Zaha Hadid announces new project for Cairo

Zaha Hadid announced her latest design, the Stone Towers, for the expanding district of , .  Within the 525,000sqm towers, Hadid’s design provides office and retail spaces, a five-star business hotel with serviced apartments, and sunken landscaped gardens and plaza called the Delta.

Further project description after the break.

“I am delighted to be working in Cairo.  I have visited Egypt many times and I have always been fascinated by the mathematics and arts of the Arab world. In our office we have always researched the formal concepts of geometry – which relates a great deal to the region’s art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics. This research has informed the design for Stone Towers,” Hadid commented.

Hadid’s towers were inspired by the ancient Egyptian stonework which incorporates a variety of patterns and textures.  Working off this inspiration, the facades on the North and South elevations of each tower adopt a vocabulary of alternating protrusions, recesses and voids.  Such spaces will emphasize light and shadow, which will, in turn, accentuate the curvatures of each building within the development.

“With a large-scale project such as the Stone Towers, care must be taken to balance a necessary requirement for repetitive elements whilst avoiding an uncompromising repetition of static building masses,” states Hadid. “The architecture of Stone Towers pursues a geometric rhythm of similar, interlocking, yet individually differentiated building forms that creates a cohesive composition,” Hadid added.

The towers will add much needed space to Cairo’s expanding region and will fuse smoothly into the existing urban landscape. Hisham Shoukri, CEO of Rooya Group said, “There is a overwhelming need in Egypt for developments of the highest international standards required by the serious and growing investment climate of the country – ultimately contributing to making it a hub for multinationals in the region. The Stone Towers needed an architect with daring ideas, innovation, international expertise and experience…it needed Zaha Hadid.”

As seen on Dezeen.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Zaha Hadid announces new project for Cairo" 28 May 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 Aug 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=23316>

51 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Looks very Sci-fi… Can’t say I like it much, but it’s defo not the worst project made fo Arabian country… At least, it doesn’t reminds of a giant phallos. ;) It has some space. It’s not just a huge sculpture.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    first two pictures look gratuitous and the structure does not seem to potentiate good interior/exterior relations beyond the playfulness of the façade. But the third image realy got me on board with the the buildings cantilivering over the water mirrors and catwolks, and the way it looks like a neighbourhood street for offices with a canal. Now that is a winning formula, I would like to believe that all of it actualy makes sense in terms of its use for the city, instead of creating a spactacular street scape that won’t be conected to the rest of the urbanism.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    what’s happening? zaha’s work is becoming more humane. did she replace some of her bulbous with a bit of conscience?

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Mhhhmmm… not the best of Zaha. Very overpowering and overwhelming if not depressing.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Каменные джунгли. Даже пальмы и газоны не спасают
    Very discomfortable architecture. Stone jungle

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Looks nice, though I don’t get the scale of the project with these images.
    A great use of maxwell render, by the way!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It´s just looking like Hadid… She´s about focusing on one special “Hadid-shape” – just check her website in comparison. I don´t like this architecture which refers to names and architectural marketing strategies.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Yeah, that’s right. She’s repeating those shapes everywhere. That’s what I don’t like of this kind of architects.
    Lack of imagination?
    Short deadlines?

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Zaha Hadid has built rather less than other architects of equal stature. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that her visual language remains a work in progress. However, there is absolutely no denying that she has a unique language.

    Up until now I have thought that her work as an industrial designer was more expressive than her architecture. To me it seemed that this had something to do with a tangible understanding of scale in an object where the proportional relationship is most likely to be 1:1 human-scale or smaller. That mastery seemed to fall down as the ratio grew into the immersive spaces of built architecture.

    One of my favorite sculptural objects of this century is Zaha Hadid’s light sculpture for Zumtobel Staff; an effective demonstration of her mastery of form at the level of object (and I don’t extend that to furniture).

    There are moments, however, when some successful theorists break free of their own rhetorical prisons and produce something spectacular. The greatest example of this in my experience is Peter Eisenman’s “Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe” in Berlin. That was the moment when theory transcended itself to become one of the most powerful works of art in the world.

    This project seems, perhaps, to be a similar turning point in the work of Zaha Hadid toward a mature built language. It also happens to be a beautifully utopian project in all of the right ways.

