Egypt - Biennale Architettura 2016


In a world where news coverage is skewed, dozens of conflicts and struggles go unnoticed. Beyond the sensational focus on certain larger events, daily conflicts of a smaller scale, but no less important, persist. At the heart of all these battles, whether large or small, is a tension between ambitious, unrealized expectations and unfulfilling results. Tenacity, endurance and creative resilience, however, have come to embody the spirit of these fights for change.

REFRAMING BACK// IMPERATIVE CONFRONTATIONS is not only a space to bring these efforts to the fore, it is a moment to celebrate them together, hopefully injecting them with the optimism and energy necessary to continue their fight.

This pavilion is in no way a comprehensive survey of all initiatives and works that have been produced during the last period in Egypt. It is, however, an attempt to introduce to a large audience the work of those individuals and collectives, students and professionals, who over the course of the past decade, have been searching for new operating models in Egypt and engaging in architecture as a field of critical intellectual inquiry. The work presented here demonstrates the interest of a wide range of actors - government, universities, research centers, independent practitioners - in the egyptian urban condition.

The pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, marks the occasion to bring forth all these perspectives and approaches in one space and to reflect on the nature of the knowledge produced in the past decade. It is at the same time an opportunity to evaluate its potential for action and transformation.

Credits: Story

The Egyptian pavilion curated by Architect Ahmad Hilal, Eslam Salem, Gabriele Secchi, Luca Borlenghi and Mostafa Salem.

The curatorial team and the commissioner would like to acknowledge all the support we received from both institutions and individuals in this journey to build the Egyptian Pavilion this year. Though busy with their own commitments, so many people have generously offered their time to help us make this happen. We firstly would like to thank the Egyptian Academy in Rome and the National Organization of Urban Harmony. We would also like to thank the Masters of Urban Design program at ETH Zürich, the school of design at the University of Pennsylvania, Mittelmeerland of the AA School, MSA University Architecture Department, Traslochi Emotivi, GUC Architecture Department, Cluster Cairo, Cairobserver and Studio Meem. From these institutions we would like to thank the following individuals: Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes, Ferda Kolatan, Winka Dubbeldam, Michael Zimmerman, Medine Altiok, Stephanie Tunka, Omar Fawzy, Vlatka Seremet, Omar Nagati, Beth Stryker, Mohamed Elshahed, Giulia Currà. And for their assistance in the editorial process of this catalogue, we would like to thank Manar Moursi and Cinzia Albertazzi. We also would like to offer our appreciation to Omar Elmelegy for his contribution in the model-making process. Without Wael Khalil and all the participants in the Extract-Model-Build workshop, the models production would not have been possible. Our deepest thanks to all friends and colleagues who powered us through this experience with positive energy. Most importantly, we would like to thank our families, to whom we are indebted. For those aforementioned names and many others, we hope that these words can repay a part of your generous contribution to the Egyptian pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia 15 Mostra Internazionale di Architettura.


ETH Zürich
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich
Master of Advanced Studies
Urban Design
Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil
Department of Architecture
Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil, Charlotte Malterre-Barthes
(Director of Studies), and Something Fantastic (Julian
Schubert, Elena Schütz, and Leonard Streich) in
collaboration with local partners Cluster (Omar Nagati,
Beth Stryker). Students from MAS Urban Design
2014-2015: Patrick Abou Khalil, Zoi Alexandropoulou,
Bernardo Baillif de Sousa Falcao, Grigorios Dimitriadis,
Christine Fisher, Marilena Fotopoulou, Ameya Joshi,
Hee Chul Jung, Denise Kouniaki, Maria Kouvari, Tina
Lamprou, Alice Merche, Daniel Ostrowski, Elisavet
Papadopoulou, Shinji Terada, Francesco Tonnarelli,
Faye Vitou, Dimitra Zarri, Kathy Zerlauth. Students
from MAS Urban Design 2015-2016: Daniel Ariño
Espallargas, Aikaterini Christopoulou, Felipe Combeau
Oyarzún, Hugo Dos Reis Vieira Pinto , Ekkachan
Eiamananwattana, Guido Greco, Georgios Kaldis,
Georgios Lavantsiotis, Christina Lazou, Katarzyna
Pankowska, Gide Sleiman Haidar, Sofia Symeonidou,
Aknaw Taddese Yohannes, Maria Tsagka, Yuki Ueno,
Ana-Caterina Viguera Andreu, Olga Vougioukalaki, Yao
Ting Wu, Seunghee Yang

