With the artistic vibes in the air, we witnessed a new architectural landmark during the grand opening of “El-Gouna Film Festival” GFF2020. If the monumental Arches caught your eye during the opening ceremony, then you are now in the right place! Here’s all you need to know about “El-Gouna Conference and Cultural Center”.
The Idea Behind The Center
Being a lover of classical music since his early years in Berlin, Samih Sawiris wanted to have a major concert hall in El-Gouna. A place where classical music and music, in general, could be performed. And the idea was not only to have a big music concert hall. It is to have a significant landmark in “EL-Gouna” that would act as a new major magnet for the town. The place would be a hub for different cultural events and conferences and would hold grand events such as El-Gouna international squash tournament, and El-Gouna Film Festival. Finally “Studio Seilern Architects” was commissioned to design the project. Then the construction process began on Aug-Jul 2019 with 2023 as a finishing date for the whole project.
About The Architect
Christina Seilern is a Swiss-born architect who established “Studio Seilern Architects” in 2006. She participated in the design process of many famous buildings around the world such as the Walkie-Talkie skyscraper in London, and the Mahler 4 tower in Amsterdam.
The Concept of El-Gouna Center
The project’s total footprint is about 30,000m2 and the covered footprint equals 9700m2. The concept is to form an “Oasis” or an Island-like area, taking the desert context as a source of inspiration. The monumental scale of ancient Egyptian architecture was a source of inspiration too, along with some influences from traditional Islamic architecture. That’s why we can clearly see the separation between the project and the surroundings by an artificial water lagoon. This also gives the structure a light appearance, as if it is floating on the water despite its scale. And this usage of water features and landscape elements protects the “Oasis” from sun and wind.
The project consists of three main parts:
You are probably a little bit familiar with it as it is the only nearly-completed phase till now. It is a vast space with a monumental colonnade of Islamic-inspired barrel vaults and arches surrounding its perimeter. The two rows of arches are skew from one another. This creates a buffer-zone effect for wind, sand, and noise from the surrounding area. It also provides a shaded path for the users of the space, where they can walk and enjoy the contemporary sculptural Islamic form of the colonnade. The plaza can house up to 1400 attendees for different cultural festivals and events.
Photo Courtesy: Linesmag, By: Nada Samir
2-The Concert Hall
The inspiration for the interior design of the concert hall came from the context of the red sea area, where mountains, caves, and canyons have magnificent rock formations. Consequently, the concert hall resembles those natural rock formations by its parametric design. The Hall will hold an audience of up to 600 persons and 120 orchestra players with all the required services.
3-The Conference Center
It is the last part of the project and is designed to host national and international seminars, conferences, and events including spaces such as a grand auditorium, meeting rooms, and VIP halls, with the capacity of up to 2000 users.
El-Gouna conference and cultural center is a new rising star in this newborn town. And we can’t wait till 2023 to see its final beauty after full completion.
If you want to know more about the Architecture of El-Gouna check this article about El Gouna Architecture development across the years Here on Linesmag!