The residential building of Al Bergas 5 in Garden City offers a small two-storey structure with quadrangle volumes. A cornice delimits the original construction from one raised level added afterwards. The cornice and one side of main facade have bevelled angles contrasting with rectangular format of the main block and creating an asymmetrical effect. The anonymous architect integrates a central “avant-corps” topped with a mitre arch. The diversity of windows, forms and balconies, rectangular and semicircular, is notable.
One of the specific features is the stucco decoration. Built of mud bricks and covered with plaster, the facade presents a frieze with a stylised floral pattern under the cornice and the mitre arch. The local art of stucco creates here exceptional Art Deco adornments such as stylised daisies and bunch of grapes surrounding the horn of plenty. Since 1920, floral and vegetal motifs, already used in Art Nouveau, begin to be geometrised in Art Deco realisations. In England, Owen Jones (1809-1874) in his book The Grammar of Ornament published in 1856, mentioned “idealisation” of the forms of nature and not just copying. In 1925, André Véra realised for the Exposition internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes a stylised basket of fruits and flowers, which would become a symbol in Parisian Art Deco1. This type of ornamentation decorates various facades in the residential and cosmopolitan area of Garden City and Zamalek.
Author: Lobna Montasser
1Liot D., Années folles, années d’ordre, l’Art déco de Reims à New York, Paris: éditions, Hazan, 2006, p. 129.