City Identity Reflected in Art Craft School Student Projects at Sour Magra El Oyoun in Cairo

Marian Nessim, Sara Khalifa, Karim El Sheikh

This paper addresses a very critical issue which concerns designing a project in a historical area meanwhile coping with the contemporary architecture with all its aspects and needs.

In this paper, authors represent a real experience with a group of undergraduate students from Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Smart village. Those groups of students were required to design an “Art craft school and tannery museum” at the wall of “Magra El Oyoun” at “Masr el Kadima”.

This historical area had a very special historical and social nature and regulations which opposed a great challenge to the students, especially since all the tanneries now are being demolished and moved to the “Rubeiky”, including the old tanneries that should have been considered as a heritage worth conserving.

The course was conducted over 2 phases: Research phase and Design Phase. In research phase, students were requested to study 3 main aspects: Social, Physical and Building regulations.

All these studies beside the program of the project formed the identity of the projects which came out with a rich variety of ideas and designs and reflects in different ways the special character of this historical area.

The research conclusions, design process and the deliverables will be presented in this paper to show to which extent those group of students succeeded to achieve this goal socially and physically.


Sour Magra El Oyoun; Art School; Tanneries; Urban Character; Heritage; Physical context; Social context


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