Serge Santelli was born in 1944 in Paris, and received a Master of Architecture and City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. He worked in the atelier of Louis Kahn before becoming an assistant professor at the Institut Technologique d'Art in Tunis. Since 1973, he has taught at the Ecole d'Architecture de Paris-Belleville and has been responsible for the "Habitat au Maghreb" workshop since 1985. In addition to a number of projects in France, Tunisia and Senegal, Santelli has researched and published numerous articles on Arab and-Islamic architecture and urbanism in North Africa and more particularly on the traditional and contemporary habitat of that region. He received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983 for the Residence Andalous in Tunisia. Serge Santelli is the architect of the Lakeside Cafe in Azhar Park, Cairo (2004).
"The conceptual design of the Lakeside Café, prepared by architect Serge Santelli, is based on a highly geometric array of pavilions set around the sides of a Palm court. on the east side. On its western end, the café encloses a poolside terrace on three sides with the open edge overlooking the lake in the south meadow. While providing ample shade and fascinating courtyard areas, the Lakeside Café can be considered an indoor-outdoor space. The lakeside zone is further defined by two square pavilions at each end of the poolside terrace, enclosed with wood screen walls, with intricate detail referring to traditional mashrabiyya panels.
In contrast to its hilltop counterpart (Hilltop Restaurant), the Lakeside Café will offer light salads, snacks, and pastries together with a tea and coffee service, depending, naturally, on the time of day. In the eastern portion, seating is provided under the various twelve shade pavilions, which provide shaded seating area on the sides of the palm court. Further service spaces are provided in the intermediate zone where one enters the Lakeside Café. The Palm Court is intended to serve general park visitors who wish to relax informally during their visit to the park."
Rashti, Cameron. "The Development of Azhar Park". 2004. Cairo: Revitalising a Historic Metropolis. (Stefano Bianca and Philip Jodidio, eds.) Turin: Umberto Allemandi & C. for Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 149-163.