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Egypt Science City

Discipline : architecture
Program : museum
Location : Cairo, Egypt
Period : 2016
Site Area : 124,995 ㎡
Building Area : 37,498 ㎡
Total Floor Area : 83,058 ㎡
Credit : IAA
The design of the Science City attempts to derive laws celestial and terrestrial that would govern the development of the masterplan and root it in the context of the place. The internal courtyard of the master plan development is a perfect square that aligns exactly with the four cardinal directions. Similarly, the exhibition space flow is a square that aligns with the 2nd modern Jewel, the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Platform, to finally arrive at a building outline, which itself is a square that aligns with the axis of the 1st modern Jewel, the Bibliotheca Alexandria. The three squares aligned with the 4 Cardinal directions, the Grand Egyptian Museum and the Bibliotheca Alexandria are juxtaposed to create a concentric plan, infused with a dynamic rotary movement, with each shift in rotation yielding a rich array of geometrical spaces. All of this culminates in a building footprint that matches the great pyramid of Khufu with each side set at 230.37m.
Integrated into the building’s body, the observatory tower rises to a height of 45m. On the upper levels of the observatory, are the restaurant and café levels. From the observatory space itself, the visitors can view the Pyramids and the whole Nile basin against the expanse of the Science Park’s geometry and the heavenly sky beyond. With the exhibition spaces as the nuclei, backyard spaces, research center, special exhibitions spaces and outdoor exhibition spaces are all arranged in an integrated manner that ensures mutual support between these different types of spaces. While maintaining this integration, the exhibition sections change continuously in the horizontal and vertical directions providing a diversity of scenes and exhibition modes that cater with great flexibility to the various types of exhibitions from collection to the temporary ones. The phasing of the project is suggested to be dealt from the exhibition planning point of view, instead of from an architectural one. Considering various elements that dominate the cost of a construction, architectural phasing approach for this particular project appears to be not the most economical one, requiring further study.