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15. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura Partecipazioni Nazionali

REFRAMING BACK//IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS

PADIGLIONE EGITTO / BIENNALE ARCHITETTURA 2016


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS

Under the Auspices of Ministry of Culture Arab Republic of Egypt

With the Support of


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The curatorial team and the commissioner would like to acknowledge all the support we received from both institutions and individuals in this journey to build the Egyptian Pavilion this year. Though busy with their own commitments, so many people have generously offered their time to help us make this happen. We firstly would like to thank the Egyptian Academy in Rome and the National Organization of Urban Harmony. We would also like to thank the Masters of Urban Design program at ETH Zürich, the school of design at the University of Pennsylvania, Mittelmeerland of the AA School, MSA University Architecture Department, Traslochi Emotivi, GUC Architecture Department, Cluster Cairo, Cairobserver and Studio Meem. From these institutions we would like to thank the following individuals: Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Ferda Kolatan, Winka Dubbeldam, Michael Zimmerman, Medine Altiok, Stephanie Tunka, Omar Fawzy, Vlatka Seremet, Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker, Mohamed Elshahed, Giulia Currà. And for their assistance in the editorial process of this catalogue, we would like to thank Manar Moursi and Cinzia Albertazzi. We also would like to offer our appreciation to Omar Elmelegy for his contribution in the model-making process. Without Wael Khalil and all the participants in the Extract-Model-Build workshop, the models production would not have been possible. Our deepest thanks to all friends and colleagues who powered us through this experience with positive energy. Most importantly, we would like to thank our families, to whom we are indebted. For those aforementioned names and many others, we hope that these words can repay a part of your generous contribution to the Egyptian pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 15 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura.


Egypt is a cultural giant, it has always been in the forefront of the international sphere in the field of Culture and the Arts, a center of excellence, and an inspiration for global cultural production. Well aware of its eminent and distinguished position, Egypt was the first Arab and African country that participated at La Biennale di Venezia in its earliest editions in the last century.

FOREWORD

Standing firmly and steadily in the face of hardships, Egypt overcame the difficult and delicate time in its recent history and was present with a strong representation in the 55th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia in June 2013, a few days before Egypt’s June 30th revolution. Egypt contributed dynamically with a young Egyptian team who conducted the mission with commitment and positivity. Today, I feel very happy and proud to confirm the Ministry of Culture’s strategy in preserving its long tradition of cooperation with Italy and in particular the City of Venice through its contribution to the 15th edition of La Biennale di Venezia operated by a distinctive team of promising young architects who won the national competition held by the National Organization for Urban Harmony in collaboration with the Egyptian academy in Rome. All my best regards to the commissioner and his competent team, wishing them the best of luck in showcasing recent architectural interventions in Egypt. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the organization team of La Biennale di Venezia under the professional and diplomatic leadership of President Paolo Baratta for conducting such an important enterprise and for enhancing the value of Culture as a universal language.

H.E. Helmy EL NAMNAM Minister of Culture-Egypt


As the President of National Organization of Urban Harmony – Egyptian Ministry of Culture, I feel proud to be a part of Egypt’s participation, through its Pavilion, at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition 2016. This edition of La Biennale di Venezia entitled “Reporting from the Front” has a particular interest for countries like Egypt where more than 16.000.000 people currently live in informal housing, most of which are based in the greater Cairo area. The ever-growing number of those who live in informal housing highlights the huge disparity in the distribution of wealth, residential units and unequal access to housing options. I totally agree with Director Alejandro Aravena who underlined clearly in his first statement that “Reporting from the Front” will highlight to a broader audience what it is like to improve the quality of life of underprivileged communities through architecture. More and more people on the planet are in search for a decent place to live and the conditions to achieve that are becoming more and more difficult. There are several battles that need to be waged on many fronts in order for us to improve the quality of the built environment and consequently quality of life. Architecture is a fundamental tool which governments should use to offer communities a better life. The National selection this year brought up the work of the young commissionaire, Ahmad Hilal, who composed his team whit an international vision that definitely will enrich the “reporting from the front”. I am so happy to see his enthusiasm, passion and keenness to take up the challenge of contributing to this worldwide prestigious exhibition.

Arch. Mohamed ABOUSEADA President of National organization of Urban Harmony

Art has always been a powerful instrument for shaping the tone and nature of relations between countries. The power of Art as a solid universal platform is indispensable in raising awareness and creating mutual understanding. Moreover, Art is a crucial element for promoting dialogue and establishing bonds between individuals of diverse cultural and professional backgrounds. Throughout its long history, Egypt has always maintained very tight artistic and commercial relations with Venice. A comprehensive and rich cultural dialogue has been established very early on between the two magnificent shores and has continued to flourish and prosper over the years across the Mediterranean. In the current international context characterized with complexity and unprecedented challenges, Egypt continues to ensure its yearly solid presence in Venice through its participation in La Biennale di Venezia. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Mr. Paolo Baratta for the constructive and realistic Art dialogue that he offers us this year through the theme of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition 2016 “Reporting From The Front” and I would also like to extend my appreciation to Alejandro Aravena, the Director of this current edition, who tackled a very important subject in his statement when he said: “We would like this “Report From The Front” not to be just the chronicle of a passive witness but a testimony of people that actually walk their talk. We would like to balance hope and rigor. The battle for a better-built environment is neither a tantrum nor a romantic crusade. So, this report won’t be a mere denounce or complaint nor a harangue or an inspirational locker room speech”. It was an honour for me to work closely with my colleagues from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in Cairo and a real pleasure to collaborate with Arch. Ahmad Hilal and his competent team that included for the first time international young architects. Prof. Gihane ZAKI Director of Egyptian Academy in Rome REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


The exhibition’s goal is to re-frame and position in a global forum what we think are examples of a successful architectural and urban conflict resolution where architects-activists, through their work, were the mediators of change. This mediation took the form of built projects, or even research proposals & mappings that attempted to highlight existing problems.

COMMISSIONER'S STATEMENT Ahmad Hilal The Commissioner

This exhibition is therefore about these real transformations that were the fruit The Venice Biennale of Architecture is of a collective labor to perceive, translate an integral part of architectural culture. and be a positive force in society. The However, for several previous editions, contribution of the Egyptian pavilion’s it was distant from civil society. This exhibition can be read in tandem with this year’s cycle “Reporting from the Front” publication and an Online platform which is different. It highlights the capacity was designed. Together, the exhibition, and potential of architecture’s role inside catalogue and the Online platform communities; “architecture makes the are extensions & complements of the Biennale itself, and are crucial elements difference”, as Aravena puts it. working together to share the stories and RBIC of the Egyptian pavilion seeks experiences of those who are reporting to reveal various successful stories of from the front to a wider audience. architecture narrating the difficulties and challenges inside the Egyptian I would like to take this opportunity to built environment. We hope through the express my gratitude to everyone who pavilion to go beyond the question of supported us throughout this process, “What is the story about?” to “How was particularly the Ministry of Culture, National Organization of Urban Harmony, the story written?” and Egyptian Academy in Rome for The stories inside the pavilion reveal their encouragement and commitment. how architecture is actively creating Lastly many thanks to my curatorial team change in communities. Nowhere are operating between Cairo and Milan, who these confrontations more evident than dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to in the urban context, and nowhere more bring to you this exhibition. so than in Egyptian cities. Since the 2011 uprising, the public spaces of Cairo were spaces where opposing visions met and clashed. Informal neighborhoods, long neglected and frustrated from their lack of agency and access to public services, were the stages where the oppressed tried to reclaim their voice in the city. In this context, urban space became not just a backdrop but an instrumental foreground and an actor in the continuous and dynamic processes of change.


REFRAMING BACK

IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS

IN A WORLD WHERE NEWS COVERAGE IS SKEWED, DOZENS OF CONFLICTS AND STRUGGLES GO UNNOTICED. BEYOND THE SENSATIONAL FOCUS ON CERTAIN LARGER EVENTS, DAILY CONFLICTS OF A SMALLER SCALE, BUT NO LESS IMPORTANT, PERSIST. AT THE HEART OF ALL THESE BATTLES, WHETHER LARGE OR SMALL, IS A TENSION BETWEEN AMBITIOUS, UNREALIZED EXPECTATIONS AND UNFULFILLING RESULTS. TENACITY, ENDURANCE AND CREATIVE RESILIENCE, HOWEVER, HAVE COME TO EMBODY THE SPIRIT OF THESE FIGHTS FOR CHANGE. REFRAMING BACK// IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS IS NOT ONLY A SPACE TO BRING THESE EFFORTS TO THE FORE, IT IS A MOMENT TO CELEBRATE THEM TOGETHER, HOPEFULLY INJECTING THEM WITH THE OPTIMISM AND ENERGY NECESSARY TO CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT. THIS PAVILION IS IN NO WAY A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF ALL INITIATIVES AND WORKS THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED DURING THE LAST PERIOD IN EGYPT. IT IS, HOWEVER, AN ATTEMPT TO INTRODUCE TO A LARGE AUDIENCE THE WORK OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AND COLLECTIVES, STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS, WHO OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST DECADE, HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR NEW OPERATING MODELS IN EGYPT AND ENGAGING IN ARCHITECTURE AS A FIELD OF CRITICAL INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY. THE WORK PRESENTED HERE DEMONSTRATES THE INTEREST OF A WIDE RANGE OF ACTORS - GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH CENTERS, INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONERS - IN THE EGYPTIAN URBAN CONDITION. THE PAVILION AT THIS YEAR’S VENICE BIENNALE, MARKS THE OCCASION TO BRING FORTH ALL THESE PERSPECTIVES AND APPROACHES IN ONE SPACE AND TO REFLECT ON THE NATURE OF THE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCED IN THE PAST DECADE. IT IS AT THE SAME TIME AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE ITS POTENTIAL FOR ACTION AND TRANSFORMATION.


REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS Official Website www.rb-ic.org


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MAPPING CAIRO I A research based on PhD Dissertation entitled “The Parallel City: A Proposal for Re-connecting the Formal and Informal cities The Case of Greater Cairo” - in the year 2013. Author Noheir Elgendy

MAPPING 01/14

This contribution aims at stratifying the city layers defining the different city constituents. The work is presented in the form of info-graphics with brief statistical information about population, densities and percentages of open spaces including; An Overview of Cairo city section, layering maps, array of the city’s formal and informal fabrics, and a closer view of the fabric on the margins between the formal and the informal city.


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MAPPING CAIRO II STUDIO MEEM www.studiomeem.me Concept & Curatorial Work Manar Moursi Graphic Design Noura al Naggar Participants Engy Khaled Ahmed Morsi Hana Sadik Mohamed Rafik Workshop and exhibition of Mapping Cairo supported by the Japan Foundation in Cairo.

MAPPING 02/14

The workshop Mapping Cairo organized by Studio Meem in collaboration with the Japan Foundation Office in Cairo took place over 10 days in November 2015 and was a platform to analyze and understand the evolution of the city through visualization exercises. Participants worked with local architects, GIS experts, graphic designers and geographers to create original maps based on data on Cairo. The topics they studied ranged from economic activity, public space, transportation, land use, housing and population. Participants were encouraged to think of creative ways to visualize and document their data-sets correlating between different phenomena, therefore hinting at core problems and potential target areas that can be tackled in future plans for the city.


