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SOM reveals plans for new Egyptian capital

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The London office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has revealed plans for a massive new urban extension to Cairo which will become Egypt’s ‘new governmental and business capital city’

Backed by the country’s Ministry of Housing and a private fund of global investors, the Capital Cairo project will see the city grow eastwards towards the Red Sea by more than 700km².

SOM’s London-based director of urban design and planning  Daniel Ringelstein, said other ‘local, regional and international architects’ would be needed on the scheme as it develops.

Philip Enquist, SOM’s partner in charge of urban design and planning, added: ‘While we are at the earliest stages of design, the new city will be built on core principles that include places of education, economic opportunity, and quality of life for Egypt’s youthful population.

‘The new city will be designed and built in harmony with nature as a showcase of environmentally sensitive development.’

This urban extension will be linked to historic Cairo ‘through extensive public transit links’ and has been designed to be flexible enough to respond to the ‘regional economic trends over the course of many decades’.

A mix of medium and high-density residential neighbourhoods will be laid out with sensitivity to the land, with ‘vegetated wadis embracing natural breezes for passive cooling of buildings and city places’.

Each neighbourhood will be built around a community public space surrounded by local shops, schools, religious buildings, and civic amenities and will reflect ‘Cairo’s traditional development patterns’.

New Egyptian capital, designs by SOM

New Egyptian capital, designs by SOM

 

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