A Self-sustainable Cultural Campus in Ismailia, Egypt by Kadri Kerge, Jelena Vukmirovic and Melanie Kotz

I invite the reader to read — or to read again — Wolf D Prix's essay Let's Rock over Barock (Architectural Design,  Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture, March-April 2010). As Prix says, Austrian architecture can be defined as a spatial sequence. Precisely, Austrian architecture's characteristics is to celebrate space…, even space in extreme climate. This is the case for Kadri Kerge's Cultural Campus, which is to be located near Ismailia, Egypt, facing with extreme climate and local specifities.
Self-sustainable Cultural Campus in Ismailia, Egypt, © Kadri Kerge

It is difficult to build in such regions as Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia if architects don't take into account climate and local spatial characteristics as key elements. Snøhetta, to quote only one example among many others, starts with local elements and history as core elements when operating in regions such as Middle-East. The desert must be considered as a primary plane of reference as Kjetil Traedal Thorsen and Robert Greenwood of Snøhetta mentioned (Architectural Design, Exuberance: New Virtuosity in Contemporary Architecture, March-April 2010). Kerge and his two collaborators Jelena Vukmirovic and Melanie Kotz explore this logic by designing a self-sustainable building that respects the local conditions.
© Kadri Kerge

In addition, this project envisions a new way of creating a modern campus by rediscovering typologies of private and public spaces, and connections between them.
© Kadri Kerge

The layered building shape is configured by site conditions, specifically desert and climate, allowing for best adaptation to extreme climate and conditions. Perforations on surface make diffusion of natural light and ventilation easier within the building.
© Kadri Kerge

The project articulates functionality and sustainable practices including wind, photovoltaic farms, plantations, water basins, thermal mass, shading devices, and so forth. This results in a self-feeder building designed to minimize energy consumption and maximize use of surrounding natural conditions.
© Kadri Kerge

This campus contains a School of Performing Arts (Music and Dance), a School of Visual Arts, a Residence Complex to house students and staff, a Performance Center for Music and Dance and a Contemporary Art Exhibition Gallery.

Source: suckerPUNCH

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