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The Metabolic Grid Cultural Center by Sara Mostafa Omran

Designed by Egyptian architecture student Sara Mostafa Omran, The Metabolic Grid Cultural Center is a social platform for diversity, by injecting places for social bonding in Port-Said community, Egypt

Project description by Student:

The city of Port-Said was built as part of the Suez Canal project. It is a “pure” case of crafting a city from scratch. While wandering in the city, you can see the multi-layers of history, which reflect the shifts in the history of modern Egypt. In this small city you can see different architectural styles and several nationalities have lived in and each added it’s own style and taste.

port said city in Egypt Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

The city is struggling between new urban development and urban development and urban heritage preservation. A fight between nostalgic memories and modern lifestyle dreams, between feared responsibility and aimed economic benefit, and between lost urban identity and appreciated globalization among others, therefore it needs a strong cultural and historical identity and social bonding with understanding the diversity within the community to increase the sense of belonging to the place.

Architectural Concept Concept 

The context requires to propose an attraction point and an energizing project socially and architecturally that could provide a source of tourist revenue for the city by increasing cash flow sources from outside the city, while also improving under-utilized land currently in the area. This would create increased traffic to the area that would potentially benefit existing local businesses in the area and also create a magnet for new economic development within the city.

a port city in northern Egypt with spectacular sea view Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

Project aims:

A- Create an identity for Port-Fouad as a destination for the arts, entertainment and recreation.

B- Encourage more pedestrian traffic to the area using the waterfront as an environmental asset to anchor the project with existing and expanded public spaces.

C- Capitalize on the increased pedestrian traffic with business growth & development to economically benefit local residents.

the seashores with wave of ocean Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 


To achieve the concept of flexibility the form is a mega structure that is modular, capable of extension and have a framework into which smaller elements could be plugged or replaced to respond to the need of users.

architectural form drawing Form

A facility designed to actively adjust its special arrangement to suit the usage patterns at different times of the day. and it has the potential to grow by adding additional spaces for future development.

architectural sketch drawing

Conceptual sketch Early Sketch 

Form Generation:

The formation of the masses is a reflection to the main concept of the Metabolism theory; accordingly, the masses were designed as cubes growing organically. Each cube could be connected to the other one either horizontally or vertically. Also, the cubes can be separate spaces with different functions, overlooking each other which creates accessible outdoor spaces on the roof.

Form Generation Drawing Form Generation 

The spine:

Provides a space where the local and city visitors can meet and interact in different activities & workshops.

The Metabolic Grid Cultural Center by Sara Mostafa Omran Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 


The concept and Metabolism theory are reflected in the interiors as well in a contemporary way to reach flexibility.

rendering image of school project Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

men dress like Arabs in the Egyptian streets Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

tall palm trees in the port city Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

The Metabolic Grid Cultural Center by Sara Mostafa Omran Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

rendering image of the interior Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

kids playing in public space Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

lobby with long staircase Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

arabian cultural building Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

the city at night Visualization by Sara Mostafa Omran 

Sustainability Studies Sustainability Studies 

Architectural Sections drawing Sections 


Student: Sara Mostafa Omran

University: Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture Department

Teacher: Prof. Ali Gabr 

Year: 2019

Tools used: SketchUpLumionAdobe Photoshop

Project name: The Metabolic Grid Cultural Center

Semester: Eight 

Location: Port Fuad, Port Said Governorate, Egypt

Built area: 13800 m²

Site area: 23000 m²

Type: Cultural and Educational Center 

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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