E L H A G G A N A

DENSITY

FRAMEWORK

SITE

Informal Desert

‫التطور الغير مخطط‬ ‫على االراضي الصحراوية‬

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THE NEW CAPITAL /MAPPING THE DESERT LAND Authors Anastasia Drougka Evelina Faliagka Filippos Kitsios Supervisor Prof. Lois Papadopoulos University of Thessaly

MAPPING 03/14

On March 13th of 2015, the Minister of Housing of Egypt announced one of the most ambitious infrastructural projects worldwide, the construction of a New Capital of the country. The New Capital, which has not been given yet an official name, will be located at a non-developed area of the east desert, between Cairo and Suez, will occupy a total area of 700 square kilometers, will host 5 to 7 million people and will be built within five years. This city will be financed exclusively by private capital. This announcement has caused a series of questions, which can’t be answered easily. How is a new city established in the 21st century, how can it be constructed from scratch and how will this city be transformed into a Capital? How will it be completed in such a short time and how will the ownership structure, which is implied in the announcement, affect the public space and the everyday life in this new city? Why to build a new capital today? Occasioned by these questions and the example of Egypt, a comprehensive study is carried out in this project which aims to the fundamental and critical understanding of the New Capital. This research contains an extensive mapping of the fundamental ways of production of space in Egypt, while a correlation is attempted between the political situation of this country and the architecture and the spatial management from 1952 until today.


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RADICAL CAIRO MASTER OF ADVANCED STUDIES URBAN DESIGN PROF. DR. MARC ANGÉLIL DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE ETH ZÜRICH Team Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (Director of Studies), and Something Fantastic (Julian Schubert, Elena Schütz, and Leonard Streich) in collaboration with local partners Cluster (Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker). Students from MAS Urban Design 2014-2015: Patrick Abou Khalil, Zoi Alexandropoulou, Bernardo Baillif de Sousa Falcao, Grigorios Dimitriadis, Christine Fisher, Marilena Fotopoulou, Ameya Joshi, Hee Chul Jung, Denise Kouniaki, Maria Kouvari, Tina Lamprou, Alice Merche, Daniel Ostrowski, Elisavet Papadopoulou, Shinji Terada, Francesco Tonnarelli, Faye Vitou, Dimitra Zarri, Kathy Zerlauth. Students from MAS Urban Design 2015-2016: Daniel Ariño Espallargas, Aikaterini Christopoulou, Felipe Combeau Oyarzún, Hugo Dos Reis Vieira Pinto , Ekkachan Eiamananwattana, Guido Greco, Georgios Kaldis, Georgios Lavantsiotis, Christina Lazou, Katarzyna Pankowska, Gide Sleiman Haidar, Sofia Symeonidou, Aknaw Taddese Yohannes, Maria Tsagka, Yuki Ueno, Ana-Caterina Viguera Andreu, Olga Vougioukalaki, Yao Ting Wu, Seunghee Yang.

MAPPING 04/14

The ETH Zurich Master of Advanced Studies Program in Urban Design at the Chair of Marc Angélil and directed by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (with Something Fantastic and in collaboration with CLUSTER) initiated an investigation on Cairo’s urban mechanisms. In the larger context of the Egyptian capital, it appeared that informal growth and formal development are integrally part of the dynamics of the city. The research and design studio is exploring both phenomenons. The work primarily focused on the socalled informal area of Ard-El-Lewa, looking into designs for affordable housing units in that neighborhood of Cairo (see the publication Housing Cairo: The Informal Response). Architectural and urban analysis of existing typologies of buildings, their flexibility and qualities are displayed along selected students projects showing how rearranging existing building components can lead to new urban forms, and a betterment of the living conditions. Informal mode of urbanization at this stage of development fundamentally questions the validity of formal planning. Persistent urban growth shows that, while lacking public services and infrastructures, informal settlements are nonetheless successful in generating dense and affordable housing for the popular classes. However, a constructive governmental policy to legalize these

settlements is yet to materialize and their potential is not understood. Based on the observation of this area and others, it appeared that, while speculation occurs, informal areas chiefly exist to palliate the lack of affordable, well-located housing options for poor and lower working classes of Cairo. These areas are ignored by government planning strategies, which focus on new cities such as 6th of October or New Cairo, as the illusory solution to all problems. This shaped the working hypothesis prompting the second part of the research. In the desert lands around Cairo, new urban areas flourish. In the name of a modern Egypt, colossal expenditures and resources were spent, yet to show success. Huge tracks of land have been urbanized, benefiting a small portion of the population and producing largely vacant conurbations. Thus, if an investigation on informal settlements in Cairo was necessary, it seemed no less essential to examine the phenomenon of desert cities. Architects have had a hand in the materialization of this ideology, and the MAS Urban Design explores these cities, their failure and relative success. Critical of the urban conditions that have emerged, and aware of the responsibility of architects and planners that comes with designing space, provocative projects are proposed for the paradigmatic case of 6th of October city. With the intention to launch a critical conversation, the MAS Urban Design questions: If desert development must happen, why does it have to be unsustainable and poorly designed? Concerned with the role of designers in the face of a world largely urbanizing without them, the ETH Zurich Master of Advanced Studies Program in Urban Design, with this double take on Cairo’s urban mechanisms, calls for a reexamination of the manner in which the discipline of architecture reacts to forces of urbanization.


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ARCHITECTURE AND STORIES OF DOWNTOWN BALDILAB www.baladilab.com Author & Team Vittoria Capresi Barbara Pampe (baladilab) Collaborators Leonie Weber, Carla Schwarz (baladilab); Reem Ashraf Elattar,Rana ElRashidy, Rana Abdelsammad, Rowaa Ibrahim,Tamer Ali With Support of German Academic Exchange Service DAAD; Goethe Institute;Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment.

The project focuses on the tangible and intangible heritage of the 19th– and 20th-century buildings of the district of Downtown Cairo. For the first time, a detailed survey of the architectural plans and typologies of the district’s apartment buildings was carried on. In parallel, memories and stories of the inhabitants were collected with the aim to relate the built spaces to the inhabitants’ lives. Who was cooking in the past? And today? Who shared the flat? When did people move in and from where? Who are the neighbors now? By recording the relations between architecture and stories, it was possible to map changes over time in how space was used in Cairo, moreover illuminating some of the workings behind changes in Cairo’s society. Thirty-eight building profiles with technical and historical descriptions were created, enriched by the narratives of their inhabitants, extracts of interviews, and pictures of the apartments. This is the very first move of a revalorisation project, which focuses on the architecture of Downtown Cairo, in particular on the interiors of apartment buildings, but much more on the people who live there, in the past and today.

MAPPING 05/14


Mr. AH “The original Welsh owners sold to the Shurbagi family; then, under Nasser’s rule, it was taken by Misr Insurance. The informal additions to the roof were legalized by the owner company later on for rental (after 1952), so now people pay a regular rent. Currently in the building there are normal residents (but few), the Dina’s Hostel, some offices and workshops and several private businesses.”

Mrs. MF “I was born here; my children were born here too. Now my children have got married: one lives in Alexandria, and one lives in the US; and I live here in a rooftop dwelling with my husband. There are a lot of residents in the building, but many have left. They want to drive us out of the apartments: the rent was 1.50 EGP (that included the fees for the water company, the electricity, and the elevator maintenance fees), but now we have to pay much more per month”

Mr. M “Downtown had a lot of bookstores in the past; famous people going up to the Sout El Fan studio on the fifth floor used to pass by the bookstore, usually looking for books related to art.Mohammad Naguib also personally visited the bookstore sometimes! He was usually interested in books related to politics”

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POLITICS OF FORM / LANDSCAPE STORIES AND INTERVENTIONS ‚Spatial Aesthetics’ Advanced visual & spatial studies in the urban and environmental context Supervisor Assoc. Prof. Vlatka Seremet German University in Cairo Architecture and Urban Design Program Assistants Christoph Muth, Rehab Ayman, Heba Ezzat

MAPPING 06/14

‚Spatial Aesthetics’ is an urban research program combining architecture theory, philosophy and visual arts with varying topics and fields of investigation. ‚Spatial Aesthetics’ deals with the complex issues of perception and production of space in both the urban and suburban context with the means of visual expression and artistic work. ‚Politics of Form’, the subject matter in 2015/16, reflects on urban, socio-cultural and environmental issues, explores the meaning and relevance of form artistically and architecturally, and intends to raise the awareness for individual perception and public space. The area of research is mainly New Cairo in comparison with central Cairo.


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MAPPING ISLAMIC CAIRO Mapping Team Batool Awad Rana Sadek Nourhan Ayman Collaborators Cairo Univeristy ( Faculty of Architecture ) BTU Bradenburg Technical University Germany Joint Master Program : Revitilization of Historic City Districts Course Founder & Coordinator Dr. Nabil El Hady

MAPPING 07/14

Approaching Al Banhawi Street, one is fascinated by the beauty of the historical wall of Cairo. The beautiful mosques and minarets rising from behind the wall catching ones eyes from the first glance. People park and enter from the wall gates, never noticing the other side of the street, Al Hussainyya. Al Hussainyya today, being considered as an existing invisible historical district, is a result of the constant decay throughout history. It was transformed from being a connector, connecting old Cairo to the rest of the city, to an edge that is completely segregated from its surroundings. The issue with Al Hussainyya is that it did not suffer from physical decay only, but it also suffered from social and economic decay that is clearly visible in its buildings, streets and dead ends. Through Al Hussainyya Mapping project, we got to study its potentials in order to achieve a sustainable urban development that goes beyond the mere physical intervention. The Hussainyya community complains from unemployment and drug addiction. They claim that this is because their area is enclosed, not many people like to come to the area, and this led to further decay. Being a part of historical Cairo, it was important to revive this area. Our aim is to reconnect Al Hussainyya district to the vicinity physically by protecting its historical fabric and structures and functionally by making use of its hidden economic potentials.


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the main rehabilitation projects planned within the UNESCO Heritage site have been compared using multiple variables. The Arab Al Yassar neighborhood was chosen as a case study to conduct a plot-by-plot survey to obtain more indepth information and explore levels of existing occupancy and reasons for this dilapidation whether social, economic, physical or legal/institutional.

FROZEN HISTORIC CAIRO Survey carried out in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science in Architecture studies at the University of Ferrara. Authors Sara Maldina, Francesco Tonnarelli Supervisor Prof. Daniele Pini, Prof. Romeo Farinella Ass. Supervisor Dr. Mario Benedetto Assisi With the collaboration of UNESCO’s Urban Regeneration Project for Historic Cairo.

MAPPING 08/14

This catalogue is thought to provide updated information to help setting protection measures and define possible intervention needed. The purpose was not to document in detail the monuments and the sites of outstanding historical value, nor to collect and provide documents and information to be used for designing of restoration intervention. These could be carried out when the resources for a more Stifled between the uncontrolled in-depth and specific survey would be development dynamics of Africa’s available, or when needed for a specific biggest metropolis and the shortsighted restoration project. conservation policies of the Egyptian authorities, today the historical core Such an inventory can though document is in very serious decline. Beside the the urban heritage in a broad sense, monuments, islands preserved as including not only the monuments but open-air museums, there are extensive their context, the minor building and residential areas, frozen in a state close the vernacular architectural expression, to abandonment, with wasteland lots, full the articulation of the urban spaces, of debris, ruined structures and vacant the landscape features. It could extend buildings. This widespread degradation the awareness of authority and public jeopardizes the urban fabric’s unity, opinion on the need of a widespread and and the traditional living practices consistent conservation strategy. strongly related to it. Such a problem needs to be addressed on the planning The catalogue has been carried out in level to develop localized revitalization several field survey. It consists of two plans for each area including financial main type of data: - the report of the mechanisms and sovereign measures. physical and functional features; - the evaluation of the state of conservation, of This study tries to map these fractures the architectural value and other aspect of the urban fabric and their social and which imply a critical judgment, based on economic impact. Contrary to prevailing criteria previously established. impressions about Historic Cairo, significant portions of the area suffer from low density of population. To this effect, residential areas in the surroundings of The historic city of Cairo is an exceptional testimony to the evolution of Islamic civilization and to mankind’s urban experience. Its uniqueness lies not only in its monuments and historical districts’ architectural wealth, but also in the human and social heritage, which reveals itself in a vernacular living dimension.


