studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza
 

studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza

studio malka architecture has completed cheops observatory, an artist’s residence and observatory located on the plateau of the giza necropolis, in the village of nazlet el samman, egypt. the project is built in alignment with the pyramid of khufu (also known as great pyramid of giza, or the pyramid of cheops) – the oldest, largest pyramid, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – and with an east-west orientation, which gives it an optimal position to contemplate the trajectories of the sun and the moon. both open and closed, the observatory incorporates a series of spaces, including a garden, swimming pool, and a time room, all of which are designed to frame the pyramid through powerful perspectives.studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of gizaall images courtesy of studio malka architecture

 

 

the cheops observatory by studio malka architecture is at walking distance from the largest of the pyramids of the giza plateau, nestled in the village of nazlet el samman, an ancient site founded in the 7th century by desert tribes fascinated by the pyramids where the common transport is still horse or camel ride. according to centuries-old oral traditions, the existing residence was built orally, without any plan, and required a systemic approach from the architects, where an intervention was necessary for the safeguarding, the preservation and the extension of the historical heritage.

 

‘according to recent estimations, more than 60% of global construction is done nowadays without building permits, generating an architecture without architects,’ explains the french studio. ‘in cairo, informal architecture breaks all records and stretches on 70% of the territory; it has spread mainly on agricultural land right after the 2011’s egyptian revolution. according to centuries-old oral traditions, the residence was built orally, without any plan, just a few sketches drawn on the desert sand. local construction techniques and ancestral savoir-faire and crafts of the villagers are an essential part of the project, with a social and environmental commitment.’

studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza

 

 

linking the vernacular, the contemporary and the nomad in one main building, the project incorporates upcycled and reused materials, including: raw earth bricks on the façades; recycled traditional windows and shutters coming from the circular economy of the village; and a triangular tent as part of the crowning, which has been handcrafted by an ancestral tribe living in the giza desert. this architecture with variable geometry allows both specific or integral protection system, effective against the sun rays, as well as optimal air-cooling flow on the levels. the observatory offers framed views of the pyramid of khufu through its different spaces, such as the garden, the swimming pool, the time room and even on the reflections of the furniture.

studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza

 

 

facing the great pyramid of cheops, the time room is a powerful meditative observation space covered in a textile roof that folds and unfolds very quickly depending on the season, creating an open, covered or uncovered room. a specific wooden framework with pyramidal truss and radiating lines has been designed in a new typology, allowing to double the height under the ceiling. this triangular shape creates an aspiration, a three-dimensional portal that frames the great pyramid of giza. in addition, a horizontal canopy was installed towards the west façade and the sunset, creating a second irradiated anamorphosis of the great pyramid of khufu which is revealed in the center of the time room.studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of gizastudio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza studio malka architecture's cheops observatory frames the great pyramid of giza

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: cheops observatory

architect: studio malka architecture

client: private

main use: observatory, housing, artist residence

location: giza pyramids plateau, egypt

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