The Cairo Expo City, construction begun in 2009, looks like an illustration from a 1950’s science fiction pulp magazine cover, or a Surreal painting by artist Yves Tanguy. The buildings appear to grow out of the earth’s bedrock as though carved by flowing water over eons, establishing a presence that is the opposite of many of Hadid’s designs which as I’ve said seem to inhabit a fluctuating time/space. It is understood that this geologic contiguity is related to the manner in which the Nile flows through the surrounding countryside. Never the less, as always the fantasy element is present.
As part of the program carved arteries work through the serpentine structures dividing the complex into individual though related sections of clustered buildings for conference, exhibition, shopping, and office space. Flowing through the center, a main stream gathers curvilinear tributaries from each of the complex subdivisions. The two office towers (30 and 31 stories) are contained within the flowing structures, and relate to the entire program because of their elongated and extremely subtle curves and bulbous bases.
The entire set of structures is so contained by the organic water carved land metaphor as to seem a more permanent part of this land than are the great pyramids themselves. Thus, they are a piece of the incredibly long history of Egypt, and I hope their construction has not been interrupted by the current instability of the region.
*images from archdaily at http://www.archdaily.com/. Viewed Thursday, August 18, 2011. It is understood that one time use of images for intellectual purpose is acceptable under U.S. copyright law.
Hadid, Zaha, "Zaha Hadid," in Wikipedia, , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaha_Hadid. Last modified August 8, 2011, viewed 9:21 AM EDT, August 16, 3011.
Hadid Zaha, Zaha Hadid Architects, http://www.zaha-hadid.com/, viewed 10:00 A.M., EDT, Tuesday, August 23, 2011.
Horsley, Carter B>, "Zaha Hadid: Queen of energetic, explosive works of varied perspectives," at the Gugggenheim Museum, June 3 to October 25, 2006. Viewed 10:12 A.M., Tuesday, August 23, 2011.