El Gouna is a new resort town in Egypt, situated on The West coast of the Red Sea, approximately 25km North West of Hurghada International Airport. Thanks to its mild climate, El Gouna hosts many internationally acclaimed cultural and sports events throughout the year.
Following the immense success of the El Gouna Film Festival, Orascom DH commissioned Studio Seilern Architects to design the El Gouna Conference and Culture Centre, which aims not to be the largest conference centre in Egypt but the most spectacular and memorable one. It will host many international events and create a new landmark destination for this dynamic and evolving town.
The complex includes a 600-seat concert hall, a 2,000-seat conference centre and an open-air venue surrounded by a colonnade in the heart of an artificial lagoon. Landscape and water features in and around the complex create an oasis, protected from the sun and wind.
The building’s inspiration is rooted in middle eastern and Egyptian traditional architecture with the scale of ancient Egyptian architecture a guiding factor in the conceptualisation of the scheme. A series of arched barrel vaults surround the auditorium and provide a shaded perimeter layer, where inside and outside merge as they are framed by a sculptural, contemporary interpretation of the traditional Islamic arch.
The interior of the concert hall is inspired by the impressive atmosphere and spectacular textures of the rock formations revealed by the sun’s rays in surrounding canyons and caves. The 620-seat concert hall is designed to create an awe-inspiring atmosphere with an undulating terrain of acoustic reflectors that wrap up a circular stage.
The plaza will function as an open-air venue for a variety of events including film screenings and award ceremonies. Landscape planting and a pool create a pleasant environment protected by the surrounding monumental colonnade.