Cairo Downtown Passages – Philips Passage
Additional support from: Al-Ismaelia for Real Estate Investments, Philips Egypt, Sarwat A. Shahid Law Firm
Location: Philips Passage, Adly Street / Sherif Street
Cairo Downtown Passages workshop participants: Kenneth Balfelt (DK), Yasmin Elayat (EG), Jakob Fenger (Superflex) (DK), Anne Marie Galmstrup (DK), Bianca M. Hermansen (DK), Adham Selim (EG), Aya Tarek (EG), Ahmed Zaazaa (EG), Manar Moursi (EG)
Date: April, 2014 – ongoing
This project falls within the context of a broader research endeavor by CLUSTER, exploring the network of Cairo’s Downtown passages. These passageways offer an alternative framework for the development and revitalization of Downtown.
Cairo Downtown Passages aims to develop a pilot urban design and art project in the northern part of downtown Cairo, highlighting existing and emerging initiatives and activating underutilized public spaces. This passageway redevelopment project emerged from a design workshop held in April 2014, organized collaboratively by CLUSTER with DEDI and CKU, exploring art and design interventions in two passageways in Downtown Cairo: the Kodak and Phillips Passageways. CLUSTER has been working in the two passages over an extended period, undertaking mapping, interviews and outreach as part of our larger project on Downtown passageways as an alternative framework for development. This pilot project seeks to promote a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible public space downtown.
The outcome of the design workshop selected by a juried review were the “Green Oasis” project for the Kodak Passage, and the “Light Oasis” for the Philips Passage. CLUSTER has overseen the design development and implementation of these two schemes, emphasizing a more diverse, safer, and environmentally enhanced experience in the passgeways. The “Green Oasis” transforms Kodak into a pedestrian park, while the “Light Oasis” in Philips brings marquee lighting and the possibility for film screenings to a previously dark and decaying space.
Philips Passage is an L-shaped space connecting Sherif and Adly Streets. It offers an opportunity to engage diverse activities: with its mix of retail, food, entertainment and service uses. It suffers from the chronic, but typical encroachment into the public domain by shops and street vendors. It also occupies a unique setting between privately owned and public access, pedestrian traffic amenities and infrastructure.