University of Pennsylvania
The School of Design
Graduate Architecture
Winka Dubbeldam
Department Chair
Instructor: Ferda Kolatan
Ass. Instructor: Michael Zimmerman
Fan Cao, Dunbee Choi, Joseph Giampetro, Heng Gu,
Yanghui Huang, Hyemi Kang, Grace Kim, Brett Lee,
Rachel Lee, Hadeel Mohammad, Chi Zhang, Xinju

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
Directors: Medine Altiok Stephanie Tunka
Ahmed Abdallah, Ahmed Abdelraouf, Abdelaziz Othman,
Hassan Dawood, Ghdaa Essam, Mounir Saad-Eldin,
Muhammad Nabee, Anas Hosney, Hesham Elsayed,
Lobna Ali, Mar Iam Alshiekh, Mariam Alembaby, Mazen
Elazab, Mirihan Gamal, Mohamed Haridy, Mostafa
Salim, Reham Said, Samar Gomaa, Omar El-Melegy,
Mohammed Mostafa, Mohammed Gehad, Abdelramen
Mohammed, Heba Hatem, Ahmed Hilal , Ayman
Ghali, Aziz Naguib, Bassant Essam, Marina Qaldas,
Mohamed Ossama, Mohamem Sallam, Noha Refaat,
Ragya El Masry, Salah Maged, Heidi Samir, Mostafa
Fathy, Raghda Sarhan, Stavros Papavassiliou, Yelta
Kom, Mohammed Fisal, Dodi Sultan, May Abdelhafez,
Reham Elneshawy, Hadeer Adel, Mohammed Eldegla

MSA University
Architecture Department
Prof. Omar Fawzy
Head of Department
Omar Elmelegy
Assistant Lecturer - EMB Workshop organizer
Ahmed El-Leithi, Abdelrahman El-Hiatmy, Hany
Mohsen, Mayar El-Sayed, Maryam Kamal, Salma El-
Rouby, Yehia Shawky Abouzaid
Abdelrahman Afia, Abdelrahman Alaa, Ahmed
Ashraf, Ahmed Elmelegy, Aliaa Mohamed Shokry,
Ehsan Aboushadi, Essam Mohsen, Eyad Tarek, Farah
Gendy, Islam Abou El Dardaa, Islam Ali Ibrahim,
Mai Esawy, Marwan Wafik El-Sayed, Mirna Khalifa,
Mohamed Abbas, Mohamed Anwar, Mostafa Soliman,
Mohamed Yasser Elsarif, Nariman Nashaat Shehab,
Nervana Morkus, Nour Abdelaziz Kamal, Nourhan
Abdelhamid, Radwa Hilal Ahmad, Rokaya Mohamed
Mostafa, Sarah Mouselhy, Sarah Aita, Yomna Khalifa,
Yossef Ahmed Bazan

Wael Khalil
Nermeen Hussein
Exhibition Preparations
TEBMAR interior decoration
Wael Fathy
Construction Supervision
Giorgia Andreatta
For their assistance in the graphical materials
publishing and printouts, we would like to thank
of Massimo Fracchioni, Piacenza

Organized by Ministry of Culture

Egyptian Academy in Rome
Mohamed Makarem
Maria Adele Rogai
Laura Iudiciani
Fathy El-Farmawy
National Organization of Urban Harmony
Haby Hosny Mostafa
Fardows Mohamed Said
Emam Said Emam
Ramy Sabry
Ibrahim Yehia
Emam Mohamed
Osama Abdelazim
General Coordinator
Alaa Shakwier

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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