malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris

studio malka architecture has designed a student housing complex in paris, which houses the egyptian embassy’s reception, cladding it in gold to create what it calls a ‘new identity’ for the country. called the golden city, or la cite d’or, the studio intended to create an emblem of egyptian culture that reflects the diverse fabric of its history whilst also ‘drawing on the roots of a new modernity.’

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris

images courtesy of studio malka architecture



studio malka has created solid superposition of 42 megalithic prefabricated block systems, a physical personalization of each of the nomes of ancient egypt. nomes were the administrative districts of ancient egypt, territorial divisions that functioned as provinces with each one ruled by a nomarch. they included the nome of the white wall (memphis, saqqarah), the nome of scepter (thebes), the nome of the country of nubia (whose principal cities are philae, elephantine, kom ombo), the nome of the fortress (nekhen, el kab) amongst others.

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris



each monolithic block is surrounded by a straight line slightly overhanging from the dwellings to recall the egyptian protodoric abacus. the entrance to la maison d egypte consists of a monumental gate characteristic of egyptian temples. the gate is framed by two moles, thick towers with a rectangular base surmounted by a cornice and a vast lintel, as is customary throughout ancient egypt.

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris



‘we envisage a mutation of the pharaonic era’s architectonic vocabulary,’ the studio explains. ‘these constructive elements are fundamental components of our project, and they have been chosen for their constructive and symbolic forces in the history of this people.’

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris



‘we aim to comprehend la maison d’egypte not as a single building but rather as a functional superposition of territorial pieces, extra-large prefabricated blocks that aggregate and federate among themselves,’ it adds.


‘la cité d’or, the golden city is a definition of a new egyptian identity, at the crossroads of ancient history and contemporaneity, towards a physical, mystical and timeless architecture.’

malka architecture clads student housing in gold to create ‘egyptian house’ in paris




project info


studio: malka architecture
project: golden city / la maison d’egypte
location: paris
client: egyptian embassy in france
surface: 5000 m²
budget: 14,6 m€
localisation: cité internationale universitaire de paris
team: studio malka architecture principal architect, associated consultants, mercier
landscape architect, laurent garbit graphist, betom ingénierie, alternative acoustique, sterling quest economistes
state: private competition invitation october 2019

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,536 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample