Modern Egypt: New Architecture in an Ancient World

The rich history of Egypt is reflected in contemporary Egyptian architecture. The transcontinental country is a cradle for civilization and has influenced many building styles. Egypt’s geography and multicultural heritage are what make it unique. Modern architecture in Egypt must be able to stand up to a heritage of building that has been there for millennia.

© Rayem

Egypt is a global leader in architecture and construction. Its roots lie in the Middle East, Africa, and the Mediterranean. The country’s majority population lives along the Nile Valley or Delta. This is because it avoids the harsh desert conditions of the Sahara Desert and the Libyan Desert. The country’s most well-known landmarks are the Great Sphinx, its Temples and Tombs, and the Giza Pyramid Complex. However, many new projects have been built in the past decade. The landmark Great Egyptian Museum is set to open next year. Here’s a look at some of the most recent projects in Egypt. They are a mix of private and public projects and reflect the way architects are attempting to reinterpret Egypt’s past and traditions.

Basuna Mosque by Dar Arafa Architektur

© Essam Arafa

Basuna Mosque, located in Sohag, Egypt, is the location of the Basuna Mosque. It is located in a densely built area, with nearby residential buildings, a cemetary, and a small market that takes place every week just outside the main entrance to this place of worship. It was designed to provide peace and tranquility for its customers.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Snohetta

Courtesy of Snøhetta

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina was built in the historical center of Alexandria, on a spot that is adjacent to Alexandria’s old harbor. The library, which is 11 stories high, can hold up to 4,000,000 volumes of books and can be expanded by compact storage to store up to 8 million. The library has many other educational and cultural functions, including a planetarium and several museums. There is also a school of information science and conservation.

Egyptian Earth Construction Association Wadi El Gemal Visitors Center

© Nour El Refai

Wadi El Gemal National Park is located 50km south of Marsa Alam (Egyptian Red Sea shoreline town). It was declared Egypt’s 24th protectorate due to its impressive landscape and rich cultural resources. The Visitors’ Center can be found at the WGNP’s northern entry, which is a central point on the Suez/Bir Sharalatein seashore highway.

Kattameya Dunes Palace – Hisham Alaa Designs

© Nour El Refai

Hisham Alaa, an architect and interior designer, was awarded the project’s commission in July 2017. Although the building was just a concrete skeleton, the owner had purchased it and the client wanted to live in a modern luxury palace with views of Kattameya Dunes golf course.

Studio Malka Architecture – Cheops Observatory Residence

© Rayem

The project is located on the plateau of Giza Necropolis and is found in Nazlet El Samman. This site, which dates back to the 7th century, was established by desert tribes who were fascinated by the Pyramids. It is now a well-preserved site. The Cheops Observatory, an artist’s residence and a gateway to the desert, is an inhabited belvedere located within walking distance from the largest pyramids on the Giza plateau.

Ahmed Hossam Saafan, Dawar El Ezba Cultural Center

© Ahmed Hossam Saafan

Dawar Kitchen, a social enterprise in Ezbet Khairallah is one of Cairo’s largest informal settlements. They provide vocational training and employment for migrants, refugees, and Egyptian women through catering and other forms. This building aims to change the architectural fabric that has been damaged by showing how existing resources can be used to create aesthetic and useful value.