(1995-2015) Citystars Heliopolisclient : Golden Pyramids Plaza Group
typology : Mixed-Use
services : Planning, Architecture, Interior Design
where : Cairo, Egypt
Citystars Heliopolis is Cairo’s first integrated real estate development of its kind in Egypt. It incorporates four hotels, a shopping center with department stores, exhibition halls, hypermarkets, as well as cinemas. The project will also house a giant glass pyramid, upmarket residential and office spaces, leisure facilities and a medical center.
Its program consists of 607 retail tenant units, 7 department stores, 34 restaurants, 288 storage units, 16 cinemas, 2 exhibition halls, 1 food court and a total carpark capacity of 6,000 cars. Spanning over 800,000 sqm in the heart of New Cairo, the $1.5 billion dollars complex comprises four key components: Stars Centre: 370,000 sqm (gross) shopping and entertainment, Star Capital: 70,000 sqm of class A offices, Star Living: residential, Hotels: Intercontinental Cairo Citystars (830 rooms and suites), Holiday Inn Cairo Citystars (311 rooms) and Staybridge Suites Cairo Citystars (140 studios and apartments).
The Citystars Heliopollis is one of the largest commercial developments under construction in the Middle East today. With a total built-up area of about 800,000m2 and a perimeter of more than a kilometer, this project occupies an entire city block and is the larges project undertaken by the Cassia & Partners team to date. It incorporates three hotels, a shopping center with department stores, exhibition halls, hypermarkets, cinemas, a giant glass pyramid, up market residential and office spaces, leisure facilities and a medical center.
The style adopted for the design was intentionally contextual. The client’s objective was to classify this complex as being touristic and wished to give it a very Egyptian character. The architect chose to adopt the artistic style from the Pharaohs era considering that it is what differs Egypt from all other countries and regions. He used the old temples as base for inspiration. From every angle one looks at the project, one feels ancient Egypt in a very modern way and without falling into any undesirable imitation.
Combining many features of Pharaonic architecture and details, the project nevertheless remains a modern and commercial development with massing arrangements intended to accentuate the core of the project’s commercial functions: the Stars Center. Currently, its program incorporates 607 shops, 7 Department Stores, 34 restaurants, 288 storage units, 16 cinemas, 2 exhibition halls, 1 food court and a total car park capacity of 6,000 cars.
The mass of the whole complex is composed of 13 major towers distributed mainly around the site boundary. It also has wide lower structures that link those towers and provide spaces for other facilities. The shopping mall; “Stars Centre” is located at the north-eastern side of the complex. It stretches from the grand Intercontinental hotel all the way to the 2 office towers on the south-east corner. It is also linked directly to the large Pyramid located at the centre of the project.
Despite the use of Pharaonic approach in design, Cassia’s design treatment is very strong in every architectural aspect of the project. All outside surfaces of the buildings throughout this complex are covered with ceramic tiles. This is a common choice of façade material by the architect that he has used and still uses in most of his buildings. His reason is that it’s very affordable, long lasting, easy to clean and durable against weather. The color is sand brown. It makes the whole complex look as an extension of the native earth color in Cairo. Details of individual towers are also unique to Cassia’s style. He uses the small balconies, the patterns or ‘crowns’ at the top of every tower, and the definition of building edges with material and color contrasts.