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Friday, June 12, 2009

Cairo Expo City, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Expo City awarded to Zaha Hadid Architects
The second colossal Cairo project to be delivered by Zaha Hadid Architects in the past two weeks has been announced. After presenting the design to Egyptian Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Zaha Hadid Architects was announced as architects of the new Cairo Expo City and works are scheduled to begin onsite for the 450,000 sq m exhibition and conference center with business hotel in October this year.

Being designed together with multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy Buro Happold, Cairo Expo City will be located between the city centre and Cairo's airport, the design being particularly appreciated from above. The undulating forms of the Cairo Expo City design were inspired by the natural topography of the Nile valley explained Zaha Hadid:

"As the exhibition spaces require the greatest degree of flexibility, we wanted to ensure that all the public spaces and formal composition of Cairo Expo City relate to the surrounding Egyptian landscape.” said Hadid. “Along the great rivers of the region, most particularly the Nile, there is a powerful dynamic - a constant flow between the water and the land - which extends to incorporate the neighboring buildings and landscapes. For the Cairo Expo City design, we worked to capture that seamlessness and fluidity in an urban architectural context."

The project is one of great significance for Cairo, a city which is undergoing revitalisation: "This is a truly national project for Egypt." said Sherif Salem, CEO of the GOIEF (General Organization of International Exhibitions and Fairs). "The current exhibition halls for Cairo do not meet the standards now required by the international conference and exhibition industry. With this exceptional design by Zaha Hadid Architects, Cairo will be among the world's top cities for conferences and fairs, able to cater for the widest variety and size of events.”

Designs for another Zaha Hadid project in Cairo were released just two weeks ago. Stone Towers will be a monumental business park encouraging the growth of commerce within the city. A further office tower and a shopping centre are also proposed for the Cairo Expo City site.

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