Architectural Heritage


Egypt 19th and 20th Century offers a vast array of architectural styles that remain poorly documented. Egypt’s heritage suffered tremendously of neglect. Until recently, no legislation protected these buildings from demolition and alterations, especially those less than a hundred years old, and certainly maintenance laws were not respected. Moreover, the Egyptian government has imposed some of the most stringent rent control laws in the developing world and their effects have been devastating. Consequently, owners discontinued any investment in maintenance and in their turn tenants didn’t really contribute so much. Moreover, public awareness to this heritage is still not fully formed. CULTNAT’s Architectural Heritage of Egypt project is to document the 19th and 20th century architectural heritage of Egypt. Downtown area of Cairo that was developed between the 19th and 20th Century, is the area of interest for CULTNAT’s pilot project. During the period between 1860 and 1950 in particular, a unique architecture combining European styles with local influences and materials was born. Post-1940 architecture unfortunately lost any sense of uniqueness as the international style pre-dominated the architectural scene which will never be equaled. This project constitutes of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with an easy to browse database that includes extensive photographic documentation, all published material for each inventoried building, in addition to historic documents, maps and archival material. A series of thematic CD-ROMs, books, guides and other publications are extracted from this database serving as very effective cultural awareness tools.