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Egypt launches Science City contest

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Egypt’s Library of Alexandria has launched an open international competition – judged by Jane Drew Prize winner Odile Decq – for a new 125,000m² Science City near Cairo

Open to architects and multidisciplinary teams, the single-stage contest seeks both a comprehensive masterplan and a conceptual design for the new campus.

Planned as a national institute for scientific innovation, the offshoot of the prestigious library – known locally as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina – will be constructed within Egypt’s ‘6th of October City’ settlement.

Founded by former Egyptian president Anwar El Sadat in 1979, the 400 km2 planned city has a population of half a million and is expected to eventually host 3.7 million inhabitants.

The competition comes 14 years after Snøhetta completed its competition-winning new home for the library (pictured) which was recently relaunched after being sacked during the Roman conquest of Egypt.

According to the brief: ‘This new complex, to be constructed on prime land, calls for an inspiring new comprehensive masterplan and conceptual design; that will ultimately create the first 21st century science museum, learning and research facility in Egypt.’

‘The design of science city will create a set of buildings and spaces that must be inspiring on the outside and motivating and exciting on the inside to visitors and employees alike. It must express a particular vision of the search for knowledge and the pursuit of science.’

The campus on the western edge of Cairo will feature an exhibition hall, museum, conference centre, research hub, planetarium, observation tower and outdoor park.

Competition judges include French architect Odile Decq who won this year’s Jane Drew Prize in recognition for her outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture.

Library of Alexandria director Ismail Serageldin, former British Museum director Neil MacGregory and Harvard Graduate School of Design dean and professor Mohsen Mostafavi are also on the jury.

The winning team will receive approximately £75,000 and the design contract. A second place prize of £50,000, third place prize of £30,000 and fourth place prize of £14,000 are also available.

Four honourable mentions will receive around £3,400 each and all eight prize winners will receive a £2,000 honorarium for their design work.

The competition language is English and the entry fee is around £70. The registration deadline is 15 May and applications must be submitted by 2pm on 17 August.

How to apply

View the competition website for more information

Contact details

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Planetarium Science Centre Chatby

Tel: +203 4839999
Email: science.city@bibalex.org
Fax: +203 4820464


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