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Architect, urban planner, and professor, Dr. Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim was selected as the 2020 laureate of Tamayouz’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The highest accolade of the Tamayouz Excellence Award is awarded annually to an individual “who have made significant contributions towards humanity and the advancement of architecture and the built environment in the Near East and North Africa”.
Dr. Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim is the 2020 laureate of Tamayouz’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He will receive this honor at Tamayouz’s annual ceremony, postponed to 2021. Established in 2014, the award, part of the Tamayouz Excellence Award program, “recognizes those whose commitments to architecture were and continue to be unparalleled”. Initially created for Iraq’s renowned architects, the award opened to individuals from across the Near East and North Africa in 2019, when it was granted to Palestinian-Jordanian architect Rasem Badran.
Dr. Abdelhalim, born in 1941, is a professor of architectural design and theory at Cairo University in Egypt and the principal of his private architectural firm Community Design Collaborative Abdelhalim (CDC Abdelhalim), in 1978. He received both his Bachelor’s in architecture and Graduate Diploma in housing and building technology from Cairo University. In 1968, he obtained a Master’s in architecture from the University of Oregon and in 1978, his Ph.D. in architecture from the University of California, Berkley.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Abdelhalim ventured into different projects around the world, collaborating with some of the world’s most renowned architects. Working with traditional designs, materials, and systems, he aimed to establish and understand rituals and how different communities operate. On that note, Dr. Abdelhalim states that “rituals contain the configuration of the basic myth in its form, and regenerates the content of the myth in its encounter”. In 1983, with the Children’s Cultural Park in Cairo, Dr. Abdelhalim engaged the local community with the design process and used building materials from the local context. This philosophy has led the architect to receive the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992.
Some of Dr. Abdelhalim’s work includes: Egyptian embassies and consulates in Kuwait (2016), Jordan (2005), Uzbekistan (2005) and Saudi Arabia (1998); Al-Hamad Palace in Bahrain (1993); the Brookins A.M.E. Church in California, US (1979); New Helwan in Egypt (1980); the Black Repertory Community, Cultural, Art Center in California, US (1982); Dirriyah City in Saudi Arabia (1998); the AUC New Campus Development in Cairo, Egypt (1999); Dirriyah Girls Students Campus of HM King Suad University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2002); Dhofar University in Oman (2005); Spanish Coastal Redevelopment in Andalusia (1975).
Finally, alongside his built projects, Dr. Abdelhalim taught in various academic institutions including Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US (1987), University of California in the US (1972-1978), University of Virginia in the US (1972), Assuit University in Egypt (1963-1965), and many more. Since 1980, he has maintained a constant position as a full-time professor of architectural design and theory at Cairo University.
In 1912 Le Corbusier was already experimenting with some ideas on the Jeanneret-Perret house, known as “Maison Blanche,” which eventually paved the way for the modern way of living.
“Le Corbusier worked with the architect René Chapallaz for his first projects. It is possible to see some of the houses they designed really close to the Maison Blanche, where they used the ‘Style Sapin’ – pine tree style. This style came from the Art Nouveau, and its creative decoration was inspired in the local landscape. The Maison Blanche marked a break with this regionalist style. The exterior of the house does not have any decoration, and the layout is much more open than the villas designed some years before,” says Helena Ariza of Architectural Visits during a tour through the area, from where she shares the following observations and photographs.
“The small garden was one of my favorite areas of the house. This has one of the first promenades architecturales by Le Corbusier, where one can enjoy a pleasant experience that takes you to the entrance door.”
“The bedrooms on the first floor have plenty of natural light thanks to many windows installed in a horizontal way. This reminds of the prairie houses by Frank Lloyd Wright, whose work Le Corbusier had seen in the german magazines.”