Breathing new life into the legacy of past civilisations calls for a creativity, imagination, tolerance, understanding, and wisdom well beyond the ordinary. The Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme (AKHCP), established in 1992, implements conservation, urban revitalization and area development projects in historically significant sites of the Islamic world undertaking the restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures and public spaces in ways that spur social, economic and cultural development. Its projects seek to mobilize local potential and resources in order to ensure their eventual self-sustainability through operational income, human resource development and institutional management capabilities. Through this integrated approach, the Programme seeks to demonstrate that strengthening cultural identity can go hand in hand with socio-economic progress.
Going beyond mere restoration of monuments, the Programme engages in activities related to adaptive re-use, contextual urban planning and the improvement of housing, infrastructure and public spaces. It carries out related socio-economic development initiatives directed at upgrading local living conditions and improving quality of life.
Investments in single project locations or regions are coordinated with other Aga Khan Development Network programmes so that they reinforce each other as they grow together into a critical mass for positive change. In all project locations, community participation and training of local professionals are essential components.
"Originally conceived as a secluded, five-star restaurant set on the higher hills within the park, the design has evolved to that of a two-storey facility featuring a full restaurant, outdoor terrace, lobby, and, upstairs, a tearoom and manzara cafe.
The total facility consists of 1300 square metres on the ground floor and 500 square metres on the first Access is via the park main entrance (see drawings) and along an internal access drive. A zone for parking(twenty-four cars) will be provided opposite the restaurant entrance; valet parking will be able to park surplus cars in the main parking bays off the park entrance.
The building, designed by architects Rami El Dahan and Soheir Farid, provides a traditional shell for the various dining zones within an interpretation of historic Cairene architecture. The restaurant plan is based on a symmetrical layout whose central axis passes through an entrance palm court, an entry portico, or takhtaboush, before arriving at a terraced garden overlooking the main axis of the park. Along this axis, vistas of the park's main promenade and the Citadel complex, beyond, can be seen."
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.