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(IN)FORMAL PATTERN LANGUAGE www.informalpatternlanguage.com Mapping team Nada Nafeh Thesis Author M.Arch University of Waterloo School of Architecture Mona El Khafif Thesis Supervisor Assoc. Prof. Dr. University of Waterloo School of Architecture Magda Mostafa Thesis Committee Member Assoc. Prof. PhD. The American University in Cairo (AUC) | Department of Architecture Adrian Blackwell Thesis Committee Member Assistant Professor University of Waterloo School of Architecture Sponsors University of Waterloo The American University in Cairo (AUC) Schaduf Collaborators Architecture Association at AUC (AA) Artellewa Save the Children with local participation from CLUSTER Cairo

MAPPING 09/14

Cairo increasingly struggles with the growing tension between the juxtaposition of formal and informal urban practices and patterns. It has become what characterizes our city in many ways, and yet this phenomenon is inadequately studied and greatly misunderstood. The [in]formal Pattern Language initiative, emerging as an alternative mode of practice in Cairo, aims to engage this juxtaposition by mediating and negotiating between bottom-up community-based efforts and topdown expertise. It proposes a replicable and open-source process that allows people to take ownership of their built environment and connects their ordinary needs and urban narratives to environmental and urban concerns. It emerges from a realistic and intentional examination of Cairo’s reporting from the front.


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KHEDIVIAL CAIRO National Organization of Urban Harmony urbanharmony.org Mohamed Abu-Saeda Sohier Zaki Hawas Saeed Elbahr Hassan Bahgat Haby Hosney With the support of Cairo Governorate, General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the Egyptian Company for management of real estate assets.

Khedivial Cairo is recently experiencing a dynamic accelerated movement towards its civilized interface, through restoration of buildings facades with outstanding value in the region and returning it to its original splendor, as well as streets, squares and pedestrian paths development in the framework of coordination carried out by the Cairo governorate between concerned parties such as the National Organization for Urban Harmony (NOUH), General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the Egyptian Company for management of real estate assets, the private sector and investment companies such as “ Ismailia “ the owner of several properties in the region in addition to activating the role of civil society. Improvement of the city center interface requires management of necessary financial resources to spend on treatment of buildings and development of streets, squares and pedestrian paths, also requires provision of expertise and specialized technical staff for the implementation of correct technical basis in order to achieve a high level of quality that matches with buildings and area of high heritage value. The delivered presentation offers the details of Khedivial Cairo project that aim for improvement of city center interface as a front to Egypt as the world sees, starting with buildings that have been restored and order justification of priority in the selection of buildings to restore or renovate, in addition to streets, squares and pedestrian paths by the review of work done in stages before, during and after developing, as well as a full explanation experience to maintain the downtown Cairo area.

MAPPING 10/14


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STREET VENDORS INITIATIVE CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training, and Environmental Research) www.clustercairo.org Principals Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker Lead Researcher Yasmina Taha Research & Design Team Randah El Hakim Sherief Gaber Hanaa Gad Ahmad Kadry Miran Mohamed Salma Nassar Mohamed Rafik In partnership with the Research Foundation of the State University of New York with support from the Ford Foundation.

MAPPING 11/14

Street vendors represent a significant portion of the informal economy, which according to the International Labor Organization (ILO) makes up almost half of the Egyptian non-agricultural domestic economy. Statistics vary, with studies estimating their numbers at anywhere from 1.5 to 5 million. While street vending and other types of informal trade on the street have been part of the urban landscape of Cairo and other Egyptian cities for decades, after January 2011 the security breakdown and the state’s inability or unwillingness to reinforce “urban order” led to the proliferation of street vendor activity in almost every neighborhood. The magnitude and intensity of this phenomenon, however, was particularly prevalent in downtown Cairo. On the one hand, street vendors offer an important example of the ways in which, if left to resolve their own challenges, they are able to self-organize, develop semiformal structures and engage in daily fluid spatial practices. On the other hand, what really makes the question of street vendors significant is where they organize themselves, primarily on the sidewalk– which serves as a definitive marker of delineation between private and public domains. Downtown has long been a main shopping center for low- and middleincome families, bordered on the east and northeast by specialized markets for clothing, hardware and appliances. It was not a large leap, therefore, for many of these activities to migrate westwards to the more lucrative market presented by the high exposure of Downtown, once circumstances became conducive for this move. In addition, downtown Cairo acted as the backyard, in a sense, for the Revolution’s epicenter in Tahrir Square and surrounding streets, where the most violent clashes occurred in 2011.

It was perhaps inevitable that this ground, which was “won back” from the state, should be overtaken by street vendors who, shortly after the first eighteen days of the Revolution, and in the absence of security personnel or local authorities, transformed Tahrir into a fairground and marketplace. Over time this marketplace, with its fluctuations in merchandise, served as an indicator of political changes on the ground: cotton candy vendors gave way to stands selling gas masks, that were replaced, in turn, by pillows sold in front of al-Mujamma‘ during the extended encampment of Tahrir following protests in spring 2012. In mid-August 2012, the government embarked on a project for the relocation of vendors at Qasr al-Nil Street: a response to public outcry about street vendors and as part of President Morsi’s “100-day” plan. Vendors were assigned to numbered plots, each measuring 1.5 by 1.25 meters each, in the neighboring pedestrian alBursa area. This was a pilot project within a larger scheme involving a rotating “oneday market” to be established in locations throughout Downtown, including the ground in front of Mujamma‘ in Tahrir Square, Bab al-Luq parking area, and alAzbakiya Garden. The scheme generated such overwhelming negative response from almost all parties involved that it was shortly aborted. Overnight, coffee shop owners and residents in al-Bursa area literally erased the white paint, designating future stalls. Critics, both urban scholars and heritage preservation groups, attacked the proposed new locations for fear of them “degenerating into further decay.” For their part, vendors refused to be removed from their original assumed locations. They accused the media of mischaracterizing their condition and argued that the new locations would result in a loss of visibility and clientele, and, as such, their livelihoods.


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Mediterranean context? In Alexandria, we worked on five areas along the coastline: Marmoura, Airport Lake, Eastern Harbour, Alexandria Port, Sidi Kerir by analyzing existing conditions and future projections, playfully utilizing small-scale phenomena, translating found conditions into large-scale urban interventions and envisioning future changes.

MITTELMEERLAND ALEXANDRIA www.mittelmeerland.org Directors Medine Altiok Stephanie Tunka Tutors Tomas Klassnik, Ibai Rigby, Heba Hussein, Valentin Kunik, Guillaume De Morsier, Yelta Köm, Ahmed Adballah, Mohammed M. Eldegla Local Partners and Collaborators Hebatalla F. Abouelfadl Ahmed Hassan Moustafa Visiting Critics and Lecturers Philip H.Saleh, Basil Kamel, Khaled Tarabieh, Mai Wahba Madkour, Anas Hosny, Cristian Suau, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Betül Bretschneider Participants Ahmed Abdallah, Ahmed Abdelraouf, Abdelaziz Othman, Hassan Dawood, Ghdaa Essam, Mounir Saad-Eldin, Muhammad Nabee, Anas Hosney, Hesham Elsayed, Lobna Ali, Mariam Alshiekh, Mariam Alembaby, Mazen Elazab, Mirihan Gamal, Mohamed Haridy, Mostafa Salim, Reham Said, Samar Gomaa, Omar El-Melegy, Mohammed Mostafa, Mohammed Gehad, Abdelramen Mohammed, Heba Hatem, Ahmed Hilal , Ayman Ghali, Aziz Naguib, Bassant Essam, Marina Qaldas, Mohamed Ossama, Mohamem Sallam, Noha Refaat, Ragya El Masry, Salah Maged, Heidi Samir, Mostafa Fathy, Raghda Sarhan, Stavros Papavassiliou, Yelta Kom, Mohammed Fisal, Dodi Sultan, May Abdelhafez, Reham Elneshawy, Hadeer Adel, Mohammed Eldegla

MAPPING 12/14

Mittelmeerland is investigating the future of the Mediterranean. We have been travelling 6 different Mediterranean cities. Alexandria was the fifth city we visited. We consider Mittelmeerland not only a Research & Design Project, but also an ongoing network connecting different Thinkers and Institutions in the Mediterranean. In Alexandria we collaborated with some of the most important Universities and Institutions, such as the Department of Architecture Faculty of Fine Arts, Alexandria University, American University of Cairo, MSA University Cairo, Delta University for Science & Technology and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. We have been studying the dynamic territory of Alexandria’s coastline and the mutual dependencies of land and water. Alexandria port is one of oldest ports of the world. It is located on the western extremity of the Nile River Delta. The port is close to the entrance to the Suez Canal and Port Said. The Suez Canal is the shortest connection between the Red Sea and Mediterranean and acts as a Gate from India. The government of Egypt, through the Alexandria port authority in 2001 launched a 25 years tender for the design, construction, financing and operations of a new development area in the port of Alexandria. What is the vision for the coastline, while the country is in political change? Which role does the Suez Canal play in the international network? How will Alexandria act in the

We have produced architectural portraits, urban biographies, video narrations and imaginative collages, which ultimately will feature in a publication of the workshop’s research on various waterfront cities around the Mediterranean. Each group has worked on a variety of topics- we have emphasized the mapping aspect and documentation for this exhibition In Venice. The two to three chosen topics represent the didactic of the research workshop. We have produced architectural portraits, urban biographies, video narrations and imaginative collages, which ultimately will feature in a publication of the workshop’s research on various waterfront cities around the Mediterranean. Each group has worked on a variety of topics- we have emphasized the mapping aspect and documentation for this exhibition In Venice. The two to three chosen topics represent the didactic of the research workshop. During the workshop a one-day symposium was held. Its purpose was to examine how the Mediterranean region can position itself as a ’territory’, one that is based on climatic and economic conditions, and subject to specific social, political and spatial dynamics and experiences.


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THE CITY OF HIGH DAM-ASWAN Master thesis project submitted at the Faculty of Architecture at the RWTH Aachen University Author Alia Mortada Thesis Supervisors Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Anne-Julchen Bernhardt Prof. Axel Sowa Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Glasl

“Men of Egypt! Women and children... Here, before the whole world, is a live symbol of your will, power, persistence, work capacity, and sacrifice. Here, this High Dam, is a victory souvenir over all obstacles. Here is a clear picture of your dreams, realized by the mighty work which subordinates nature, regardless of price in blood and sweat, to assert man’s determination, with God’s spirit and guidance, to honor, and be honored, by life. Friends, citizens, no spot in the world materializes the great struggle of the contemporary Arab, in its full scope, as this site on which we stand, the site of the Aswan High Dam. Here, the political, social, national, and military battles of the Egyptian people materializes as the bulk of the great rock which blocked the old Nile waterway, to accumulate its waters into the biggest lake ever made by man, as a permanent source of prosperity.”

