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MONDO ARC

Share’ Al-Muiz, Cairo, Egypt

Issue 46 Dec / Jan 2008/9 : Architectural : Facade


Surrounded by walls dating from the middle ages, Islamic Cairo - an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 - is the oldest part at the very heart of the Egypt’s capital.

Once the cultural, religious and intellectual centre of the entire Arab world, Islamic Cairo not only offers monumental buildings, palaces, mosques and madrasas but also hustling street markets, crowded bazaars and busy craft workshops that enliven this monumental district every day.


Stretching 1.5Km through the centre of Islamic Cairo, Al-Muizulidinillah Street – better known as Share’ Al-Muiz – has remained popular since its heyday as Cairo’s thoroughfare under the Fatimids. The monuments of this famous street date not only from the time of the Fatimids but the Mamelukes, Ayoubids and Ottomans, many of whose rulers commissioned some of the Islamic world’s most beautiful works. Extant are no less than 34 registered buildings displaying remarkable woodwork, mosaics and domes: the Sultan Qalawun complex, the school of Ibn Barquq Beit Al-Qadi, the Sultan Al-Saleh Najmuddin dome, the sabil-kuttab of Khesru Pasha and the Mohamed Ali Pasha Sabil.


By the 1990s, the ravages of time, pollution and the locals’ lack of awareness had taken its toll, and the 1993 earthquake left the monuments further damaged. In 2000, when the government launched the huge Historic Cairo Rehabilitation Project (HCRP) – aiming to protect and conserve historic Cairo with a view to develop extensive areas into an open-air museum – Share’ Al-Muiz had its share of the LE850- million budget.

Since then, in addition to the 34 monuments on the street itself, some 67 off Share’ Al-Muiz have been restored. Road surfaces were treated and fitted with benches and low-profile pavements in the spirit of the original thoroughfare, while buildings higher than the level of the monuments have been brought down to size and painted an appropriate colour. As an integral part of this restoring project, the illumination of this monumental area had the purpose of skilfully enhancing through an expert use of colour and light the beauty of these architectural masterpieces, providing tourists and night visitors with a breathtaking visual experience.


Developed by the lighting engineer Raffaele Vincelli and Danilo Bettinazzi, Director of Sales & Marketing of lighting manufacturers Griven S.r.l., in cooperation with the local Griven distributor, the lighting scheme aims to enlighten both the street and the façades of the buildings using three different kinds of LED colour changers that have been able to preserve the historical allure of the site owing to their distinctive features: Dune, Dawn and Stroker.


The Dune projector represented the most suitable solution for the specific illumination of the façades of all the buildings of this area, owing to its discrete and functional in-ground presence and to its capability of throwing powerful coloured beams upwards. Featuring an IP67 protection degree and a 2000kg load bearing capacity, besides a 10° moving capability, more than 250 Dune colour changers have been embedded into the pavements and sidewalks of this monumental area. 


253 units of Griven’s Dawn LED fixtures have been chosen to light up the domes, arcades and minarets. Primarily intended for exterior architectural lighting purposes, Dawn is a high output and high quality IP66 rated colour changer, fitted with the latest cutting edge LED technology.


In addition, 28 Stroker units were used to enlighten specific domes at a distance in case this should not be possible from the base of the dome itself for lack of space. Fitted with 36x3W full colour LEDs and designed for refined professional use, Stroker is a super flux and high luminance colour changer for exterior and interior use that incorporates state of the art electronic colour mixing and high reliability, meaning powerful, uniform and effective colour rendering and minimal maintenance. Stroker’s environmental impact is very small with no ultraviolet radiation and infrared emanation, an exceptionally low power consumption and a drastically reduced maintenance requirement.


www.griven.com

 

Share’ Al-Muiz, Cairo Share’ Al-Muiz, Cairo
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