DENVER, Colo. (April 28, 2008) – Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative has won a multi-hundred million dollar contract to serve as the architect of record on the design of the Cairo Financial & Touristic Center “CFC” with its 7.4 million square feet of office, conference, hotel, retail and parking space.
The two-stage project represents the 46-year-old Denver-based architectural firm’s largest single contract in company history. The project will be bigger than the equivalent of two Empire State Buildings, but spread out across 62,000 square meters. The equivalent of five Denver International Airport terminals would fit inside the footprint of the CFC.
The first stage of the $730 million CFTC project is scheduled to open the end of 2010 and will include a 3,000-car under-ground parking structure, a 16-screen theater complex, 600,000 square feet of office space, and 950,000 square feet of retail shops.
The second stage is due to open by 2013 and will include 3,000 additional underground parking spaces, 1,100,000 square feet of office space, 800,000 additional square feet of retail, a 100,000 square-foot exhibition and conference center, a health club and a five-star 450-room hotel.
The project will surround 160,000 square feet of open plaza highlighted by water features, a Roman amphitheater for outdoor performances and shopping arcades. “OLC is honored to have the opportunity to work on this kind of project, with such high international recognition,” said Maged El-Sheikh, OLC’s senior principal, and Middle East Managing Director. “We are eager to help create a thriving center that will become the region’s commercial jewel.” Only a 15-minute drive from Cairo’s city center, the CFC has been in the planning stages since 1995. It will overlook the Citadel, a prominent, 12th-century Islamic landmark, and parts of historic Cairo which are listed in the World Heritage Committee as historical Cairo.
Developers received a building permit for CFC in 2005, and competition for architectural design re-assignment began in 2006 and OLC won the competition over top local and international architectural firms. OLC is working closely with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to ensure that the project design complies with historical restrictions. Finally UNESCO gave their final approval and the developer obtained the revised building permit and now the project is full ahead in construction.
“We will create the most comfortable commercial and retail center for the residents, business people and tourists of the Cairo area, offering the most modern amenities,” said Eng. Khalid Nassar, General Manager of the CFC. “We believe OLC is the best choice to help bring this dream to reality.”
To deviate from design constraints due to the proximity of historic Cairo and to avoid competing or imposing on the nearby Citadel, OLC used the context of the well-known Mokattam Hill surrounding the location, as inspiration for the facility’s design, blending the structures into the hill with a “stepping” approach that also allows unobstructed views of the historic scenery.