In 1964 newly cultivated settlements in the desert north of Aswan were arranged to house the Egyptian Nubians after a big relocation campaign to make room for the construction of the Aswan High Dam and behind it the ‘biggest lake ever made by man’. However, despite the fact that the Nubian community was “compensated” the loss of their land on the Nile River banks could not be materially indemnified. The relocation carried with it a struggle of identity and culture. By relocating the Nubians away from the Nile and out of their villages their camaraderie and sense of community were deeply affected. Songs that were sung after the resettlement tell stories of the Nile and express a deep yearning for the flooded homeland. At the same time, some of the Nubians perceived their loss as a contribution to the common good of all Egyptians, and prayed that the Nile would be as good to Nasser as it has been to them.

The preparations for the Aswan High Dam construction site constituted a budget of 5 million Egyptian pounds and entailed the extension of the Nile Valley railway line, the construction of a power connector to the power plant of the Aswan Old Dam as well as workshops and workers’ settlements with their associated infrastructure. However, the dam that promoted an egalitarian society and a national unity did not reflect that Extract from Gamal Abdel Nasser’s the on an urban scale. Engineers, foreign speech on the occasion of the diversion experts and technicians lived in wellof the Nile water, 14th May 1964 built compounds and were offered a wide range of facilities and services while the labourers and builders lived in informal shacks and tents. Forty-three years after the completion of the dam, the workers’ settlements still exist and have developed into multiple quarters. The old construction site workshops are left unused. MAPPING 13/14


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MORE THAN VERNACULAR Author Marwa Dabaieh Collaborators Ahmad Hilal Ibrahim I.Abdelaziz With the support of Lund University

MAPPING 14/14

We live in a world that contains a wide variety of spectacular vernacular building, and it is at risk. Although many people are aware that the vernacular is suffering everywhere, evidence of how this treasured heritage is cared for often demonstrates little understanding of its true value. Egypt is a country with some of the finest examples of desert vernacular architecture in the world, a heritage which is at threat of disappearing. Towns and cities hitherto characterized by their vernacular architecture are experiencing great change due to the pressure for rapid growth that is being stimulated by globalization and ambitious modernity. Those who live in these towns sometimes find it hard to adapt to such rapid growth and have difficulty finding a way of allowing their environment to evolve sustain-ably. The challenge is always to devise a way for vulnerable vernacular settlements to develop as they have done over the centuries, without losing the accumulation of their tangible heritage and the intangible body of knowledge that created them. How can this eruption of modernism be helped to adapt to the concepts of sustainability that vernacular buildings embody? It is to offer an answer this question that this book was written. My motivation to write this book began with my doctoral project. As an architect, I was always fascinated to learn how people designed and built vernacular settlements in the past.

without technical education of any kind and how they produced spectacularly complex architectural forms. Moreover their dwellings have survived for centuries and are still lived in. My personal interest in vernacular architecture and fascination with earth construction are what have driven me to this research. This research describes three different conservation projects. These offer different perspectives for conservation of desert vernacular architecture and illustrate methodologies I have found useful. I have tried to select different situations in which conservation was used as a catalyst for economic growth among the impoverished indigenous societies living in these places. The three examples shown in this research are local responses to the problems presented by vernacular building in the Egyptian desert but similar challenges exist all over the world. The first part of the research opens with an overview of the problems experienced in places that are only now becoming vulnerable to the rapid urbanization that is affecting the vernacular heritage everywhere. It then focuses on the problems experienced by the communities living in the Egyptian desert. Among these problems, however, there are opportunities too. The second part describes three strategies that have the potential to bring sustainable change in the conservation of vernacular buildings in the Western Desert in Egypt. The final part offers a vision of how this desert vernacular heritage at risk can be nurtured, and suggests scenarios to achieve this.


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IN OTHER WORDS Manar Moursi

With changing global socio-economic patterns, the bursting of economic bubbles, and confrontation with the reality of our limited and vulnerable environmental resources, a noticeable response in architecture in the past years has been the shift towards research practices and production of knowledge outside the traditional realms of built and commissioned projects. Further, emphasis and more space is being given to those who explore and value architecture’s role in the construction of a socially & environmentally sustainable built environment. In Egypt too, albeit more marginal, this mode of production outside the framework of traditional practice, has gained currency in the past years. More and more architects and academics are shifting their focus to the task of identifying and asking questions, introducing new concepts and working with unusual tools. But what makes Egypt different and therefore more pressing to investigate in an urban sense, is amongst other factors, its unmatched rate of enormous population growth, as the Mapping Cairo diagrams presented in this pavilion illustrate. In 2016, more than half of the Egyptian population is estimated to be between 25 and 45 years old. The balance is therefore tipping towards the affirmation of youthful desires. The 2011 uprising was just one stop, failed or successful, in an ongoing moving train with multiple stops and demands.

While the under-privileged were resorting to a DIY architecture and urbanism, the elite were hiding out and expanding to the safety of newly-created statesponsored and gated desert suburbia. Instead of confronting the problems of the city at their core, their go-to solution was escapism. But no matter how many DIY units were produced, in the context of a projectile population growth, still, thousands of families lacked adequate housing and access to infrastructure. Social justice, encompassing more equal access to housing, health care and labor opportunities were amongst the key demands of revolutionary forces in Egypt. Fueled by the energy of the post-revolutionary context, some architects, urbanists and researchers found themselves intensely questioning these two trajectories of growth in Egypt, aiming for a potential force to change and reform. It is the fruits of their work that are presented here in the 15th edition of the Venice Biennale.

Paradoxes construct a particular observational scaffolding in which the story of this pavilion is set. As economic opportunities seem to be shrinking and with new record unemployment rates, in tandem, there’s a huge growth of skilled youthful labor including architects and urbanists with no opportunities to practice in the classical sense. In parallel, there is also a creative unskilled labor that has a strong DIY tradition. To add to the complexity, are the historical layers and multiplicity of stakeholders on every Sprawl and informal urbanism have been inch of the land. Further, Egypt’s unique the two parallel dynamics of growth in geopolitical position, make it a sponge Egyptian cities for the past half a century. that absorbs agendas and an orange Where the government failed to provide, a which inadvertently secretes a strong parallel and robust informal economy had odor to those surrounding it without even been providing low-mid income families being bitten into. with housing, with an unprecedented rate of urbanization, development and incursion on scarce agricultural land.


The work presented here can be broken down into two large categories – mapping projects and experimental proposals. The mapping projects attempt to survey existing conditions with applied analytical lenses, evident in their representational outputs. As with recent mapping efforts in other contexts, here, representation is viewed as a tool to think and present new information. It also entails the same potential shortcomings of mapping exercises when data is poorly researched and could advance a skewed perspective, or completely misinform. Nevertheless, the importance of the concerted effort to map and document in the Egyptian context cannot be underscored. After years of academic and research neglect there is a pressing need to excavate layers of information and to present them to raise awareness on core issues in the built environment. The mapping efforts can therefore be considered as political provocations, calls to action and foundations on which other proposals can be built.

This is the case in downtown Cairo, for example, which has been radically transforming since 2011.

As architecture becomes more and more a tool and a way of thinking, the relevance of the Egyptian pavilion is that it demonstrates through a plethora A delicate balance between stakeholders of projects and voices this new de facto has been the sine qua non condition for condition of constant change and the any architect wishing to operate in this ongoing guerilla response to it born space. This balance unfortunately is not out of a willfulness and resilience by always achieved no matter what the intents both architects and non-architects alike. are. However, these problems are not It brings to the fore critical questions unique to the Egyptian context, they are about our practices that go beyond the symptomatic of some of the limitations, typical and broad dictums of social and amongst them the reduced sense of environmental sustainability. It questions agency, confronting the architectural the relevance of our way of practicing and practice today. its outputs.

Both scales of production presented here, the mapping and experimental project efforts, collectively address and bring to the fore issues of informal urbanism, sprawl, inequality, lack of agency and conservation that are the core themes of Egyptian urbanization. Though the outputs have been vast, poor communication and collaboration between initiatives is felt across the board. The pavilion is a fertile ground to posit all these voices together in one space and open the floor The experimental proposals on the other to a conversation amongst peers that will hand, begin to tentatively propose and continue in Cairo beyond the Biennale. sometimes concretely make a mark in the urban context through surgical Left out of the exhibition and the pages interventions. They are academic of this catalogue, is the work of the endeavors or the work of small agencies non-architects who have contributed that are attempting to write their own more to the built environment than agendas based on research, engagement trained architects and urbanists in the with the community and a desire to use past thirty years. Like the architects, the local materials and know-how. These non-architect design-builders also face attempts are sometimes successful and resistance while conducting their practice sometimes equally unsuccessful in their shaping the city due to their “informal� architectural harvests. and precarious practices. In some instances, we see designers setting out with benevolent social agendas but design processes and solutions which do not justly address these aspirations. In other situations, good intentions can lose their original meaning when integrated into wider schemes of redevelopment.

Having highlighted the need of a deeper and more intense dialogue, we should also take this opportunity to raise certain pressing questions. When it comes to newly formed institutions in the urban field: what are their different structural models? How are they surviving in the market? What are their support structures? Is it important that they survive? And in the case of academia: what do international and local collaborations entail? What are their political ramifications? And finally and more importantly: what practical impact do all these academic, individual or institutional efforts have? What happens to the knowledge produced?

A wider and more inclusive dialogue about the built environment of Cairo should acknowledge their work and find better channels to collaborate with them professionally or professionalize them with better standards. REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


fact that the building phase took almost ten years, due to the extended funding timetable.

CHILDREN CULTURAL CENTRE COMMUNITY DESIGN COLLABORATIVE (CDC) www.cdcabdelhalim.com Principle Abdelhalim Ibrahim Primary Design Essam Mostafa Hassan Abouzaid Joseph Gerges Hesham Al-Zainy Sherif Ma’moun Hatem Morsy Team Raouf Farag Mahmoud Gaafar Mostafa Ammar Hesham Sakr Safwan Abdellatif Mohamed Mahmoud Ma’moun Taher Ma’moun Tarek El-sayed Consultants Ibrahim Ga’far, Ismail Ga’far (Structure) Mohamed Abou-Aldahab (Landscape) Maher Al-Saey (Quality control) ENDMAG Consultants (Soil)

FRAME 01/13

The Park lies in the heart of Historic Cairo, at the district of Sayeda Zaynab. Its design was inspired by the architectural and geometrical order of Ibn Tulun mosque. The park is designed and built by an outstanding community participation. The most significant aspect of this project is that it is executed by local materials, labors and techniques. After the competition submission was approved, CDC then went to the community to initiate their involvement. The scheme the had developed was outside their experience as was difficult for the people to visualize, so CDC decided to build as scale model of the entire project on the site. The tent makers in the community build as shelter for it and everyone in the neighborhood was invited to attend. This interactive workshop was accompanied by a ceremony that included the laying of the cornerstone of the Cultural Centre, even though design involvement with the community was still ongoing. The ceremony attracted official and media attention, including attendance by the First Lady then, Mrs. Mubarak. The technique of using three dimensional method to describe the project to the Sayeda Zainab community was a success, and the enthusiasm it generated was sustained even after collaborative workshop ended, and construction was complete. This is remarkable, given the

As the second main influence on the conceptualization of the Cultural Park, the Ibn Tulun mosque also contains innate lessons that have been extrapolated by the designer. It marks the beginning of the many layers of Islamic influence in medieval Cairo, with its rich layers of Tulunid, Fatamid, Ayyubid, Mamluk and Ottoman occupation. It also clearly represents the external evolution that layering since its spiralling minaret was inspired by a famous predecessor in Samarra, Iraq. Rather than quoting the Ibn Tulun minaret and other parts of the famous mosque literally, Abdelhalim chose to explore the geometrical philosophy behind it instead, and then adapted that into a three dimensional language based on rhythm rather than formal duplication that he then used throughout the park. It was the tempo of the geometrical expression of Ibn Tulun rather than its forms that Abdelhalim used to establish a subliminal connection between the mosque and the park. The path into the mosque in the past, for example, started at a forecourt, or, ziyadh where riders dismounted and tied up their horses. This was not visible from the main interior court. Worshipers then went through an offset entrance, of magaz, in the main circuit wall, capped with its unique anthropomorphic crenellations, before going to the wodo, in the centre of the open courtyard to wash. They then prayed in the covered hypostyle wall closest to the qibla, if they were early, or out in the open, if not. The minaret, which is placed near the qibla wall, terminated and emphasized this progression, through its scale. Similarly, the formal massing of the Cultural Park, and the sequencing of its open spaces, is intended to convey a sense of arrival, moving from smaller scale to large.


