London-based studio to design mushroom-shaped structure for Cairo science complex

London-based studio Weston Williamson has won a competition to design the Cairo Science City, a new major science complex in Egypt’s capital.

The firm was selected over the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, as well as a number of other firms such as Mayalsian firm Ngiom Partnership.

The 125,000m2 complex will be located on the western edge of Cairo and is set to become “the first 21-st century science museum, learning and research facility in Egypt”, according to the architects.

Featuring a museum, a planetarium, an observation tower and a conference centre, the project will also house exhibition galleries, research facilities and extensive landscaping.

The images submitted by the architects display a circular structure made up of mushroom-shaped structures that altogether create a network of indoor and outdoor spaces.

“Needless to say that Egypt has a unique cultural heritage, but we were also attracted by the ambition of the project,” said studio co-founder Chris Williamson.

“We look forward to developing the design and creating something worthy for Egypt’s future generations.”

The competition was overseen by a jury that included American architect Michael Sorkin and Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

The facility will form part of the wider development of 6th of October City, the former capital of the 6th of October Governorate.

Additionally, SOM has proposed to design a new capital city for Egypt, while plans for a Cairo skyscraper modelled on Egypt’s famous pyramids have been put forward by the country’s government.