected area that currently houses middle-class and low-income residents. The 1.3 million-square-foot Nile Tower was first envisioned by the late Hadid in 2007 and so far, design details haven’t changed. The rectangular structure will house residential and hotel components inside a thin, twisting volume. Apartments will be built out on the top 36 floors with views of the nearby pyramids, while the middle 18 floors will include a hotel with 230 rooms. Other floors will feature a casino, nightclub, spa, health club, and shops.  The luxury property is set to be marketed toward higher-income tenants, who in recent years have moved to the outskirts of Cairo into newer developments. Nile Tower will be a focal point of the aforementioned upcoming neighborhood that its developers hope will spark an influx of wealthy residents back into downtown Cairo. Zaha Hadid Architects isn’t the only starchitect firm set to build in the planned district. Foster + Partners designed a mixed-use project for the site as well, which will go atop a recently-demolished lower-income housing complex in the neighboring Maspero Triangle. Critics of both projects say the displacement of Cairo’s poorest and most vulnerable people is already a huge issue. Apart from its controversial setting, one major reason for the Nile Tower’s postponement was the national shake-up Egypt experienced in 2011 when its long-time president Hosni Mubarak was removed from office and tried for corruption and abuse. Mubarak was an avid supporter of the Nile Tower and the plans for creating an upscale new residential and business district. The country couldn’t get it back on track amidst all the political and economic unrest. Under Egypt's current president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the project is once again a top priority for the country as well as for Cairo’s development. Ashraf El Tanani, president of the site's developer Living In Interiors, told Forbes that President Sisi’s government is actively involved in getting the height clearance for the project as well as making it a financially viable project. As of now, the tower will cost $600 million, though it’s likely to rise by $150 million due to the weak Egyptian pound which is making building materials much more expensive than planned. Despite the hefty price tag, the project is expected to make a significant return for the domestic economy with increased construction jobs, as well as its potential for enhancing the housing and tourism sectors once complete. The groundbreaking has been set for the near future, but no date has been officially named.
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Weston Williamson + Partners to design massive “Science City” in Egypt

London-based studio Weston Williams+Partners (WW+P) beat out Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) and others to win the commission for Cairo's "Science City." To be officially known as the “6th of October City,” the project will cover 1,345,490 square feet is located 20 miles west of Cairo's city center. The city will be a national institute for scientific innovation. Run by the Library of Alexandria institution, the competition's jury panel included American architect Michael Sorkin. Its brief called for "a set of buildings and spaces that will be inspiring inside and out, and express a particular vision of the quest for knowledge and the pursuit of science."

In a press release, Chris Williamson, one of the Founders of WW+P said: “We are proud to have won. Needless to say that Egypt has a unique cultural heritage, but we were also attracted by the ambition of the project, clearly expressed through the brief. We look forward to developing the design and creating something worthy for Egypt’s future generations.”

Zaha Hadid Architects, meanwhile, came third in the competition. Here are the results, courtesy of Building Design"

1: Weston Williamson & Partners, U.K. 2: Ngiom Partnership, Malaysia 3: Zaha Hadid Architects, U.K. 4: Gansam Architects, Korea Honourable mention: Petras Architecture & XCON Housos, Greece Honourable mention: Joaquim Caetano de Lima Filho, Daniel Henrique Ribeiro, Giliarde Silva, Guilherme Oliveira, Raissa Shizue and Lucas Moretti (Brazil) Honourable mention: Francisco Jorquera, Spain Honourable mention: Whitespace Architects, Dubai
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On View> SURPLUS! explores Cairo’s housing crisis through the lens of photography

house Cairo's Townhouse gallery is hosting an exploration of Egypt's housing crisis through the lens of 18 photographs by Anthony Hamboussi. The views encapsulate urban and architectural vistas that tell the story of "housing real estate in all sectors of the economy, formal and informal, from high-end developments to state-built “affordable” housing and piecemeal private investments." But act fact, SURPLUS! Housing from the Periphery closes on November 4. The selection is distilled from a larger pool of 180 photographs called “Cairo Ring Road,” which Hamboussi collected over a four-year span. Presented as large-format prints, the photographs are universally dystopic, portraying vast uninhabited landscapes frozen in a single moment of time. Hamboussi focuses his camera on varying housing typologies, from the ashwaiyyat, desert gates communities common in Cairo, to the city's hinterland edges. For more information, visit the Townhouse gallery's website.