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is to increase Visitors’ appreciation of, and sensitivity to, the distinctive natural, environmental and cultural resources of the area, and to aid the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency in securing the sustainable use of the bountiful assets of the region. 2-Reception and welcoming pit-stop, that is predominantly open, serves basic Visitors’ needs such as refreshments, local crafts.

WADI EL GEMAL VISITORS CENTER MADA ARCHITECTURE STUDIO   www.madaarch.com Organization Egyptian Earth Construction Association Client Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency Donor USAID-Life Project Director Hany Attalla Project Architect Ramses Nosshi Project Team Khaled El Hammamy, Gawad Hashish, Ne’ama Allah Hisham, and Rasha Abd el Salam Contractor El Shazly Abou El Hassan

FRAME 02/13

Located 50 km. south of the Egyptian Red Sea shore town of Marsa Alam, and an hour flight south east of Cairo, Wadi El Gemal National Park (WGNP) was officially declared in 2003, the 24th protectorate in Egypt primarily due to its striking landscape and important cultural resources. Stretching from the Red Sea coast to about 50 km inland, WGNP includes roughly 4,000 sq. km. of terrestrial habitat, and approximately 1,400 sq. km. of marine life, Roman ruins, significant religious sites, quarries, and indigenous communities. The combination of marine and terrestrial habitats represents an important integrated ecosystem, including coral reefs, mangroves, desert valleys (Wadies) and their associated vegetation and periodic floods. The Visitors’ Center is located at the WGNP’s northern entrance (N24 40 58.3; E35 04 51.0), situated as a focal point, on the top of a hill, along the western side of the Suez/Bir Shalatein seashore highway. The one storey building is about 250 sq.m., and serves two main functions:

The Egyptian Earth Construction Association (EECA), an Egyptian nongovernmental organization concerned with the use of local building technologies, won the competition that was funded by the USAID through LIFE. Conceptually, the design of the building was inspired by the acacia tree, the only tree type abundant in this arid desert. For the Ababda tribes, the acacia is considered the reference point in the open wide desert; offering the much needed landmark, shade for gathering, and a source of nutritious pods, branches for construction and firewood. Similarly, the Visitors’ Center was designed to offer the shade and shelter where multiple activities can take place.

The site is extremely remote (50km from Marsa Alam, 850km from Cairo). While its location offers it a one of a kind pristine character, it cuts the site from any construction material including fresh water which had to be imported to the site. The remoteness of the site from any utilities advocated the necessity of designing the building to be self sustained, but also was a major hardship during it construction with no access to electricity or running 1-Orienting visitors and disseminating water. The immediate idea when a visit essential information about the park’s to the site was initially paid was to use nature and inhabitants (Ababda tribes) local building materials and local labor to through maps, brochures, tours, audio/ build it utilizing low technology building visual and interpretive presentations methods. of the surrounding features (Wadies, Mountains, Coast, Reefs, Fauna and Flora). The main purpose of the facility


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other hand, the construction became comparatively light, which was important as we were building atop a 120 year old building. Also, we chose this particular construction technique for its earthquake-resistant characteristics.

MATARIYAH CULTURAL CENTER Location Menyet Matar Street, Matariyah, Cairo, Egypt Client Matariyah neighborhood community Design Team Hisham El-Hitami, Student at Stuttgart University Emmanuel Dorsaz,Former Student at Mendrisio Academy of Architecture Selina Ahmann, Student at Stuttgart University David Wasel,Student at Stuttgart University Jonas Wolf,Student at Stuttgart University Consultants Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Meißner Naguib Farid Naguib Menkarios Nagwa Mankarius Site Management Hisham, Emmanuel, Selina & Karim Construction Team Hisham, Emmanuel, Selina Karim Naguib Farid Naguib, Former Student at GUC Nasr Ahmed,Mayadin Al-Tahrir in Cairo Young people from the neighbourhood of Matariyah

FRAME 03/13

In the spring of 2013, we met with a group of people from Matariyah who had asked for help to construct a cultural center for their neighborhood community. Matariyah is one of Cairo’s many Ghettos and the people there wanted a place to meet for creative exchange, language and handicraft courses and many other events, specifically for women, adolescents and children. We wanted to draft a building consisting of sustainable materials and which would be able to cool itself as much as possible so that it would not need any additional air conditioning. Also we wanted to refamiliarise the Egyptians with their own traditional building materials. There were no specific spatial requirements. The Matariyahns mainly envisaged a seminar room appropriately sized where language and handicraft courses could be held. The remaining part of the 150m² roof was up to us. Three aspects are notable in this project: the ecological, the structuralphysical and the social-participatory. We decided to use a modular earthen construction supported by wooden frames for the walls. These frames spanned a network of palm branches within them, which in a further step were covered with mud from both sides. On the one hand, this approach enabled us to use cheap, regional and traditional materials like clay, sand and palm branches. On the

Our natural air conditioning can be described by means of the following three concepts: A sunshade covers the roof‘s entire surface and thereby prevents the room from overheating. The room has two long facades: one facing windward and one leeward. The windward facade has a few small openings, whereas the leeward facade has plenty of large openings. This generates the following effect: the passing wind creates low pressure inside the room via the big openings, which is compensated by air suction through the small windward openings. Because of the openings‘ different sizes, the air is accelerated when entering - a natural ventilator! The tiles that we used inside and outside the room are made from porous ceramic - they can be moisturized in the morning and will then release their humidity throughout the day, which naturally cools the floor. This can be important on very hot days in summer. Humidity will always be balanced by the mud walls. “We worked with the young people who live in the neighborhood and who were keen on building their own place. We showed them our ideas and taught them how to build accordingly. Every time we left, they would continue building and we would come again and be surprised about how far they had advanced. In our opinion, this is one of the most important aspects of development aid: it is to give the people the know-how and enthuse them. If they build it up themselves, they will truly value the building in the end, use it and most importantly: appropriate and maintain it. That is one of the most important features in sustainability”.


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SAFE CITIES/ BECAUSE IAM A GIRL CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training, and Environmental Research) www.clustercairo.org Principals Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker Research & Design Team Randah El Hakim Nourhan Elzafarany Hanaa Gad Ahmad Hilal Ahmad Kadry Miran Mohamed Mohamed Rafik Gabriella Rossi Yasmina Taha Trainees Salma El Lakany Reham Hamad Supported by UN-Habitat

FRAME 04/13

The Ring Road in Cairo, which was completed towards the end of the 1990s, was conceived not only to divert regional traffic away from the city center, it was also designed to contain informal housing development on agricultural land. It set a new limit to the city, beyond which construction would be illegal. What it did not intend to do was give access to communities in adjacent informal areas alongside, despite the immediate proximity between the elevated highways and neighboring buildings – some so close one could almost reach out and touch the roadway without gaining entry. This segregation reflects a broader and more abstract political and economic condition of exclusion of the largely marginalized urban underclass, who lack services and connectivity to the city and society. Over time, the Ring Road began to be moored in surrounding neighborhoods, as communities constructed small stairways and opened up access points, leading to improvised microbus stations, roadside tea stands and coffee shops. Car repair shops began to advertise their locations using tires or mufflers, before stealthily adding a ladder or two to connect their shops to the other side of the road. While these informal activities along the Ring Road have been taking place in a subtle manner and on a small scale over the past decade, it was only after January 2011 that their number and magnitude became epidemic. Not only did the size of certain interventions increase, but new forms and typologies of intervention began to emerge as well. The most dramatic example of the latter was an exit ramp, in fact four of them, that were realized in and by Al-Mu‘tamidiya village, an informal housing neighborhood.

Al-Mu‘tamidiya exit, the communityconstructed on and off ramp, was built during the three months immediately following Mubarak’s ousting. It is located in the stretch between two formal junctures: 26th of July Corridor, less than 1 km to the north, and Saft al-Laban Corridor, 2 km to the south. When the Ring Road was constructed at the end of the 20th century, al-Mu‘tamidiya, like many other informal communities, was cut off from the highway. Informal areas on the one hand suffer from insufficient services and deteriorated infrastructure, leading to a call for investment in upgrading by both government and civil society groups. On the other hand, informal neighborhoods enjoy strong social networks and tightknit communities, offering opportunities to develop local modes of governance and protection of individuals. CLUSTER undertook a participatory design workshop with young girls and women in the Izbat Khayrallah area as part of the Safe Cities: Because I am a Girl Urban Programme. In preparation for the participatory workshop with community representatives, the team worked on developing tools to convey concepts drawn from the previous phase, as well as the pilot visit. The research team prepared a 1:50 scale physical model of a segment of the street adjacent to the Ring Road. Drawings of the interventions accompanied inspirational photos to communicate design proposals. A conceptual digital model was prepared along with the physical model to help develop and convey the concept proposals.


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Y’AHL el HAY” project was crystallized.

ARCHITECTURE FOR CO-EXISTENCE Y'AHL EL HAY Ecumene Studio www.ecumene-studio.org Design team El Obour 1st district Health center’ staff El Obour 1st district Kindergarten staff El Obour 1st district Local development NGO El Obour staff El obour city council Ecumene studio Arch.OmarWanas Arch. Insaf Ben OTHMANE H. Ahmed Mohamed Nabil Collaborators and sponsors UNHCR Terre Des Hommes Egyptian Ministry of Health Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity AMWHO: AinShams world health organization Graphic Design Rowaa Azam

FRAME 05/13

Obour City is a “New Urban Communities” city located 35 km northeast of Cairo in Cairo governorate. The City accommodates around 500.000 inhabitants and it is known by its high number of factories and residential areas. The project site is situated in the 1st district, considered the heart of the city containing the major services and governmental buildings and facilities accommodate and are inclusive and both The number of refugees and asylum Egyptians and Syrians. seekers registered by UNHCR in Egypt has reached 250.000 of which 120.000 The perceptual form of this urban are Syrians. The country witness- for the environment is a “Node”: focal point, first time in its modern history- the mass intersection of space. The diversity of and simultaneous arrival of refugees that services and public facilities and their need to be aided, accommodated and concentration within less than a 200 m integrated among the Egyptian population. radius, in addition to the local community pop-up activities in the public space, and Egypt is the unique country where the easy accessibility to the site make the refugees are not living in camps but in project’s site a potential intense population cities and have been developing a local convergence and attractive point. Every prospering economy for around 4 years element: inhabitants, visitors, activities, today. The presence of the Syrian refugees buildings in the project’s area has a role in the city is adding an immense pressure to play in this nuclear urban life. on host communities that continue to accommodate the incoming population. Architecture for Co-existence Y’AHL el Vulnerable Egyptians are feeling the HAY is a community-focused design pressure as they have to compete for the project that entails the development and same basic services. upgrade of the health center at first and has been extended to integrate as well the Cohabitation and Coexistence is a interstitial open area surrounding it and very difficult process that needs well the community kindergarten yard through established strategies and concerted several design interventions that emerged efforts from different stakeholders to from participatory sessions held with avoid xenophobia and –more important- the city council, doctors, nurses, health violence. UNHCR strategy is to work clinic staff, Local NGO’s, local builders with and for hosting community as well and craftsmen and the population in the as with refugees to preserve and expand vicinity of the clinic including the children. the protection space for Syrians. Within The inclusion in the project has been this strategy, the community support unit extended throughout its lifetime through “CSP” have initiated several projects that team building and trainings workshops are based on upgrading existing public yielding direct feedback of the ongoing facilities that both benefit Egyptians work, cohesion among community actors and Syrians. It is within this context and stronger sense of ownership of space. that “Architecture for Co-existence


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The model displays remains of agrarian land, property lines and irrigation channels as the base for later urbanization, as well as the existing street-scape with established housing types of concrete frames and brick infill. Alternatives projects developed by the MAS Urban Design for an innovative architecture are positioned on site, in the urban fabric.

