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New Cairo New Villa Design Studio VI

In Academic, Monday, February 02, 2015


Imprisoned by four walls


(to the north, the crystal of non-knowledge

A landscape to be invented

To the south, reflective memory

To the east, the mirror

To the west, stone and the song of silence)

I wrote messages, but received no reply.

(Octavio Paz in Henri Lefebvre, The Production Of Space)



PETRIFIED FOREST PROTECTED AREA NEW CAIRO


QUESTIONING THE CONCEPT OF SPACE, LANDSCAPE AND FORM.



The design studio focused on the transformation of the landscape and scenic space by urbanization. Architecture is seen as a measure that establishes identity in the reclamation and development of natural and cultural spaces.


The chosen site was a transition zone between an urbanized area and a vast open landscape space. In this zone in-between, students were asked to design a villa in a neighborhood of the size of one ‘feddan’ (4,200 sqm) with a given client. Three territories or ‘compounds’ were created and named ‘Urban Desert’, ‘Hillside’ and ‘Arid Gardens’ according their given topography. Each individual villa formed an ensemble with three other villas based on the ideal geometry of the ‘Arabic Garden’. The harmonic division of the land could not only be achieved by architectural principles, but also by social criteria:  Each villa is a design intervention or a speculative design, an environmental sculpture or artistic force, but also a social statement or political position that incorporates the conflictive aspects of the site.


The urban development aspects were densification on the site, stratification on the plot, interconnection of functions, and mixed use - the conceptual approach was to find positions and counter-positions in search of the last landscape  and a lost urbanity.



Involved Academics:


Assoc. Prof. Vlatka Seremet

Christoph Muth

Rehab Abdel-Fatah


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