Branding is a key of marketing in Architecture, never ends, but always in motion. It’s about creating a unique image for the city and develop it to put the City in a great position on the map of the world.
The idea is about Re-branding the map of Egypt by choosing either heritage sites with historical layers occur with time this could be recalling and rebirth or bridging and jumping, location with potential that could be touristic, industrial, environmental, business, learning and other energies, or sites in virgin locations and the new brand is how to start a new finger print. So it’s about choosing a unique site and analyzing this site to know what is the best project to be the image of this city and re-brand it and then design the project to integrate with the site and the idea of branding.
The site is Abu Qir town in Alexandria; Alexandria was founded around a small ancient Egyptian town 331 BC by Alexander the Great. It became an important center of the Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Hellenistic and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1000 years until the Muslim conquest of Egypt. Alexandria is the second largest city and a major economic centre in Egypt, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination. Abu Qir is a town on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, near the ruins of ancient Canopus and 23 kilometers northeast of Alexandria by rail. It is located on Abu Qir Peninsula, with Abu Qir Bay to the east. Abu Qir has a very important port on Mediterranean sea, It has a very important history and witnesses on big battles, Abu Qir shore was an important filming location in the past, It has a lot of ancient monuments and cities which submerged beneath the water in Abu Qir bay.
Ancient Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the 3rd century BC until the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC, so the idea is about re-branding Alexandria as the lighthouse of science again as it was in the Ancient world, in order to do this the project will be somehow an educational and cultural hub and it needed to be something special, important and trend now and in the future. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most important topics now in science and making something related to it will be very good for the idea of branding.
Although Artificial Intelligence is very important but Africa and Arab world almost hasn’t educational projects that focus on artificial intelligence and at the north Countries on Mediterranean with Artificial Intelligence programs in its universities are Spain, Greece, Turkey and Israel, so creating an Artificial Intelligence Hub in Alexandria will serve the area around as it will be the first in Arab world and Africa and the focal point of AI on the Mediterranean also will re-brand Alexandria as the city of intelligence.
The project has four main components (1- Research Centre 2-Exhibitions 3-Hostel
4- Office Tower). First the research center: it consists of Lecture Halls, Workshops, Labs, Classrooms, Library, Staff offices, Restaurant and services. Second we have the exhibitions which consist of Main Exhibition, Small Exhibitions, Outdoor Exhibition, Conference Halls, Salons and services. Then we have the hostel that consists of Lounge, Rooms, Entertainment Areas, Study Rooms, Dining Rooms, Terrace, cafe and services. And finally we have the office tower that consists of Administration, Core, Different office spaces and café with the services needed.
The concept is about Patterns … Human minds use and develop different patterns to work and react. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning also depend on using a lot of patterns and it aims to make the machine develops these patterns and makes new reactions. So when we come to the Concept; it is about referring to The Machine Mind and its Pattern. The machine mind will be represented by rectangular shape and the pattern of the machine mind (machine mind lines) will not be straight lines but it will be broken in specific nodes on angle equals 45 degree.
Re-branding the map of Egypt was the big main idea from the beginning and. Choosing a city and trying to create a new unique image for it was the main aim of the project. So it started by searching for a unique site with some potentials to be suitable for the idea of branding and Alexandria was the perfect site because its greet position among the big cities of Egypt as it is the second largest city and a major economic center in Egypt after Cairo, it is also an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipe lines from Suez and a popular tourist destination. Then it was about finding a unique idea for the project to create a new image for the city of Alexandria and working on re-branding the map of Egypt. By analyzing the history of Alexandria, Alexandria was the lighthouse of science and the Ancient Library of Alexandria was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world, so trying to recall this image to re-brand the city as the lighthouse of science again was a good idea, but what is the field in science which will be perfect for this idea…?! Artificial Intelligence was the perfect field for this idea as artificial intelligence is one of the most important topics now in science and there is a great debate about the next step in artificial intelligence is it safe ..?!! or it is the end of the world as we know…so making something related to it will be very good for the idea of branding.
Finding a good strong concept was the next step after finding the perfect idea and after searching in this field it is been found that Human minds use and develop different patterns to work and react. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning also depend on using a lot of patterns and it aims to make the machine develops these patterns and makes new reactions, so the concept will be about referring to The Machine Mind and its Pattern. The concept applied in the design by selecting the main zones to make them refer to the machine mind and the other zones will refer to the pattern of machine mind (machine mind lines). The office tower and the main expo are the two main zones which will refer to the machine mind and also they are the two big masses which will work on branding the project by its unique forms, other masses (small exhibitions masses, research centre masses and hostel masses) will work on referring to the pattern of machine mind by taking the shape of machine mind lines (broken lines in specific nodes on angle equals 45 degree) and by overlapping each other. Applying concept on open spaces was by selecting the main plaza to represent the machine mind and making the other open spaces refer to the pattern of machine mind by taking the shape of machine mind lines. Concept on architecture appears in the design of the internal spaces of the buildings by using the shape of broken lines (that refer to the pattern of machine mind as we said before) in corridors and by making the lobbies take the rectangular shapes to refer to the machine mind. Concept on elevation appears in the design of screens and the skyline of the buildings as the shape of screens is like the shape of machine mind lines to refer to the pattern of machine mind.
At the end, the aim of this project is re-brand Alexandria as the city of intelligence and recall the image of it as the lighthouse of science again and by choosing the topic of Artificial Intelligence and making a unique design for the project (Artificial Intelligence Hub), that is a great step to achieve this aim and will be a step to re-brand the map of Egypt.