ARD-EL-LIWA PROPOSALS MASTER OF ADVANCED STUDIES URBAN DESIGN PROF. DR. MARC ANGÉLIL DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE ETH ZÜRICH Team Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (Director of Studies), and Something Fantastic (Julian Schubert, Elena Schütz, and Leonard Streich) in collaboration with local partners Cluster (Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker). Students from MAS Urban Design 2014-2015: Patrick Abou Khalil, Zoi Alexandropoulou, Bernardo Baillif de Sousa Falcao, Grigorios Dimitriadis, Christine Fisher, Marilena Fotopoulou, Ameya Joshi, Hee Chul Jung, Denise Kouniaki, Maria Kouvari, Tina Lamprou, Alice Merche, Daniel Ostrowski, Elisavet Papadopoulou, Shinji Terada, Francesco Tonnarelli, Faye Vitou, Dimitra Zarri, Kathy Zerlauth. Students from MAS Urban Design 2015-2016: Daniel Ariño Espallargas, Aikaterini Christopoulou, Felipe Combeau Oyarzún, Hugo Dos Reis Vieira Pinto , Ekkachan Eiamananwattana, Guido Greco, Georgios Kaldis, Georgios Lavantsiotis, Christina Lazou, Katarzyna Pankowska, Gide Sleiman Haidar, Sofia Symeonidou, Aknaw Taddese Yohannes, Maria Tsagka, Yuki Ueno, Ana-Caterina Viguera Andreu, Olga Vougioukalaki, Yao Ting Wu, Seunghee Yang.

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Ultimately, the MAS Urban Design is working against the negative perception attached to informal areas and for a The ETH Zurich Master of Advanced stronger engagement of architects and Studies Program in Urban Design at designers in these vibrant, inclusive the Chair of Marc Angélil and directed and inventive neighborhoods, ultimately by Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (with calling for governmental awareness to Something Fantastic and in collaboration legalize, recognize and integrate these with CLUSTER) initiated an investigation areas as an integral part of the city. on informal settlements in Cairo, looking into designs for affordable housing units in the neighborhood of Ard-el-Liwa. Existing typologies of buildings in the area, their flexibility and qualities are displayed along with selected projects showing how rearranging existing building components can lead to new urban forms, and a betterment of the living conditions. Informal mode of urbanization in Cairo construction at this stage of development calls for a reassessment of the manner in which the discipline of architecture reacts to forces of urbanization operating beyond the usual legal framework while fundamentally questioning the validity of formal planning. Persistent urban growth shows that, while lacking public services and infrastructures, informal settlements are nonetheless successful in generating dense and affordable housing for the popular classes. However, a constructive governmental policy to legalize these settlements is yet to materialize and their potential is not understood.


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


A self-implemented production unit for planting, drying, processing, packaging and selling herbs can improve not only the urban quality of the area but also the social conditions. Analyzing the production and processing chains of agricultural products in Egypt one can find a lot of missing links. Bad knowledge, no possibilities to store or process the product properly or mistrust between producer and processor lead to a loss of valuable products, sometimes up to 40%.

COMMON GARDENS A Second Place winner at Urban Innovation National Competition Team Ahmed E. El-Melegy Bassant Essam Christine Fischer Maria-Eleni Fotopoulou Ahmed Mohammed Kamel Katharina Zerlauth Supervisor Charlotte Malterre-Barthes

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The building typology of Common Gardens integrates a complete infrastructure for producing herbs. Units following the steps of the processing chain are arranged on the ground floor level. Herbs and vegetables can be grown on the surrounding roof tops and gardens. They then get processed and sold within a short distance. The project integrates people of the neighborhood in the growing process. A corporation with the School will rise the awareness for the need of a sustainable environment. The hydroponic growing system needs less space than conventional agricultural practices and can be easily implemented on roof tops and in the courtyards. The produced herbs can then be dropped of at Common Gardens processing unit to get processed and sold. With the project growing, more and more families are getting involved. Through the well organized processing and selling, farming herbs gets profitable for them. Soon more Common Gardens units can be built in the area and start new productive circles. Beside economic benefits, Common Gardens adds a green layer to the neighborhood and helps to make the area more attractive to their residents. To start the project one full processing unit will be implemented in the ground floor of one of the existing buildings. Starter kits for growing units will be handed to interested families to then get built up on roof top.


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


compounds and were offered a wide range of facilities and services while the labourers and builders lived in informal shacks and tents. Forty-three years after the completion of the dam, the workers’ settlements still exist and have developed into multiple quarters. The old construction site workshops are left unused.

THE CITY OF HIGH-DAM Master thesis project submitted at the Faculty of Architecture at the RWTH Aachen University Author Alia Mortada Thesis Supervisors Univ. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Anne-Julchen Bernhardt Prof. Axel Sowa Dipl.-Ing. Sascha Glasl

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In 1964 newly cultivated settlements in the desert north of Aswan were arranged to house the Egyptian Nubians after a big relocation campaign to make room for the construction of the Aswan High Dam and behind it the ‘biggest lake ever made by man’. However, despite the fact that the Nubian community was “compensated” the loss of their land on the Nile River banks could not be materially indemnified. The relocation carried with it a struggle of identity and culture. By relocating the Nubians away from the Nile and out of their villages their camaraderie and sense of community were deeply affected. Songs that were sung after the resettlement tell stories of the Nile and express a deep yearning for the flooded homeland. At the same time, some of the Nubians perceived their loss as a contribution to the common good of all Egyptians, and prayed that the Nile would be as good to Nasser as it has been to them. The preparations for the Aswan High Dam construction site constituted a budget of 5 million Egyptian pounds and entailed the extension of the Nile Valley railway line, the construction of a power connector to the power plant of the Aswan Old Dam as well as workshops and workers’ settlements with their associated infrastructure. However, the dam that promoted an egalitarian society and a national unity did not reflect that on an urban scale. Engineers, foreign experts and technicians lived in well-built

The following project explores an infrastructure of great national and geopolitical significance: the Aswan High Dam of Egypt. This monumental structure, which altered the Nile River’s ecosystem and landscape, as well as Egypt’s agriculture and energy supply, also triggered through its insertion a widely overlooked process of urban development - one that this study unravels. The research presents a retroactive reflection on the construction plan of the dam and puts forward the hypothesis that this plan - in fact - led to the unforeseen creation of a new city, the City of the High Dam. Following an on-site investigation of the geographical, urban and architectural parameters surrounding the dam, the proposal translates the findings into a history of creation of the “City of the High Dam” from 1944 until today and imagines a vision for this - fictional on paper, but very much existing - city in 2064, one hundred years after the dam’s construction.


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


CAIRO DOWNTOWN PASSAGES CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies, Training, and Environmental Research) www.clustercairo.org Principals Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker Research & Design Team Ahmad Kadry Eman Elhoufy Hanaa Gad Miran Mohamed Mohamed Rafik Noha Darwish Randah El Hakim Salma Nassar Yasmina Taha Trainees Maya Kazamel, Ahmad Hilal, Shahd Omar, Ahmed Diaa, Mahmoud Fahmy, Ahmed El Leithi, Amina Salama Concept Yasmin Elayat, Bianca M. Hermansen, Manar Moursi Supporters DEDI and CKU Al Ismaelia for Real Estate Investment, Sarwat Abd El-Shahid Law Firm, Babel Shoes

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Downtown Cairo was partially modeled after European cities of the late nineteenth century, such as Paris and Vienna. The commercial arcade was one of the key urban typologies inserted within, or between, many buildings Downtown. Having undergone periods of prosperity, deterioration and decay over the past decades, many Downtown passageways serve today as sites for rich and diverse uses and activities. These activities extend to the gaps between buildings, setbacks, courtyards, and side streets that were either officially or de facto pedestrianized. Usage of these spaces range from food places and coffee shops, to sites for trade and retail, including stationeries and bookstores, bars and restaurants, galleries and art spaces, as well as small prayer corners. Being off the main channels of automobile traffic, they operate as hubs for competing interests and claims to space. CLUSTER’s Cairo Downtown Passageways project explores the network of downtown Cairo’s passageways, back alleys, side streets and in-between spaces as an alternative framework for the development and revitalization of Downtown. Viewed together, they offer an opportunity to re-envision Downtown as a network of pathways hosting commerce and entertainment. They also offer a counter-point to the traffic and street grid, with the potential to present a stage for periodic artistic and cultural programs, such as book fairs, children’s festivals, flea markets, and even bike lanes and greenways. In 2014, CLUSTER undertook the renovation of four indoor spaces flanking the Kodak Passageway, seeing the role that art and culture might play in catalyzing further development of the passage. A pilot art and cultural program featuring a retrospective exhibition of Egyptian artist Hassan Khan was curated and designed by CLUSTER to interface with the passage, integrating all premises

and engaging these programs with the wider public, as part of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival. The Hassan Khan exhibition spaces occupied four different storefronts along the western side of Kodak Passage, ranging in their size, clear height and physical conditions. The exhibition curation, design and architectural renovation were undertaken by CLUSTER to present a procession of exhibition spaces, interjecting the artist’s ouevre amidst the public and pedestrian activities of the arcade. Philips Passage is an L-shaped space connecting Sherif and Adly Streets. It offers an opportunity to engage diverse activities: with a mix of retail, food, entertainment and service usage. It suffers from the chronic, but typical, encroachment into the public domain by shops and street vendors. It also occupies a unique setting between privately owned and public access, pedestrian traffic amenities and infrastructure. CLUSTER upgraded the Philips Passageway by promoting improved accessibility, safety and lighting, complete with entry marquee and a film screening feature. Kodak Passage is a linear space that connects Adly Street to Abdel Khaleq Tharwat Street. It is flanked by a U-shaped building that is mostly empty, as many of the surrounding shops are either vacant or have low street traffic. The indoor spaces flanking Kodak offer an opportunity for pilot art and cultural programs that may potentially spill over the passage, integrating all premises and engaging these programs with the wider public. CLUSTER redeveloped the Kodak passageway as a landscaped, peaceful refuge featuring the replication of the original 1930’s art deco light fixtures and a custom designed walkway.


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


In January 2015, RISE announced an architectural design competition for the El Heiz Water Education Center (HWEC). The construction of the center forms part of a three-year sustainable water management project funded by HSBC.

