Cairo Since 1900: An Architectural Guide
Author Mohamed Elshahed argues that modernism, the clean-lined, functional architectural style prevalent in the 20th century, was institutionally forgotten in Egypt amid a flurry of state-led building projects after the revolution of 1952 and now faces the threat of erasure. Structures less than a century old fail to qualify for heritage status, leaving many in disrepair and subject to demolition to make way for buildings that “lack any architectural point of view.” Elshahed counteracts the city’s selective amnesia by cataloging the legacy of groundbreaking professionals who shaped the cityscape mainly from the 1920s onward. This compendium offers written profiles, historical photographs and renderings of 226 Cairo structures, mapped and grouped by neighborhood. The listings, some supplemented with floor plans and elevations newly drawn by Elshahed’s team, focus on modernist buildings but also reference a variety of architectural styles from Mamluk to Art-Deco apartments and Neo-Baroque department stores, as well as eclectic buildings that combine various traditions in one design.