The French Institute in Egypt occupies an early twentieth century palace in Mounira district, South of Downtown, housing both its administration and cultural facilities. Mediatheque (its public library) was remodelled in the 1990s adding a mezzanine floor to the spacious ground floor hall. In tune with the new trend of public libraries in France and Europe in general, Mediatheque management wanted to remodel the library space to be less of a depository of books and reading tables, to become a “third space” between a reading and learning room on the one hand, and a space for socializing on the other.
The project includes a central space promoting the distinct French culture, including art and architecture, fashion and their culinary industry. The space was designed to include fewer book stacks, to allow for more exhibition areas for new releases as well as more relaxed arrangements of lounges and coffee outlets. Other spaces include children and youth spaces with state of the art display and digital learning methods. The upper floor includes a language section, as well as an area for scholarly research, social sciences and French literature.