EL HEIZ WATER EDUCATION CENTER Team Zeiad Amer Marwa Dabaieh Ahmed AbdelGawad Mostafa El Beshbishy Nahed Zemiter Sherif Ramzy Sherif Khaled With the support of RISE foundation.

The El Heiz Water Education Centre was designed following an architecture competition as its design was an impressive sustainable building with renewable energy and water recycling facilities. This centre will have exhibitions on sustainable water use and will provide a space for water education and training among farmers, youth, entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians from agricultural companies for hundreds of people living in the Western Desert. The center will provide a space for water education and awareness raising among farmers, youth, tourists, entrepreneurs, engineers and technicians from agricultural companies across the Western Desert. To be designed as a sustainable building with renewable energy and water recycling facilities, the center will also act as a water exhibition focusing on sustainable water use and give testimony to the different stages of El Heiz’s rich cultural history. The center forms part of a larger scale plan to turn El Heiz into a destination showcasing the Western Desert’s natural and cultural history. Our aim is to construct a building that reflects and augments the spirit of sustainable architecture and community building processes, while preserving El Heiz’s vernacular architecture.

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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


A SCHOOLYARD FOR ALL Ecumene Studio www.ecumene-studio.org Team Arch.OmarWanas Arch. Insaf Ben OTHMANE H. Ahmed Mohamed Nabil

HOUCH YGAMAANA’ is a participatory design and construct project implemented by Ecumene Studio and initiated by UNHCR Egypt aiming to benefit the local Syrian and Egyptian community in Egypt. The project was effectively carried out twice in each of the cities of Gamasa and New Damietta in September 2014 and January 2015 respectively. Houch Ygamaana’ entails the upgrade of an existing outdoor space - in participation with the user community - to create a more functional child and community friendly one that fosters users of different age- groups and enhances their playing, learning and social experiences. The process comprises a series of Co-design workshops which aid in building and strengthening community ties, help in the integration of the Syrian population in the society, induce a sense of ownership among the users of the space and provoke a strong sense of belonging of the participants while stimulating their sense of creativity. In the past two experiences, the redesign and physical enhancement of the targeted spaces proved to be more than merely a project outcome. Where, “the collaborative physical upgrade process” acted as an effective outreach strategy for partner NGOs to the vulnerable groups in the local community, a realm in which the users convey their needs and converse with local authorities and more crucially a living proof of the power of communities when they embrace their differences. On the larger scale, the project offers a glimpse of the results of eluding from the conventional and mainstream methods of design and city building by integrating the beneficiary communities.

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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


REAL FICTIONS University of Pennsylvania The School of Design Graduate Architecture Department Chair Winka Dubbeldam Instructor Ferda Kolatan Assistant Instructor Michael Zimmerman Student Team Fan Cao, Dunbee Choi, Joseph Giampetro, Heng Gu, Yanghui Huang, Hyemi Kang, Grace Kim, Brett Lee, Rachel Lee, Hadeel Mohammad, Chi Zhang, Xinju Zhang Special Thanks to Ibrahim Mehlib, Laila Iskandar, Mohamed Abu Saeda, Gihane Zaki, Haby Hosney, Aly Abouzeid , and Ahmed Zaazaa

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The projects on display speculate on possible futures for informal settlements in Cairo. The approach for the prototypes is to neither romanticize informal organization nor to discard and replace them with more modernized urban solutions. Instead the aim is to identify potentialities within the existing architectural and urban fabric, which can then be amplified to generate fictionalized versions of themselves. “Real Fictions” are deliberately anti-utopian as they do not believe in an idealized tomorrow. Yet, they also resist to privilege an ethic of pragmatism, which only operates in strict causality with little hope for any meaningful transformation. As 60% of Egypt’s population lives in informality, it is important to move beyond naïve modes of problemsolving (be they capital-driven and modernist or localized and preservationist) and develop design tactics that challenge both these strategies as ultimately insufficient to engender paradigmatic change. The five prototypes, regardless of their scale and type, depart from the specific material and socio-political conditions they address without any predetermined judgement calls. To this realist approach, amendments are made, some functional, some formal, some programmatic, some infrastructural, with the purpose of reengaging the story of informal Cairo in unexpected ways and accessing the vast yet clandestine surplus residing within its intricate structures.


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PAGe 11 Location Everywhere Traslochi Emotivi Collaborators Giuseppe Cucurachi Federico Luger Fondation Lilian Thuram Isabelle Valembras-Dahirel Laboratori Legren (nutriceutica e medicina omeopatica) Le Case d’Arte Paola Coin Spazio 22 Special Thanks to Alice Bachmann, Anna Pieroni, Annalucia Leccese ,Bella Shakhmirza, Chiu Ching Yi, Eugenio Alberti, Giovanni Currà, Giulia Currà, Giulia Restifo, Francesca Guerisoli, L’Ecume des jours, Mahmoud Saleh Mohammadi, Marcella Vanzo, Mariska Voskamp van Noord, Maura Buosi, Michela di Savino, Morgane Quere, Pasquale Leccese, Pierangela Bortolotto, Simona Rinaldo, Valentina Santi

PAGe n.1 “Lupa di mare”, august 2011 PAGe n.2 Traslochi Emotivi and Francesca Pasini, 23 novembre alle ore 23 PAGe n.3 Traslochi Emotivi and Simon Lewandowski, venerdi 6 novembre 2011 PAGe n.4 “FATE PRESTO”, 11/11/11 PAGe n.5 Traslochi Emotivi and Cecilie Skov, “raining lunch” PAGe n.6 Traslochi Emotivi and Ako Atikossie, Ruggero Baisi, Adriana Grigoriev, Guemmuk Lee, Edlira Mullaj, Ichrak Taha, “ A PASSO D’UOMO”, venerdi 13 aprile 2012 “if you move something happens” PAGe n. 7 Traslochi Emotivi and Aki Sasamoto, “SHAKE it “, Domenica Traslochi Emotivi was founded in 2010. 4.6.2012 It is an interdisciplinary project between PAGe n.8 Traslochi Emotivi and Maxine arts. It is a production house, or an house Ma’atSankofa “The muse is exhausted” made production. It is a state of being, but PAGe n.9 Traslochi Emotivi and Marijke it is not a state. It is a nomad idea, but it is van Warmerdam, “SECOND” not a movement. The last issue is PAGe n.10 Traslochi “Who has chosen being unrecognizable Emotivi and Lee Ranaldo, “The here and as its identity... a hybrid that changes right now” features a poem by Brion according to what he encounters. A way Gysin, alongside Ranaldo’s text Mexico of exploring the urban background with City D.F and the drawing Street to New unwitting actors, whom are not voluntarily York. PAGe n.10 has come into being participating in the experiments” through music, poems and moving. ( Francesca Alfano Miglietti, 2015 ) For its 11th number PAGe is going to PAGe is a project by Traslochi Emotivi. adopt as its own resource the title of the Published since 2011, it is an adventure Egypt Pavilion at the XV Venice Biennale based on coincidences, printed on of Architecture. REFRAMING BACK // A3 size paper. These A3 size PAGes IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATION. Where preserve the origin of an encounter the sheet will become the testing ground between unknowns. PAGe becomes a of a way of thinking that “creates using hybrid capable of transforming itself what it already has.” While looking at into a physical, architectural and “urban” the deconstruction of a newly assembled location, for emotional, physical or project, Traslochi Emotivi will use the cognitive relationships. The protagonists “frame” as a chance to “get back into use the classic “golden rectangle” A4 the game”. Traslochi Emotivi will be the doubled, as a working table, like a ping boundary between the inside and the pong table, where there is no challenge, outside, a crossing line where the only winner or loser, but only a first roll of the ID card is the PAGe. The passage will dice. From this simple and instinctive be seen as architecture, as a temporary act, are grown the resources we need for place of mediation between two entities, the knowledge and the construction of between two places. But unlike territorial something with our surroundings. borders, this will all have free access.


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REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS


THE COMMISSIONER AHMAD HILAL

CURATORIAL TEAM

Ahmad Hilal is an Egyptian Architect (Born in 1991 in Cairo), He is currently doing his Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at Politecnico Di Milano as a GOLD scholarship holder. He moved to PoliMi just after finishing his double degree in Architectural Engineering at MSA University and Greenwich university of London with Honours.

ESLAM SALEM Eslam Salem is an Egyptian Architect (Born in cairo,1992) had his ‘Bachelor Degree’ from Modern Science and Arts (MSA) University with a validation from Greenwich UniversityU.K- with Second Honours (1st Division). Eslam is working as an Architect at ‘CDCAbdelhalim’ an Aga-khan award firm. He is working in all design phases from conceptual sketching to final presentations.

He is working as a freelance architect in several architectural projects in Europe & MEA region. His work focus on new spatial concepts intensifying existing potentials by integrated design methodologies through architectural research by the aim of merging pragmatic paradigms with innovative design in multiple scales.

Eslam is also working in many projects in Egypt as a freelance architect. During the last three years, he participated in many international competitions and workshops in both Architectural and Urban scales. Lately he was among ‘CDC-Abdelhalim’ team in ‘URBAN RE- PLANNING OF MASPERO TRIANGLE’ as they were shortlisted after the pre-qualification phase.

He was a member in EZBET project design team, which is founded by AYB NGO, Ainshams University and Stuttgart University. He is the co-founder of SEED activity group and volunteered an associate in BEE’iE’s Environmental NGO. Furthermore, he competed in several national and international competitions where he received several awards. He participated in a number of international workshops including Greenwich summer school (sustainable cities), AA (Architectural Association) Mittelmeerland international visiting school, (Desert Cities) at ETH Zurich as well as different series of other events related to architecture and sustainable development.

In 2015 he and his team was placed the 2nd in ‘Urban Innovations Competition’ organised by Cairo University (CU) + The American University in Cairo (AUC) which was aiming to make small scale interventions on the urban scale in the 6th District in October city in Cairo. He participated with his team in the ‘INTERTNATIONAL COMPETITION OF MASS HOUSING’ organised by UN-HABITAT + International Union of Architects (UIA) and he was placed the 2nd at the national stage. Then he Co-published a paper about his wining proposal named ‘IBNI BETAK: NOT JUST A BACKYARD’ in the ‘6th International conference: RESPONSIVE URBANISM IN INFORMAL AREAS’ organised by UNHABITAT + Cairo University (CU).

He was shortlisted to be part of the Advanced School of Architecture at Politecnico di Milano; it’s an advanced ​programme held in parallel to the Masters studies. In 2015, He joined OBR-Open Building Research as a junior architect-intern, where he has been enrolled in the design team in several ongoing projects. And recently, he has been a teaching assistant in Politecnico di Milano for the Sustainable Multidisciplinary Design Studio in Facoltà di Ingegneria Edile – Architettura.

Eslam had practical experiences in different architectural fields such as a Landscape Architect at ‘IDD Landscaping’ (Egypt). An Intern Architect at ‘Mahomud Riad Architects’ (Egypt) where he participated in an INTERNATIONAL BID organized by ‘’Arquitectum.com’’ for Designing a Residential Tower in Lima, Peru. And also he was an Intern Architect at ‘Battle McCarthey ‘(UK).


GABRIELE SECCHI

LUCA BORLENGHI

MOSTAFA SALEM

Born in 1991 in Bormio, Italy, GS is an architecture student at Politecnico di Milano, attending a double degree program in Building Engineering & Architecture.

Luca Borlenghi, born in 1992 in Piacenza, Italy, is a senior undergraduate student at Politecnico di Milano, attending the Double degree program in Building Engineering & Architecture.

