US firm wins design contract for Cairo Financial Center

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

DENVER: Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative, a US consulting firm based in Denver, will serve as the architect of record on the design of the Cairo Financial Center (CFC), the company said in a press statement.

As the biggest contract in company history, the project is 8.1 million square feet of office, conference, hotel, retail and parking space.

“The project will equal the size of three Empire State Buildings, the firm said, “but spread out across 667,000 square feet (about 15 acres).

The first stage of the $730 million CFC is scheduled to open by the end of 2010 and will include a 3,000-car underground 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, 1.1 million square feet of office space, 800,000 additional square feet of retail space, 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, read the statement.

“OLC is honored to have the opportunity to work on this kind of project, with such high international recognition, said Maged El-Sheikh, OLC 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 that have been listed in the World Heritage Committee since 1979.

Developers received a building permit for the CFC in 2005, and competition for architectural design re-assignment began in 2006, with OLC winning 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 design compliance with historical restrictions, the firm said.

“We will create a unique complex that includes a hotel, offices, commercial and retail center for the residents, business people and tourists of the Cairo area, offering the most modern amenities, said Khaled Nassar, general manager and engineer of the CFC.

“To address design constraints imposed by its proximity to historic Cairo, and to avoid competing with or imposing upon the nearby Citadel, OLC used the context of the well-known Mokattam Hill surrounding the location as inspiration for the facility’s design. The project will blend into the hill with a “stepping approach that also allows unobstructed views of the historic scenery, the company said.

OLC has 76 employees, 18 of whom are assigned to the Cairo office.

Currently, the office is purchasing additional space in anticipation of doubling its present staff level.

With offices in the US, Japan, Egypt and the UAE, Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is a full-service architectural firm.

OLC’s recent projects include the Viera HealthFirst Wellness Center in Melbourne, Fla., Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo., and Summa Wellness Institute in Hudson, Ohio.

OLC has designed facilities in 47 states and nine countries, and the firm recently won Innovation Awards for projects in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Broomfield, Colo.

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