American University in Cairo


New Cairo, Egypt

As part of an international team of architects hired to plan and design a 260-acre “greenfield” campus for the New American University in Cairo, we participated in a number of charrettes, establishing the framework, character and quality of the new university. Our efforts went on to include the design of the Library; its architecture reflecting a blend of contemporary and traditional Islamic design. The three-story, punctuated concrete, façade references the mashrabiya screens used in Arabic architecture since the Middle Ages. Today, the library houses the largest English-language collection in Egypt and is one of the finest resources for the study of Islamic art and architecture in the world.

Project Data

194,000 gsf enclosed; 20,000 sf covered outdoor area

Program & Highlights

Space for over 600,000 volumes in the Main Library
Rare book and special collections
Over 22,000 e-books and databases
Video/audio labs
Computer and multimedia training and testing labs
Comprehensive resource for digitizing documents
Teaching spaces with training classrooms
Distance learning room and computer classrooms


Structural Engineer: ECO – Engineering Consultation Office
MEP: Shaker Consultancy Group
IT & AV: CCR Pyramid
Lighting: Schweppe Lighting Design
Acoustics: Cavanaugh Tocci Associates
Landscape Architect: Carol R. Johnson Associates
Photographer: Barry Iverson

The west vestibule
Informal seating