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Mokattam Renovation

UIA-HYP Cup competition





Competition Topic:


Argument: Architects can change people’s environment and influence their future in a positive way.

They can create “happy spaces” that contribute to people’s well-being. Inserting a building in a nice environment makes this goal easier. When the building is linked to its surroundings, when the limits are blurred with the construction, all of the positive elements of the site can contribute to create this good feeling inside.

But the real defy is how to do the opposite,

how to influence in a positive way the surroundings throughout the architecture?

Big cities often contain places that lack identity and whose existences are hardly linked with culture, history or tradition.

These places are so-called “periphery” or “degraded” areas that remained isolated and un-integrated, such as neighborhoods with social conflict or poverty.

They are often damaged and in need of reconstruction due to lousy planning or no planning at all. The architects’ mission is, therefore, to recognize the character of the site and create its ‘sense of place’.

This creation looks into the transforming of negative spaces into positive ones by bringing out its inspiring and attractive qualities – this is defined as “happy spaces”, by designing and building a “happy building” in an “unhappy environment”.

To that end, the building should be built in harmony with the urban context and its natural landscape, and should be in connection with people and history.

Architecture cannot be detached from the pre-existent context and significant past events.

A building in relation to its context will form an organic system, and it is not possible to imagine such system without taking into consideration the people in it.

This is significant as humanity is the heart of all systems.

In addition, human activities should also be considered as a key part of the system.

Therefore architects are expected to propose not only the form of the buildi


Mokattam is the largest Garbage City in Cairo.

Every year, Cairo produces 80 million tons of garbage.

30% of the garbage will be collected by Zabaleen, and the rate of recycling is over 80%. ( the recycling rate of the developed country is only 30%).

Copt lived in Mokattam since the 1940s and made a living collecting garbage.

With the development of Cairo, Zabaleen not only needs to face the challenge from the government and garbage recycling company aboard but also needs to stand the severe living conditions and working environment, which threaten their health seriously.


Recycling process for a can

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