dar arafa architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past

dar arafa architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past

citadel of cairo: seat of design power at cairo design week

 

The Citadel of Cairo, renowned as Egypt’s historical seat of political authority since its establishment in the 12th century, holds a lesser-known but equally significant role as a bastion of design influence. While its political supremacy has waned over time, its position as a transcendental Seat of Design Power, figuratively and literally, is still evident. In collaboration with GEMMA, Dar Arafa Architecture delves into this rich tapestry of design history with their pavilion, Citadel of Cairo: Seat of Design Power at Cairo Design Week. A tribute to the diverse architectural typologies, iconic structures, and artistic expressions that have emerged from within the Citadel’s walls, the structure encircles a small pool of water at the historic site — an ode to what once was.

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
all images courtesy of the author

 

 

dar arafa architecture encapsulates iconic egyptian typologies

 

GEMMA, an Egyptian interior design studio and tile company, aims to spotlight the Citadel’s profound impact during Cairo Design Week, celebrating the DNA that permeates all of these design layers at outcomes. Their collaboration with Dar Arafa Architecture seeks to illuminate the fundamental geometries and design principles underlying the Citadel’s architectural legacy, paying homage to lost wonders and demolished structures that once adorned its landscape. Citadel of Cairo: Seat of Design Power emerges as a phantom iwan — a symbolic gateway bridging past, present, and future, while blurring the boundaries between the material and immaterial realms of design.

 

Throughout its storied past, the Citadel has been not only a military stronghold with its towers, walls, gates, and fortifications but also a hub of many civilian architectural typologies and iconic design styles. Mosques like those of Al-Nasir Mohammad, Sulayman Pasha al-Khadim, and Mohammad Ali Pasha, alongside palaces and royal halls, represent a formidable timeline of Cairean architecture. Within these edifices, the influence of design extends beyond mere construction to encompass sculptures, graphics, and even the production of cultural artifacts such as the Kisswa, the cover of the Ka’baa, revered by millions of Muslim pilgrims.

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
Citadel of Cairo: Seat of Design Power revealed at Cairo Design Week 2024

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
realized by Dar Arafa Architecture and GEMMA

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
a phantom iwan — a symbolic gateway bridging past, present, and future

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
a tribute to the historic Citadel’s diverse architectural typologies, iconic structures, and artistic expressions

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
intricacies of the structures

dar afara architecture's pavilion in cairo citadel nods to the city's historic political past
the architects illuminate the fundamental geometries and design principles underlying the Citadel’s architecture

citadel of cairo seat of design power 12
the structure encircles a small pool of water at the historic site

dar-arafa-architecture-citadel-of-cairo-designboom-1

citadel of cairo seat of design power 11

citadel of cairo seat of design power 12

 

 

project info:

 

name: Citadel of Cairo: Seat of Design Power
architecture: Dar Arafa Architecture

location: Cairo, Egypt

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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