A design proposal for the launch event and permanent exhibition venue of Cairo 2050. In 2010 the Egyptian government announced an ambitious multiphase urban planning and development project under the name of “Cairo 2050 vision”, a project that was supposedly going to solve the urban problems of the Egyptian capital, and reshape Cairo into a modern eco-friendly metropolitan city by the year 2050. The launch for Cairo 2050 Vision was to be through a mega launch event and permanent exhibition venue.
This design proposal was to develop an outdoor location to become the permanent expo forCairo 2050 Project. The expo was to be divided into 3 areas, first is an Entrance foyer area, followed by an outdoor promenade housing the 5 pavilions, each showcasing a segment of the Cairo 2050 planning project, ending with a mega exhibition area showcasing the full 1:1000 model of the Cairo 2050 planning project.
The design proposal for the event and exhibition area used inspirations from the urban fabric of Cairo, the timeline of the history and civilization of Egypt and the Architecture of the ultra-modern Cairo 2050 Planning project.
Entrance and Foyer:
The inspiration for the entrance area was the colossal expansion of Cairo in the last 100 years. The morphology of the space traces the urban boundaries of Cairo through the last century and is divided into two zones by a glass stepping that symbolizes the river Nile.
The main walls carry Arabic calligraphy and Patterns driven from both the Islamic and Coptic era to accentuate Identity and signal Unity, while the architecture of the walls follows Pharaohnic lines to reminisce Greatness.
Promenade and Pavilions:
The promenade acts as a preparation area, where the visitor gets to sees glimpses of the Cairo 2050 project, but without experiencing the full scale of the massive project.
The promenade itself is carried out in a reversed timeline scheme, where the starting point is the mundane reality of Cairo in 2010, ending with the Ancient Egyptian Civilization.It features a water stream that continues the symbolism of the river Nile from the entrance space.
Along the promenade are 5 pavilions, each dedicated to showcasing a key segment of the Cairo 2050 planning project.The morphology of the 5 pavilions comes from applying to transformational filters the urban and geographical textures of Egypt.The concepts of the 5 pavilions chronologically are: Hope, Progress, Future, Transformation, Change, respectively.
The timeline promenade ends with the building of the pyramids as a key moment in the history of Ancient Egyptian Civilization, signaling a time when Cairo was a beckon of civilization.
Main exhibition space:
The main exhibition hall is made of a giant steel structure that houses a 1:1000 model of the full planning project of Cairo 2050, giving the visitor the full magnitude experience of the gigantic project.It features stepped levels, skylights, and state of the art showcase technology (touch screens and interactive holograms), to deliver the full experience of the project to the visitors.
Designer: Mohamed Radwan
Client: Egyptian Ministry of Housing,Utilities and Urban Development & Ministry of Planning
Site area: 12,000 m²
Built area: 4,600 m²
Extra Readings about Cairo’s informal settlements and their problems:
Cairo’s Informal Areas: Between Urban Challenges and Hidden Potentials, a study by Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, GTZ – Egypt
Case Studies: Improving Informal Areas in Greater Cairo, by Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, GTZ – Egypt