This collection contains a sampling of Art Deco
buildings in downtown Cairo, Garden City and Zamalek. The collection as a whole
serves to illustrate various typological features, specificities and local
expressions of Egyptian Art Deco architecture imported from Europe since 1924.
At the end of British
protectorate with the proclamation of partial independence of the country in
1922, educational reforms appeared in the field of architecture and substantial
numbers of architects were henceforth trained in Europe, above all in Paris, to
meet the needs of the government. Simultaneously, a number of international
design competitions were organized in Egypt in which European, mainly Italian,
Concerning private architecture, major clients and patrons of the 1930s came from different cultural backgrounds. This cosmopolitan elite – French, English, Syrian-Lebanese, Armenian, Copt, Muslim, Christian – lived in new residential neighbourhoods such as Garden City and Zamalek. All those elements, creating continuing cultural exchanges, explain in part the presence and the typological diversity of Art Deco in Cairo and in Alexandria. Local architects from various origins and background offered various interpretations of Egyptian Art Deco design.
This collection is partial and offers an overview of 28 sites without drawings. Indeed, photographic documentation is limited for some of them due to the prohibition against photographing private residences. Nevertheless, the collection presents prototypes of Egyptian Art Deco, which was reinterpreted with traditional building methods such as stucco to create relief adornments and offer various interpretations of design.
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