    From this point of view the Hadid Cairo project reminds me quite a bit of the urban vision of Corbusier for Chandigahr. When I think of Corbusier what I see is an artist and sculptor who set out to build “machines in the garden” and ended up absolutely transcending that vision for something far subtler and more powerful.

    It has always seemed to me that Zaha Hadid might get to the point where she too would exceed herself and do something as potent.

    Finally, referring to repetition in visual language, whatever is anyone talking about? Anyone who is a student of the expressive arts can look at a work and easily say, that’s a de Kooning, that’s Mallet Stevens, that’s Schindler, surely a Man Ray, that one would be Mies, and this can only be Woody Allen. Reaching a consistent and clear voice is not the problem, it is the objective of creative expression.

    As far as the recession is concerned, it would do to remember that building projects employ people. Many of the great monuments in world architecture were built in the very depths of the Great Depression. Economic adversity is not a reason to stop dreaming, to stop building, and to stop creating. Quite to the contrary, economic transition allows time for thoughtful and complete expression.

    The holier than though ecotecture crowd would have us all believe that their dogma is somehow better than the starchitecture that went before it. Alas, most of this is simply posturing and marketing by a group of people who feel themselves ready for their close up Mr Demille. The young eco-turks seem particularly “full of passion without mercy”.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Zaha doesn’t know, Zaha doesn’t know don’t tell Zaha … that her architecture does not impress anyone anymore … Zaha must know

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    НУ ЧЕ ВСЕ КУДРЯВИНЬКО КАК ОБЫЧНО бодрячком…

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    A school of thought says that we must not stifle creativity … but “creative license” always has the caveat bonding the licensee and the licensed with equal duty of care. As ever, the statements from either camp diverge – from the developers, “… fuse smoothly into the existing urban landscape. … serious and growing investment climate of the country …. (then the “spin” begins) The Stone Towers needed an architect with daring ideas, innovation, international expertise and experience…it needed Zaha Hadid.” … and Hadid replied, “we have always researched the formal concepts of geometry – which relates a great deal to the region’s art traditions and sciences in terms of algebra, geometry and mathematics. This research has informed the design … blah blah blah … building forms that creates a cohesive composition”. Is this a chicken and duck situation? Same species but unless I am mistaken, one “clucks”: the other “quacks”?
    Then I read Terry Glenn Phipps – “Zaha Hadid has built rather less than other architects of equal stature. It isn’t surprising, therefore, that her visual language remains a work in progress. However, there is absolutely no denying that she has a unique language”. SO, she’s not that “experienced” and she is entering the “serious and growing investment climate of the country” armed with her “visual language”. Great!
    Visual is not a language that architects ought to be going to classes for: while not denying it has an impact on everyday decisions, Architecture is the only language for architects in my opinion. Expression is a by-product of making architecture, and the varieties of expressions through the ages are dialects. The language of Architecture …. the Mies van der Rohe award recipients’ are spreading them further and wide. Modern should be like the suffix as we would use “-gate”, as in “Watergate”. It is the “anointment” … example; post-modern, contemporary-modern, fluid-modern … so forth. I believe Modern will and can only be eventually replaced when a genius trumped Newton’s law.
    Architecture is a language as much as Business is a language. The two always meet; there will be interpretation, one will try to dominate the other, a sort of “patua/patwa” developed …. devoid of grammar …. And so, we’re in “rhetorical prison”: to shorten the lengthy course of gymnastics with your mind. Least my gymnastics may be a deserving workout after prison: but if you are in rhetorical hell? I just hope you have taken out the appropriate insurance policy.
    Dunno about you, but my head hurts after all that. Where’s ignorance when I need you!?
    BTW … Syd Mead ro-ooo-ck!!!

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @VB I was wondering where the twenty-foot long, two-foot tall convertible was!

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Correct…too big, and simply doesn’t fit in Cairo.
    very disappointing.

  15. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Terry Glenn Phipps – well said. Agree. I rather like this project, and I find Hadid’s work to be ever-interesting and pushing forward in a comprehensible way. There are others, even a recent post on this blog, whose work never seems to progress at all.

  16. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    In a few years this buildings will look very obsolete.
    Zaha Hadid 1 Aichitecture 0

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