Siwa Oasis Performing Arts Centre
2023 Open Competition Finalist Mention
Shali sails
The project of the cultural center is inspired by the image of a ship frozen in the middle of a melted landscape. As if a mirage, barely touching its openwork chain-mail surface of the existing rock, it stretches from edge to edge of the territory of the mountain-fortress. Thanks to this, different functional areas are compactly assembled on a single axis, and the rest of the Shali territory is preserved and conserved in its current form. The horizontal volume of the cultural center intersects with the vertical dominant - a wind-trap tower combined with an observation deck. In contrast to the traditional execution of this ancient structure, we offer a lighter and more transparent composition of metal structures with vertical sails. The sails not only protect visitors to the observation deck from the sun, but also offer a beautiful view of the surroundings of Siwa.

We have tried to create not only an authentic cultural object, but also a sustainable and energy-efficient engineering structure related to the water management of the residential area around Shali. Therefore, using the wind tower, we not only air-condition the premises of the museum hall, but also cool the water in the underground aqueduct, which we designed in the mountain. An aqueduct can be used as part of a water supply system. The combination of surfaces of the new building and the landscape of Shali is very important for us. In our project, the historical surface of the rock seems to have its own magnetic field, which changes the facade pattern of the building. Thus, we emphasize the unique energy of this place, preserved despite natural disasters and historical events. The entrance area to the building is made in the form of a small patio with a fountain and plants under a canopy. This chamber oasis divides the building into a museum group and a performance area with a mini-hotel.

The exhibition space can be transformed depending on the exposition, turning into either a large open space or, conversely, into small compartments for more intimate exhibitions. The museum group ends with a small enclosed courtyard in the open air, where an exposition or performance performance is also possible. On the opposite side of the patio, in accordance with the direction of the concert hall for 154 people. Behind the stage are 5 rooms on two levels. There is also a small courtyard in which artists can spend time alone, without interfering with visitors to the center. Also, this space is a sun barrier.
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