Zaha Hadid Architects
have won a competition to design Cairo Expo City in Cairo, Egypt.
The topography of the Nile valley is the inspiration behind
the project’s fluid forms.
The project, located between the city centre and the airport,
will provide a campus for exhibitions and conferences.
ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS WIN CAIRO EXPO CITY COMPETITION
After presenting the design to Egyptian Prime Minister Dr.
Ahmed Nazif, Zaha Hadid Architects was announced as architects
of the new
Cairo Expo City. Zaha Hadid Architects will be designing Cairo
Expo City together with global multi-disciplinary engineering
consultancy Buro Happold.
The winning design for Cairo Expo City delivers a unique
facility for Cairo - a 450,000 square metre, state of the art
city for exhibitions and
conferences, located between the centre of Cairo and the city’s
airport. The project comprises a major international exhibition
centre with business hotel. A further office tower and a
shopping centre are also proposed.
“This is a truly national project for Egypt.” said Sherif
Salem, CEO of the GOIEF (General Organization of International
Exhibitions and Fairs). “The current exhibition halls for Cairo
do not meet the standards now required by the international
conference and exhibition industry. With this exceptional design
by Zaha Hadid Architects, Cairo will be among the world’s top
cities for conferences and fairs, able to cater for the widest
variety and size of events.”
The undulating fluid forms of the Cairo Expo City design were
inspired by the natural topography of the Nile valley explained
“As the exhibition spaces require the greatest degree of
flexibility, we wanted to ensure that all the public spaces and
formal composition of Cairo Expo City relate to the surrounding
Egyptian landscape.” said Hadid. “Along the great rivers of the
region, most particularly the Nile, there is a powerful dynamic
- a constant flow between the water and the land - which extends
to incorporate the neighboring buildings and landscapes. For the
Cairo Expo City design, we worked to capture that seamlessness
and fluidity in an urban architectural context.”
Carving and sculpting processes have been used to divide the
very large exhibition and conference areas required for Cairo
Expo City into clusters of individual buildings that have their
own formal composition, yet each building relates to the overall
design. A main north-south artery is carved through the design,
with secondary streams converging at the centre to ease crowd
traffic during event. The movement of people within these
streams informs the building entrances on the site.
Zaha Hadid Architects was shortlisted with Norwegian
architecture practice Snohetta for the second phase of the
competition in April. Works will begin in October this year to
clear the site.
Client: GOIEF (General Organization of International
Exhibitions and Fairs), Cairo
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Engineering: Buro Happold, London
Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds, London
Traffic and Logistics: Buro Happold, London
Built Area: 450,000sqm (exhibition halls, conference centre
and mixed-use areas)
Height of Towers: 33 and 31 storeys