Misr International University

Project Misr University For Science And Technology (MUST)
Location 6th October City, Giza Egypt
Architect Ahmed Abdin


The MUST project is located in 6th October City, a new development 30 km outside Cairo. It is located on the main spine of the city surrounded by other regional facilities. Project design and execution started 1995 and completed in September 1996. The University started the first academic year in October 1996.

Building Program

The university education program necessitates the construction of 9 faculties, in order to cover all the main educational fields. Besides this, there are plans to construct administration buildings, student facilities and infrastructure. The project includes the following buildings.

1- University administration.
2- Main conference Center.
3- Center for Research and Services.
4- Central Library.
5- Faculty of Engineering and Technology.
6- Faculty of mass Media and Communication Technology.
7- Faculty of Business and Economic Studies.
8- Faculty of Social Studies.
9- Faculty of Medicine.
10- Faculty of Pharmaceuticals and Pharmacology.
11- Faculty of Applied Medicine.
12- Faculty Dentistry Technology.
13- Faculty of Tourism and Antiquities.
14- Student Medical Center.
15- Student Union.
16- Mosque.

Planning Concept (Environmental Concept)

The project was planned to complement the surrounding environment, and comprises an integral environmental system, which fulfills the dynamic balance between the natural environment and the built one. The elevation is higher than Cairo, reaching 103 m above mean sea level.

The site is bordered to the north by land at the same elevation, planned for a sporting club, and agricultural reclaimed areas. It is located in the east zone, at the highest elevation in 6th October City, while the topography gently descends from north to south.

The project site forms a trapezoidal shape and is surrounded by 3 roads from the north, west and south. On the east is the site for a new hospital. The northern road (26th July road extension) is the city spine, around which all regional activities are located.
The climatologically data have been analyzed, and the expected climatologically effects on the project were calculated.

Analysis of the project site resulted in the following:

The main entrance to the project is located on the city spine (26th July Road) as it has the advantage of width, the other college entrances being located on the western axis, with the service entrance on the southern axis.

The plan for the whole, site was done on a modular planning grid that is parallel to the main co-ordinates as recommended by the environmental studies. The project has the conference hall as the defining the edges of the site.

The project was planned to incorporate an internal ring road, on which the parking areas, the college entrances for vehicles and service areas are located. Pedestrian circulation areas were planned to allow easy interaction with the parking areas at the secondary entrances. However the main pedestrian spine traverses the center of the project and is segregated from vehicular circulation areas.

The visual concept of the main spine was designed to afford a rich variety of views, and to confer a unique character on each individual space within the site itself. The distinctive planning for each space was accomplished using color and texture in the dry landscape in order to confer a special character and the university. This was enhanced through a suitable choice of plantation, again considering color and also fragrance to achieve the desired level of individuality. A variety of date palms and flowering plants were chosen, as well as shade trees on the ring road, including Cypress, Oleander and Canary Palm in the interior spaces. The different activities for each space also for the student union were also taken into consideration in the plan.

The infrastructure was planned to provide the most economical and most efficient solution, while taking into consideration the security, health and safety aspects.

Phase one of the university includes:

1- Main administration building and conference center.
2- Research center.
3- Central library.
4- Mass media and Communications Technology.
5- Phase 1 of Faculty of Engineering.

Design Concept Criteria:

The buildings are designed to complement the surrounding environment and stress their relative importance. Cultural influences reflect the Ancient Egyptian civilization and take into account the advanced environmental systems of Islamic Architecture. This is Manifested in the following:

1- Mass formation that ties with the ground, which is represented in externally, closed masses.
2- Use of Architectural elements that are taken from Pharoanic Architectural elements, such as column style, that is reminiscent of Sakkara architectural complex in Giza.
3- Use of top dome formation that recalls the lotus Bud, a popular ancient motif. It consists of 4 hyperbolic paraboloid petals with a dome in the middle.
4- Openings that elongate to the upper levels, to simulate the openings of Pharoaonic buildings.
5- Artificial stone plaster, granite, glass and copper are the main materials used to enhance mass
expression and to define the shape.
6- Main entrances to buildings are designed to stress the grand scale. This is achieved through
the exaggerated height of the entrances, and the use of granite columns and copper
decorations, a design reminiscent of the historic architecture of Cairo.
7- The use of environmental architecture (sustainable architecture) that is present in traditional
architecture, designed in accordance with natural systems. This is represented in the use of
internal courts, atria and air catches.
8- The utilization of courtyard systems that are composed of a number of courts of variable areas and depths. This results in variability in the volumes of cold air stored during the night, and in the variation in shaded areas during day time, thus producing differences in air pressure and movement from courts with low air temperatures to those with higher air temperatures through internal spaces.
9- The use of atria inside the buildings such as the Research Center and the Library to form a
cold core inside the building, and give and impression of luxury, due the height of the atria.
10- Use of roofs as an extra façade for lighting and air intake for the buildings. The external
facades are designed to form walls with a depth of 60cm. This ensures avoidance of extra
heat load.
11- Utilization of variation in percentage of openings in the facades according to their orientation.
12- Increasing the possibility of airflow between internal spaces by designing openings on
corridors, courts and atria.
13- Design of the environmental architectural system that leads to human comfort in a natural
environment, using integrated natural methods that consider the interaction of forms and masses, with the external atmosphere, and a ventilation system comprising air catches, atria, openings and the courtyard system.

Design Concept For Main Administration Building And Conference Hall

The building consists of two floors. The conference hall is in the center, with the university president and secretary to the west, and the administration staff to the cast.

The main administration building and conference hall was designed to be the main landmark for the University, characterized by entrances designed on the grand scale, consisting of four hyperbolic paraboloids centered around a small dome with four triangles in copper radiating from the dome, recalling the image of a gigantic lotus flower. The dome is the dominate building of the project.

The building is centered around tow open courtyards, allowing for complete control of the internal environment. The external envelope is designed with minimum opening, thus acting as a filter and damper for the ever-changing outer environmental conditions.

Design Concept For The Research Center Building

The building consists of four floors. The ground houses the administration utilities and one research center, while each of the other three contain two centers.

The building concept is designed as an integral environmental system developing many of the environmental concepts of traditional architecture, and putting it into a modern dimension. The building is a cuboid facing the main co-ordinates. The building envelope porosity is consistent with the heat load. The north façade has maximum openings of 62% while the west façade has the least openings of 10.7%. The building is centered around a cool core atrium. This is used as an exhibition and banqueting hall.

The building has an air catch on each of the four corners of the inner atrium to provide natural ventilation. It is oriented to allow the cool air coming from the north in summer and prevent both the cold western wind in winter and dusty wind coming from the south in spring and autumn. The incoming air passes through the atrium, and the inner spaces through special openings in the internal walls.

This system utilizes natural energy employing natural air conditioning, lighting, and the building is and example of sustainable architecture. The entrance is designed to correspond with the cultural heritage, resembling the entrance for the Sultan Hassan school and mosque in Cairo, with the height equal to the buildings height, and rich ornamentation of iron and copper marking the top.

Design Concept For University Central Library

The building consists of ground floor and five floors on the stacks side (south) and two floors on the reading area side (north). There are two wings, the reading areas and the stacks; between them an atrium is designed to constitute a cool core and a chimney over the main entrance hall.

It is designed to face the main co-ordinates, as recommended by the environmental studies. The design takes full advantage of natural light to reduce external noise and control heat impact.
In summer the cool air entering the reading areas through the roof, will finally exit the building through the openings in the glass domes covering the atrium. In winter air heated green house affect of the atrium glass domes will be utilized to heat the building. The domes are designed as a form derived from Islamic patterns. The atrium has bridges connecting the stacks with the reading halls over which the books are transported. The reader will meet these books visually before entering the reading area giving special sensation of the place.

The building envelope has a maximum of 57% opening in the north façade, and a minimum of 7% opening in the west façade. The roof has 43% openings. The building envelope has been designed to maximize protection from direct solar radiation, using calculated vertical solar devices. Roof inclination and openings were designed to facilitate natural ventilation and solar protection as well as natural lighting. The building is naturally lit and naturally air-conditioned.