Egyptian Consulate in Jeddah 1998 - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
The Egyptian consulate in Jeddah is a building that serves the Egyptians while being in another land. A place to welcome and embrace them, a place that is inclusively built for them and represents their homeland. Therefore, the architect’s idea was to borrow architectural elements from Egypt to reflect the essence of being in Egypt on non-Egyptian land. And to balance the values of Egyptian cultural and architectural assets while respecting the Saudi ones. The design respects and includes a sense of functionality and security, reflecting the building’s typology. The architect created a central spine crossing the site horizontally from edge to edge and placed a series of public spaces along it. Each public space/ inner court serves a certain space, sharing the same functions or services. The design considered the fact the movement through the building has two different tempos. The first one as daily movement as employees and the second one is festive and used during important events, Umrah or Hajj seasons. Both tempos intersect at one point, and it accommodates the entrance of the public. Looking into the heritage buildings in Egypt and Saudi, it was noticed that the main spine of the building was never taking one direction, it always had a shift in its centrality. According to this notion, the architect shifted the direction of the spine at one point, the public entrance. The different directions of the spine point toward the Kaaba in Mecca. Most of the public visiting the consulate are coming to perform either Umrah or Hajj, as a sentimental connection between the visitors and the reason for being in the building.