SCIENCE CITY

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INFORMATION

location:
Cairo, Egypt
client: 
Bibliotheca Alexandrina & UIA
year:
2016
status:
competition entry
program:
Mixed-Use
total area:
85.000m2
competition team:
Marina Kounavi
Karolina Szóstkiewicz
Irgen Salianji
Fouad Addou
Stavria Psomiadi








DESCRIPTION

THE GRID

The 6th of October city is a satellite city that is built in 1979 in order to cover the housing demand of Cairo. It is located 17 km from the Great Pyramids of Giza and 32 km from the city of Cairo and it consists of a desert city. The cultural context and the site on the one hand impose challenges and difficulties, and on the other hand they offer large opportunities for intervention development.

Egypt has been since ancient times a country with a leading role in the development of sciences and production of intellect. There is therefore plenty of inspiration that could lead in the formation of an architectural project for the Science City. The urban realm is characterized by introvert residential complexes, private recreational and educational institutions and other local industries. The multifunctional character of the site creates a real challenge as it is not part of a specific historical context but it is a generic urban structure in process, aiming to cover needs of the continuously increasing size of the city. The site is exploited by private investments and lack of architectural harmony. The privatization of the land and the lack of public facilities decrease the urbanity of the wider context, namely the livingness of a city and continuous flow of people. The design of the master plan should aim to provide a new pubic democratic space that is flexible for future transformations, by being extrovert and promoting the potentials of a continuous and vivid landscape.
On this context, the Science City acts as a node and an incubator, by containing as its main ingredients the solid architecture expression and the diverse landscape.

The building follows the organization of a city based on a clear orthogonal grid that is prominent in the scheme but not absolute, in order to create space for diversity in scale and function. The city is the result of the composition of different metropolitan and architectural elements such as the urban grid, the block, the street and the landmark. Follows such principles of composition, the Science City introduces the street as the connection between inside and outside. The accumulation of different volumes that contain different program and the interconnection of them with a path system that is expanded into the science park are the main elements that consists both the master-plan and the building circulations of the science city. The main path system is flexible and (re) defined by the three phases that the building will follow. Moreover the idea of the city is enhanced with the development of multifunctional floor plans that lead to a diversity of solutions and to the generation of unexpected situations for the visitors. Blending density, educational and recreational functions, exhibitions and landscape patterns, the ground floor is an open laboratory of life, science, art and curiosity.