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6 Politically Motivated Cities Built From Scratch

Threatening to end Cairo’s 1,046 year dominance as the country’s capital, earlier this month the government of Egypt announced their intentions to create a new, yet-to-be-named capital city just east of New Cairo. The promise of the more than 270 square mile ‘new New Cairo’ has attracted headlines from around the world with its sheer scale; a $45 billion development of housing, shopping and landmarks designed to attract tourism from day one, including a theme park larger than Disneyland. And of course, the plans include the promise of homes - for at least 5 million residents in fact, with the vast number of schools, hospitals and religious and community buildings that a modern city requires - making the new capital of Egypt the largest planned city in history.

The idea of building a new capital city has appealed to governments across history; a way to wipe the slate clean, stimulate the economy and lay out your vision of the world in stone, concrete and parkland. Even old Cairo was founded as a purpose built capital, although admittedly urban planning has changed a little since then. It continues to change today; see the full list of different ways to build a totally new city after the break.

Image of the planned new capital of Egypt, masterplanned by SOM. Image © SOM Train station. Image © SOM Government District. Image © SOM Concept of Cairo's replacement by Skidmore, Owings and Merril. Image © SOM

Al Jazeera’s Rebel Architecture: Episode 2, “The Traditional Future”

The second episode of Al Jazeera’s new series “Rebel Architecture” features Pakistani architect Yasmeen Lari, who has built over 36,000 houses since 2010 for those affected by Pakistan’s floods and earthquakes. Rather than using the mass-produced housing designs offered by international organizations, Lari implements traditional building techniques and local materials. In this 25-minute episode she returns to the Sindha Valley region to see how her homes survived floods in 2013 and helps villagers in Awaran district who were hit by the 2013 Balochistan earthquake.

Watch the full episode above and read on after the break for a full episode synopsis and a preview of upcoming episodes…

IBA Student Centre / Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative

  • Architects: Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative
  • Location: Karachi, Pakistan
  • Architect In Charge: Syed Zayd Bilgrami, Ahsan Najmi, Sarah Najmi Bilgrami
  • Project Architect: Shabih Haider
  • Area: 34000.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative

Courtesy of Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative Courtesy of Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative Courtesy of Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative Courtesy of Najmi Bilgrami Collaborative

Kapadia Residence / Coalesce Design Studio

  • Architects: Coalesce Design Studio
  • Location: Karachi, Pakistan
  • Project Architect: Bilal Kapadia
  • Area: 600.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2010
  • Photographs: Mustafa Mehdi

© Mustafa Mehdi © Mustafa Mehdi © Mustafa Mehdi © Mustafa Mehdi

The Neutra Embassy Building in Karachi, Pakistan: A Petition to Save Modernism

The Neutra Embassy Building in Karachi, Pakistan via of the Neutra Institute for Survival through Design
The Neutra Embassy Building in Karachi, Pakistan via of the Neutra Institute for Survival through Design

Richard Neutra‘s Embassy Building in Karachi, Pakistan is a relic of the Cold War – an effort by the United States to express its authority and wealth in other countries.  The building is in the modernist style, designed in 1959, by an architect whose work is still admired today.  Until 2011, the Embassy was occupied by the U.S. General Consulate and was a symbol of modernity in Karachi.  The Neutra Institute for Survival through Design has begun a petition to help save this building from demolition.  It proclaims that this modernist icon is “the only surviving Neutra Structure in the region”. More after the break.

AD Classics: Mazar-e-Quaid (National Mausoleum) / Yahya Merchant

  • Architects: Yahya Merchant
  • Location: Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Architect: Yahya Merchant
  • References: Yahya Merchant
  • Project Year: 1989

AD Classics: Mazar-e-Quaid (National Mausoleum) / Yahya Merchant AD Classics: Mazar-e-Quaid (National Mausoleum) / Yahya Merchant AD Classics: Mazar-e-Quaid (National Mausoleum) / Yahya Merchant AD Classics: Mazar-e-Quaid (National Mausoleum) / Yahya Merchant

Pakistan Pavillion for Shanghai World Expo

The Pakistan Pavillion will be a replica of the Lahorte Fort, an iconic symbol of the city of Lahorte. The fort dates back to the year 1025 AD and is the cultural capital of modern-day Pakistan.

The 2,000 square meter pavillion is themed “harmony in diversity”, and will show various aspects of the best of Pakistan’s cities, merged into one showcase of tradition, culture, modernity and history.

In the pavilion, visitors will be able to experience the life of a typical Pakistani citizen through detailed visual and multimedia presentations. More images, after the break.

E7-2 House / Montage DESIGNBUILD

  • Architects: Montage DESIGNBUILD
  • Location: Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Architects: Montage DESIGNBUILD
  • Budget: US $202,500
  • Site Area: 1,000 sq yds
  • Area: 697.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2007

E7-2 House / Montage DESIGNBUILD E7-2 House / Montage DESIGNBUILD E7-2 House / Montage DESIGNBUILD E7-2 House / Montage DESIGNBUILD

Private residence in Geneva / Charles Pictet

  • Architects: Charles Pictet
  • Location: Colony Park, Officers Colony Rd, Saidu Sharif, Pakistan
  • Architects: Charles Pictet Architecte FAS SIA
  • Collaborator: Anjéla Aubert, architecte DPLG
  • Engineering: ESM, Jérôme Ponti, Genève
  • Area: 800.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2005

Private residence in Geneva / Charles Pictet Private residence in Geneva / Charles Pictet Private residence in Geneva / Charles Pictet Private residence in Geneva / Charles Pictet