The German Embassy in Cairo

Client: Bundesamt für Bauwesen und Raumordnung
Contact: Reinhard Busch, Marlen Matthäus
Cooperation: lwa Leyk Wollenberg Architekten
Period: 2014

A concept of open space brings together notions of representation and security. Two squares create focal points within a courtyard enclosed by a wall and surfaced for the most part with a uniform pavement. One of the squares creates a sense of welcoming and openness by virtue of a central green, jewel-shaped island and a pool in front of the entrance to the residence. The second square, situated in front of the Visa office, offers ample space for a range of activities – a “display window” for German culture, a market square, or a space for public screenings. The square is separated from the rest of the site by a “living wall” at its northern edge, which furnishes the courtyard with a unique design and climate.
The preexisting garden within the embassy remains a green oasis and is only slightly modified. It flows around the building and serves as a residential garden. The reception rooms and dining hall extend out onto a generous terrace in the garden, which at the same time serves as a continuous backdrop for the main reception rooms. The existing trees are largely preserved. A fruit and vegetable garden occupies the area between the chancellery and the southern edge of the site. A shade-giving pergola with a varyingly perforated roof covers a large proportion of the open space, bringing together all of its diverse functions. All of the green areas are situated above physical structures such as garages, flood gates, etc.. The planting scheme consists largely of grasses.