The quality of the current Egyptian architectural context, one not uncommon across the globe, has reached a heterogeneous state of characterless mass housing, informal settlements, pluralistic neo-international styles of the corporate sector and increasingly superficial elite stylistic images of western architecture. Few examples exist that are comprehensively expressive of the identity and character of the Egyptian culture in all its varied sectors, nor facilitative of its social and environmental needs. The objective of this project is to address this dynamic through research and design. Beginning with the understanding of design as a complex, multi-disciplinary process, the works of various successful Egyptian and regional architects of the past decades will be analysed. The objective of this analysis will be to ascertain the commonalities and differences in vocabulary and approach amongst these works, with the ultimate goal of discovering appropriate design criteria and form generation principles to aid in the design of a contemporary architecture appropriate to today’s Egypt. This analysis will look beyond the typical stylistic approaches of classifying architecture, and explore the “why” and “how” of architectural manifestations and organizations, rather than the “what”. In other words the analysis will be more process and philosophy driven rather than product oriented.
The students research Egyptian and Arab contemporary architect following those architects' search for the Egyptian contemporary character and language some of those architects are but not limited to; Hassan Fathy, Ramsis Wissa Wassef, , Rami El Dahan and Soheir Farid along with and others.
Daylight is one of the few elements available to us as architects that projects materiality, evokes emotion, defines experience, facilitates functions, and is both dynamic and free to use. It is a powerful tool in the hands of a skilled designer, and has historically played an important role in the development of our architectural movements and styles.
Inspired by the student award sponsored by the patrons of daylight- the Velux organization, this project aims at investigating the quality, experience, function, materiality and power of daylight as it relates to and informs architectural form-making.