GLC Pavilion

GLC Color Piazza represents a collaboration between GLC Paints and five prominent Egyptian Architectural firms. Each firm designed a pavilion celebrating one of the architectural styles of Cairo Downtown and rephrased it according to their vision. Cairo Downtown is one of Egypt’s architectural treasures and is renowned for the diversity of its architectural styles. Encode Studio observed the presence of Art Nouveau in Downtown.

Art Nouveau is an in-between style that appeared after the Industrial Revolution, flourished between 1890 and 1910, then vanished with WWI. Loïe Fuller’s famous dances were inspiring to the Art Nouveau movement. Colored lights were projected onto the flowing fabric sewn into her sleeves, and as she twirled, she seemed to metamorphose into elements from nature like a flower or a butterfly. Art Nouveau designers took inspiration from abstracting nature's formative processes. The whiplash line, an ornamental curve that writhes and coils, was popular in the art and architecture of that time as it was considered a trope for artistic freedom. The whiplash is a force of energy that gives a sense of dynamism and movement. Our algorithmic design abstractly approaches the style, distancing it from its direct embodiment. Our process puts no elements of Art Nouveau itself into the focus of research, but the style’s key characteristics, relations, and proportions.

The interest of our design is to explore the in-between beauty of Cairo’s Downtown architecture, Art Nouveau Style, and the 2022 GLC color stories. In order to discover the unseen beauty, we used computational tools to observe the intersection and interconnection in-between the three narratives. Our computational process enables the rendering of a space of colorful images where every object in the scene is linked to the others. By generating all the possibilities in between, we narrate a connected story among them all, celebrating Downtown’s diversity in the eyes of GLC colors.

Both exterior and interior architecture are unified in a common expression. Tree columns naturally grow and form the interior space. Whiplash Lines roam gracefully, grooving the surfaces, and creating one connected homogenous feeling, celebrating the essence of Art Nouveau: The abstraction of nature and movement. The curves of the sidewall create slits to construct a connection between the inside and the outside. We selected Off-white as a neutral color for the interior space. The vibrant colors of GLC were projected from the big screen all over the space, creating a vivid and dynamic mode. An abstract picture of Loïe Fuller perforates the iron mesh facades. The perforations, along with the graceful column in-between give a sense of Fuller morphing into a butterfly, bringing Art Nouveau to life. The external golden light permeates the perforated facade, creating spectacular shadows. Walking outside the pavilion using the side ramp, the light revealed from the slits invites the visitor to recall the fading beauty of an influential movement: Art Nouveau; the in-between style.