Mostafa Salem, born in 1992 in Cairo, He is an Architect who got his bachelor degree in Architectural Engineering from MSA University and the university of Greenwich (Double Degree). After graduating he worked as a teaching assistant specialized in architecture design and 3d modeling courses. At the same time he worked as a part-time interior designer at Tebmar and Living Space companies.

He had the opportunity to be an exchange student at Tsingua University of Beijing, China. EPMA master program in addition to his participation in the Urban Parametric workshop at University of Hong Kong (HKU), which let him know East Asia’s culture, where he studied contemporary ways of how developing countries deal with globalization and foreign mentalities, and how the advanced modernity affects and creates generational gaps between the previous generation and the present one. Moreover, He has been to Universidad Politécnica de Madrid where he studied about the human body: how unconsciously it interacts with other objects under different circumstances, from a closed space to a crowded open plaza. In 2015, he has been an intern at “Emmer Pfenninger Partner AG”, Basel, Switzerland. Getting to know the behind-the-scenes tasks reinforced his sensibility for the coordination of bigger projects: being confronted with and experiencing such technical professionalism regarding façades gave him solid basis for real scale problems, specifically when it comes to transforming executive drawings into reality. Recently, his work is focusing on studies about the integration of the skeleton structure in the architectural design process. As a part of group master thesis, he is developing the project of a public library located in London. The goal is to combine equally: energy, structure & architectural composition, and to define critically the modern paradigm of connecting structure methodology and architectural design process.

In 2010 he graduated from “Liceo Artistico Bruno Cassinari”, a high school of art, architecture and design, with the thesis “Music in space, colors and words”, about how music influenced different disciplines, such as architecture, painting and poetry. He studied piano at the Conservatory of Piacenza “Giuseppe Nicolini” and at the Advanced school of Music of Nunzio Rossi, where he reached the specialization in Jazz, Blues and Fusion music. During his studies at Politecnico di Milano he dealt with projects in different scales and contexts, acquiring the ability to master both complex organisms and small interventions at the human scale. He made full use of different building and structural technologies, understanding their value as architectural language. He also took part in many international workshops and competitions with great results. He worked as a free-lance designer for several architectural practices where he gained some valuable practical experience in the construction industry. Since the beginning of his career, he developed a strong interest in architecture in its broadest conception and his vocation for interdisciplinary led him to a design approach that takes into account several aspects that are the results of the contamination from different disciplines. A careful analysis and synthesis of the reality that surrounds us led him to a conception of space that is not only intended from a dimensional or conceptual point of view, but also from a perceptual, social and relational perspective.

Mostafa always intended for reaching out to diverse architecture designers-coming from different design schools and cultural backgrounds-while attending various seminars and participating in considerable workshops at different countries like England, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Egypt. In addition, he have competed in several national and international competitions since he was a student where he have received several awards, he won the 2nd place nationally and 3rd regionally and was from the 12 finalist internationally in the Urban revitalization of mass housing competition organized by the UN-Habitat, consequently he received an invitation to present his work at the World urban forum held in Colombia. Lately he participated in the international competition of Maspero triangle re-planning with CDC-Abdelhalim. Besides his research interest in sustainable development and integrated urbanism, he was a member in different organizations, the AA school, The Egyptian Society for Energy in Buildings and Environmental Design Research, EZBET project design team. Moreover in his extra curriculum activities he was the co-founder of BEECA (Breakthrough in Egyptian Expertise Culture and Artistries) as well as SEED (Sustainable Environmental Ecological Design) activity group. Over and above he volunteered in Lebaladna development foundation as a project manager for the local handicrafts in Egypt.


Collaborators

ETH Zürich Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich Master of Advanced Studies Urban Design Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil Department of Architecture Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes (Director of Studies), and Something Fantastic (Julian Schubert, Elena Schütz, and Leonard Streich) in collaboration with local partners Cluster (Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker). Students from MAS Urban Design 2014-2015: Patrick Abou Khalil, Zoi Alexandropoulou, Bernardo Baillif de Sousa Falcao, Grigorios Dimitriadis, Christine Fisher, Marilena Fotopoulou, Ameya Joshi, Hee Chul Jung, Denise Kouniaki, Maria Kouvari, Tina Lamprou, Alice Merche, Daniel Ostrowski, Elisavet Papadopoulou, Shinji Terada, Francesco Tonnarelli, Faye Vitou, Dimitra Zarri, Kathy Zerlauth. Students from MAS Urban Design 2015-2016: Daniel Ariño Espallargas, Aikaterini Christopoulou, Felipe Combeau Oyarzún, Hugo Dos Reis Vieira Pinto , Ekkachan Eiamananwattana, Guido Greco, Georgios Kaldis, Georgios Lavantsiotis, Christina Lazou, Katarzyna Pankowska, Gide Sleiman Haidar, Sofia Symeonidou, Aknaw Taddese Yohannes, Maria Tsagka, Yuki Ueno, Ana-Caterina Viguera Andreu, Olga Vougioukalaki, Yao Ting Wu, Seunghee Yang

MSA University Architecture Department Prof. Omar Fawzy Head of Department Omar Elmelegy Assistant Lecturer - EMB Workshop organizer Ahmed El-Leithi, Abdelrahman El-Hiatmy, Hany Mohsen, Mayar El-Sayed, Maryam Kamal, Salma ElRouby, Yehia Shawky Abouzaid Abdelrahman Afia, Abdelrahman Alaa, Ahmed Ashraf, Ahmed Elmelegy, Aliaa Mohamed Shokry, Ehsan Aboushadi, Essam Mohsen, Eyad Tarek, Farah Gendy, Islam Abou El Dardaa, Islam Ali Ibrahim, Mai Esawy, Marwan Wafik El-Sayed, Mirna Khalifa, Mohamed Abbas, Mohamed Anwar, Mostafa Soliman, Mohamed Yasser Elsarif, Nariman Nashaat Shehab, Nervana Morkus, Nour Abdelaziz Kamal, Nourhan Abdelhamid, Radwa Hilal Ahmad, Rokaya Mohamed Mostafa, Sarah Mouselhy, Sarah Aita, Yomna Khalifa, Yossef Ahmed Bazan

University of Pennsylvania The School of Design Graduate Architecture Winka Dubbeldam Department Chair Instructor: Ferda Kolatan Ass. Instructor: Michael Zimmerman Fan Cao, Dunbee Choi, Joseph Giampetro, Heng Gu, Yanghui Huang, Hyemi Kang, Grace Kim, Brett Lee, Rachel Lee, Hadeel Mohammad, Chi Zhang, Xinju Zhang

Architectural Association School of Architecture Mittelmeerland Directors: Medine Altiok Stephanie Tunka Ahmed Abdallah, Ahmed Abdelraouf, Abdelaziz Othman, Hassan Dawood, Ghdaa Essam, Mounir Saad-Eldin, Muhammad Nabee, Anas Hosney, Hesham Elsayed, Lobna Ali, Mar Iam Alshiekh, Mariam Alembaby, Mazen Elazab, Mirihan Gamal, Mohamed Haridy, Mostafa Salim, Reham Said, Samar Gomaa, Omar El-Melegy, Mohammed Mostafa, Mohammed Gehad, Abdelramen Mohammed, Heba Hatem, Ahmed Hilal , Ayman Ghali, Aziz Naguib, Bassant Essam, Marina Qaldas, Mohamed Ossama, Mohamem Sallam, Noha Refaat, Ragya El Masry, Salah Maged, Heidi Samir, Mostafa Fathy, Raghda Sarhan, Stavros Papavassiliou, Yelta Kom, Mohammed Fisal, Dodi Sultan, May Abdelhafez, Reham Elneshawy, Hadeer Adel, Mohammed Eldegla Modelmaking Wael Khalil Nermeen Hussein Exhibition Preparations TEBMAR interior decoration Wael Fathy Construction Supervision Giorgia Andreatta For their assistance in the graphical materials publishing and printouts, we would like to thank LITOQUICK of Massimo Fracchioni, Piacenza


Organized by Ministry of Culture

Egyptian Academy in Rome Mohamed Makarem Maria Adele Rogai Laura Iudiciani Fathy El-Farmawy National Organization of Urban Harmony Haby Hosny Mostafa Fardows Mohamed Said Emam Said Emam Ramy Sabry Ibrahim Yehia Emam Mohamed Osama Abdelazim General Coordinator Alaa Shakwier www.moc.gov.eg www.accademiaegitto.org www.urbanharmony.org www.fineart.gov.eg www.docp.gov.eg Printed by PRINT GATE 5209, St.9, ElMokatam Cairo - Egypt Every attempt has been made to contact copyright holders of materials published inside this catalogue. If copyright holders have not been properly acknowledged please contact us. RBIC curators will be happy to rectify the omission in future releases or to take down the image, as appropriate.

Copyright Š 2016 REFRAMING BACK IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the curator of the Egyptian pavilion at the address below. Accademia d’Egitto Via Omero, 4, 00197 Roma, Italy +39 06 3201896 info@academeiaegitto.it


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IN A WORLD WHERE NEWS COVERAGE IS SKEWED, DOZENS OF CONFLICTS AND STRUGGLES GO UNNOTICED. BEYOND THE SENSATIONAL FOCUS ON CERTAIN LARGER EVENTS, DAILY CONFLICTS OF A SMALLER SCALE, BUT NO LESS IMPORTANT, PERSIST. AT THE HEART OF ALL THESE BATTLES, WHETHER LARGE OR SMALL, IS A TENSION BETWEEN AMBITIOUS, UNREALIZED EXPECTATIONS AND UNFULFILLING RESULTS. TENACITY, ENDURANCE AND CREATIVE RESILIENCE, HOWEVER, HAVE COME TO EMBODY THE SPIRIT OF THESE FIGHTS FOR CHANGE. REFRAMING BACK// IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS IS NOT ONLY A SPACE TO BRING THESE EFFORTS TO THE FORE, IT IS A MOMENT TO CELEBRATE THEM TOGETHER, HOPEFULLY INJECTING THEM WITH THE OPTIMISM AND ENERGY NECESSARY TO CONTINUE THEIR FIGHT. THIS PAVILION IS IN NO WAY A COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF ALL INITIATIVES AND WORKS THAT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED DURING THE LAST PERIOD IN EGYPT. IT IS, HOWEVER, AN ATTEMPT TO INTRODUCE TO A LARGE AUDIENCE THE WORK OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS AND COLLECTIVES, STUDENTS AND PROFESSIONALS, WHO OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST DECADE, HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR NEW OPERATING MODELS IN EGYPT AND ENGAGING IN ARCHITECTURE AS A FIELD OF CRITICAL INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY. THE WORK PRESENTED HERE DEMONSTRATES THE INTEREST OF A WIDE RANGE OF ACTORS - GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITIES, RESEARCH CENTERS, INDEPENDENT PRACTITIONERS - IN THE EGYPTIAN URBAN CONDITION. THE PAVILION AT THIS YEAR'S VENICE BIENNALE, MARKS THE OCCASION TO BRING FORTH ALL THESE PERSPECTIVES AND APPROACHES IN ONE SPACE AND TO REFLECT ON THE NATURE OF THE KNOWLEDGE PRODUCED IN THE PAST DECADE. IT IS AT THE SAME TIME AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE ITS POTENTIAL FOR ACTION AND TRANSFORMATION.

Egyptian pavilion 15th biennale of architecture  
Egyptian pavilion 15th biennale of architecture  
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