Architecture / Competition / German Embassy
The design of the German Embassy in Cairo is a complex challenge both because of the particular nature of the building, and because of the particular political turmoil that the country is going through. An Embassy Building must express the societal morals and values of the country that it represents, becoming a carrier of commercial and cultural exchanges with the country in which it is hosted. The building of the Embassy should ensure its smooth and safe daily operations and at the same time, operating on a symbolic level, it must become a constant reminder of all these values.
We propose a design that symbolically allows a visual permeability, assuming that more than ever the diplomatic exchanges between the two countries can and should intensify. The architectural idea focuses on the space of the main entrance, not that much on the interior lobby, but on the outdoor semi-public space, which is shared by both the Embassy Offices and the official residence of the German Ambassador.
This common shared space is produced by subtracting, from the maximum allowed programmatic volume a prism by the use of slanted surfaces. The tension produced in the final expression of the building is again on a symbolic level trying to re-produce the tension that the Egyptian society is going through as well as the critical nature of Germany's involvement in the democratic future of the country. On a programmatic level it marks a clear distinction between the two main cores of the program, the more public part, the offices and the private part, the Ambassador's residence.