Yet another grand celebration which has fallen victim to coronavirus, the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) in Cairo will now take place next year.
The global pandemic precipitated the latest delay for the project – which was originally supposed to open in 2015. However, the $1bn structure, when it finally does open to the world, will be no less spectacular, as this rendering shows:
Located in Gaza, with the famous pyramids in the background, the 480,000 sq metre site will display 5,400 objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb. It’s expected to attract up to five million visitors a year.
And, talking of those ancient artefacts and pyramids of yesteryear, what significance do they have to contemporary Egyptian architecture? Well, take a look at the following architectural gems and see for yourself.
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Nestling prettily at Alexandria’s harbourside, this 11-storey circular tilted library building contains four million books. It also has a planetarium, conservation area, museums and lecture theatres for information science.
It’s even more spectacular close up and at night as the following photos clearly shows:
The Basuna Mosque
An overall circular shape made up of geometric pyramids, this stunning mosque sits in a busy industrial area in the village of Basuna in Egypt’s Sohag area. Step inside the place of worship though and you find calmness and tranquillity. Even just looking at can stop you in your tracks, to be honest.
Contemporary Residential Property
This beautiful glass and concrete palace was created within the past couple of years and commissioned as a private residence. Designed by popular architect and interior designer Hisham Alaa, it boasts open views of Kattameya Dunes Golf course.
Sheraton Hotel, Mirimar
Designed by American architect Michael Graves, the guest rooms at the Mirimar hotel in El Gouda, Egypt resemble traditional workers’ brick and stucco homes. On the ground they resemble clusters of domes and vaults with simple surfaces. Graves got the idea for the cylindrical, non-fussy designs on visiting villages en-route to the hotel location.
Cairo’s Three Green Cubes
Two apartment blocks and one hotel are set to form an ecological visual forest, envisaged for the capital by architect
Stefano Boeri. Together with his Cairo partner Shimaa Shalash and landscape designer Laura Gatti, Boeri plans to introduce ecological conversion into Cairo’s south east areas. That’s because seven tons of carbon dioxide a year will be absorbed by the buildings every year.
Each of the ‘cubes’ will be 98 feet tall in height and width. The occupants will live alongside 350 trees, around 14,000 shrubs and more plants than they’ll ever be able to learn the names for.
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering where else in the world was influenced by those iconic terraced pyramids of ancient Egypt well, you only have to look at 1920s and early 1930s American Art Deco. Geometric shapes were everywhere. Take the iconic Chrysler Building, for instance: