Client: Urbane Group
Completion Date: 2011
Location: Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

Left Bank was conceived as a Nile-side café/bistro/patisserie inspired by downtown cultural salons, and the objective of the design was to capture the Egyptian zeitgeist and translate it in both form and function to create a venue for Nile-side dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.

Eklego’s design team began the creative process by studying the spatial relationships of Downtown Cairo, its surroundings, and employing aspects of this urban forum for the arrangement of space in the café.  The design of the space was based on the three main physical aspects that define the heart of Downtown Cairo (namely Tahrir Square); open space, a central locus, and vertical boundaries.  The designers translated these design elements by creating a structure that is light, ephemeral and incorporates transparent cladding materials.  A central locus is created using a marble mosaic floor pattern that is an abstracted figure-ground map of Cairo. 

The third and final design element represents the vertical boundaries of the Square, translated into a massive 52m long bookshelf that hugs the space as a backbone; the bookshelf design draws inspiration from the façades of several iconic buildings that surround Tahrir Square and is designed to hold books, magazines, publications, baked goods, and local design and products.