medinat nasr: isolated zoning

Medinat Nasr (Victory City) was designed in the 60s to relieve pressure on Cairo. The city was divided into zones by function, with towers placed in open space for residents.

Though it was built as an expression of Egyptian capacity and urban expansion, architect and educator Ahmad Hamid, with whom I spoke in Cairo, sees this place as a European experiment. According to Hamid, the architect who designed it was a disciple of Udo Kulturmann, architectural theorist and critic from Zurich, and it was his ideas that influenced the form of the place.

Source: Janet Abu-Lughod, Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious

Source: Janet Abu-Lughod, Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious

Medinat Nasr today feels very different than the rest of Cairo. From what I saw, changes in the architecture have remained in the architecture, but the population pressure in the city has drawn commercial space up into the buildings. The main attraction in Nasr is the immense mall and theme park, which contains a hotel. Cairenes sometimes stay there to shop over the weekend.

Another force that has created isolation in the city is the presence of embassies, who have cut off the open areas to securitize their space.

3 thoughts on “medinat nasr: isolated zoning

  1. I absolutely love your blog! Your images are quite stunning and your research is very interesting! I look forward to every post and share it on facebook and twitter because the work that you are doing can shape how we think of preserving modern architecture and planning.

    1. thanks so much for your interest! i hope that this project can not only raise the issue of preserving rather than destroying modern architecture & planning, but also bring to light ideas about how to rework it for a new and changing situation.

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