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.
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…
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.
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.