Ellabana Revitalization

by Lala studio

   القاهرة, Egypt

Project By

Lala studio


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A call for young architects, planners, and landscape designers to submit architectural designs that will turn Al Darb el labbana into an area where people enjoy public and recreational areas and parks, that will enhance the way residents perceive and enjoy their surroundings and enhancing their lifestyle.

The winner of the first place will win a reward 12,000 EGP provided by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology. The rest of finalist will receive prizes from Lala studio.


Darb El Labbana is a historical quarter includes rich diversity of historic monuments and a cluster of surviving historic buildings scattered along the site, both as ruins or derelict, as well as in good physical condition, the relatively low inhabitants’ density, site accessibility and the large amount of vacant land and rubble which have unfortunately become garbage dumps within the site.

It has now become inevitable to restore the lost environmental balance to our communities by preserving and protecting open urban spaces, since squares, gardens and public parks are considered a vital element in the components of a modern urban society.  

The Challenge:

The challenge will give the chance to revitalize Darb El Labbana with a series of urban upgrading and environmental improvement interventions and adaptive reuse schemes that will improve the quality of life of local residents and at the same time help build Historic Cairo local economy. The initiative is also designed to make Darb El Labbana a living laboratory for sustainable urban design that can serve as a source of inspiration for architects, planners and city managers, locally and internationally.

The challenge idea is to create a public area of the proposed location and turn it into an attractive social area for everyone, with the surrounding context in mind.

Designers and contestants are requested to design the furniture, sculptures, activities, pathways and other landscape elements that support the design concept, given that demolishing any pre-existing constructions and buildings is in all cases prohibited.

Lala Studio workspaces will be available for participants a couple of hours per day to work and explore the historical, urban, and human context of the area Darb el-labbana and to generate design ideas that emerge from exploring that context. The following video shows parts from Revitalization of Darb Allabna held by Lala studio.

For more details, click here!

Selection Criteria:

Redesign the open areas of Darb Allabbana in an innovative way to achieve the following:

  • Prove the sustainability and effectiveness of the solution over a long period of time

  • Design a flexible Open area within El Darb el labbana area and turn it into a green leisure area accessible to the residents.

  • Apply essence of landscape design and consider the context of the surrounding neighborhood.

  • The solution should include a clear plan of action including implementation stages, timeline, required tools/materials, estimated budget, and technical support required (if applicable).

  • Ability to cover design mission, and fit targeted group

  • Originality. Is your idea new?

  • Approach to solving the cost efficiency

  • Creativity of design and context

  • Utilizing innovation and technologies.

  • Sustainability, and energy efficiency of the park

  • Suitability for “Special needs” group.

Submitted solutions should include:

  • A2 design file including main shot of the final product and concept explanation text (include serial number on top right).

  • A2 design file with detailed drawings: plans, sections, elevations, and a layout with supporting text (include serial number on top right). Scale is left up to contestants to decide, but must be adequate and visible.

  • 3 to 5 A3 design files including details: interior shots, technological approaches, special details, materials used, and supporting text, converted into a PDF file (include serial number on top right).

  • The minimum accepted resolution should be 72 pixel/inch and the file size shouldn't be more than 5 MBs each.

  • The report should be less than 10 MBs and submitted as PDF. 

  • Download the master plan file from here!


Reward and conditions:

The first winning solution shall be awarded a first prize of 12,000 LE provided by Academy of scientific research and technology. The second and third winners will attend a workshop in Lala studio for free. In addition, all the contestants will be invited show their designs in a final exihibition and their designs will be prinited in booklet.

The reward is provided based on the following conditions:

  • The solution should meet the aforementioned criteria;

  • The reward will be given in installments, in accordance to milestones set by the innovator(s) according to their plan of action.

Project By

Lala studio


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