Foster unveils masterplan for Cairo waterfront project

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UK-based firm Foster + Partners has won a competition to redevelop a rundown part of Cairo close to the River Nile.

Lord Norman Foster’s firm has devised a new masterplan for the 35 hectare Maspero Triangle District.

The plans consists of high-rise blocks containing offices and shops, while smaller scale housing will be set further inland.

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A new footbridge will connect the district with the affluent Zamalek neighbourhood, which is located at one end of an island in the Nile.

“This is an exciting opportunity to transform the lives of the people that live in this neighbourhood – supporting the vibrant public realm by giving them greener community spaces, and a better place to live and work, while creating new spaces for offices, retail and residences,” said Grant Brooker of Foster + Partners.

Previous proposals to develop the site had been met with opposition over worries that low-income families would be evicted from their homes and businesses to free the land for luxury schemes.

Maspero Triangle District by Foster + Partners

The architects say the dvelopment will set the benchmark for urban regeneration throughout the country.

“Based on estimated land values, the masterplan places commercial and residential spaces along the river edge and main street frontages, while mixed use buildings and open community spaces occupy the more private, central core of the scheme,” said the firm.

“This allows the existing population of the district to maintain their overlapping spatial live-work relationships, while new office and retail spaces on the edges of the site create employment opportunities for the entire city of Cairo.”

Empty plots of land will be filled with greenery to create public space designed to increase the feeling of community in the district. Other plans include roof-terrace cafes, awning-shaded alleyways and street-level shopping.

Maspero Triangle District by Foster + Partners

The area will be mainly pedestrianised to improve access to river crossings, markets and to a nearby hospital.

“The design of the public realm is key to the project, and in addition to the green spaces throughout the settlement, a central open space has been created at the heart of the neighbourhood for community events and celebrations,” said the firm.

The area will be largely pedestrianised to improve access to river crossings, markets and to a nearby hospital.

The firm added: “We are delighted to have won the masterplan design competition for the Maspero Triangle district. We believe this is an exciting opportunity to transform the lives of the people that live in this neighbourhood – supporting the vibrant public realm by giving them greener community spaces, and spaces for offices, retail and residences. On the banks of the River Nile, the future of Maspero burns bright, and we are sure our sustainable model of development will set the benchmark for urban regeneration throughout the country.”

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