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.
"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.