Egypt's Belle Époque architecture

Egypt's Belle Époque architecture

The Khedivial Bourse of Egypt

Egyptian architecture (1805-1950) combined the Egyptian style with Egyptian oriental art and European renaissance art. Muhammad Ali Pasha used the Romanesque and the early French Renaissance art while Khedive Ismail used the European style with all the elements of decorations and friezes and restored the Renaissance art with Egyptian flavour. In the reign of King Fuad I, the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk architecture was brilliantly applied.

The homes of (A) Avvocato Ghirlanda and (B) G. Mustacchi, early 20th century

The exterior structure of the Banco Italo-Egiziano, branch office located at Abou El-Sebaa St, Cairo, Egypt

The Metropolitan Hotel, Cairo, Egypt. Designed by architect Alfonso Sasso

Building in Cairo from the Khedivial era

 St. Catherine's Cathedral, Alexandria, 2010. Built in the Neo-Baroque from 1847 to 1856 by architect Serafino da Baceno

Building in Emad El Din St, Cairo

Societe Immobiliere Bldg, Fuad I St, Alex, Alexandria. The building was designed by the Greek-Egyptian architects N. Paraskevas and P. Gripari. The Italian family "Averino" hired them after problems emerged with the formerly assigned architect "Giacomo Loria".

Damanhur Opera House, Damanhur, Egypt, 2014

Sakakini Palace, Cairo, 2013. Built in 1897

Neo-Baroque ceiling of Villa Sakakini

Ceiling of Muhammad Ali Pasha Palace in Shubra, Cairo, Egypt, November 2015

The home of Alfred Shammas, 2009

 The door of Fuad Serageddin mansion (b. 1908), Cairo, Egypt, 2010. Click for more pictures

Throne Room main enterance at Manial Palace owned by HH Prince Mohammed Ali Tewfik, heir presumptive of Egypt and Sudan from 1892-1899 and 1936-1952. Photo was taken on 8 December 2007

Villa Abramino Menasce, Garden City, Cairo, April 2007

Buildings from the Belle Époque

La Viennoise entrance, Cairo, July 2005. Back in the 19th century when tourism was a relatively new industry, Egypt became the top travel destination for the European elite and Cairo, along with the rest of Egypt, became a pioneer and a leader in the hospitality industry, and saw numerous European-style hotels. One such hotel is Hôtel-Pension Viennoise, located at the corner of Champollion St and Mahmoud Bassiouny St (formerly Rue Antikhana). It was built in late 1890s in a beautiful Italianate Neoclassical style. Though the hotel is long gone, the building has fortunately survived. It had undergone restoration in 2016 for nearly two years.

The reincarnated Bibliotheca Alexandrina inaugurated in 2003 and located on the corniche of the Eastern Harbor near Alexandria’s downtown, 2017.

Karetas Bldg, 13 Abdel Hamid Said St, Ramses, Cairo, Egypt, March 2017

Credit: Abdel Rahman Sayyid, Cairo, March 2016

Art Nouveau building in Helmia Gedida neighborhood, Cairo, Egypt, 2018. Credit: Rehab Raga'ee

'The Poorman's House' is a property of Rifa'a al-Tahtawi's family, Ali Mubarak Pasha St off Mustafa Yousri St, New Helmia district, Cairo, Egypt, 23 February 2018. Credit: Rehab Raga'ee.

Ramleh Station, Alexandria, c. 2023. Credit: Wael Azab

Edwin Goar's mansion, Alexandria, 2022. Credit: Hossam Ashour

Champollion Palace aka Prince Said Halim Pasha Palace, Cairo, Egypt, December, 2016. Credit: Marwan Wael

Isaac Emile Bldg (currently known as Gharib Morkous Bldg), Abdel Khalek Tharwat St, Cairo, 2008. The building belonged to Isaac Emile a boxing champion at the time. Click for more pictures

Palazzo ANMI, March 2016. Designed by the Egyptian-Italian architect Tullio Tiburzio Parvis in collaboration with Eugenio Valzania, this Venetian Gothic-style building was completed in 1911. It was owned and operated by l'Associazione Nazionale per Soccorrere I Missionari Italiani, then known by the acronym "ANMI". The association was founded in Florence in 1886 to assist Italian missions abroad but later diversified its operations into real estate construction as well restoration of old buildings, and was very active in the Middle East, Egypt in particular. This building on Hoda el-Shaarawy St (ex-Sheikh Hamza St) was one of their works. The association halted work in Egypt in 1941 but it continues to exist, though under the slightly modified acronym ANSMI. The design of the building is similar to many seen in Italy, castle like with Venetian influences. The entrance of the building is flanked by two gargoyles.

List of some prominent architects in Egypt's Belle Époque:

  • Albert Zananiri
  • Antoine Selim Nahas
  • Ara Charakian
  • Caccia Dominioni
  • Dimitrius Fabricius Pasha
  • Garo Balyan
  • Henri Fresco
  • Luigi Manham
  • Max Edrei
  • Moise "Maurice" Menasche
  • Nubar Kevorkian
  • Raoul Zeheri
  • Leo Nafilyan
  • Zulke
  • Auguste Perret
  • Aznavour
  • Alexandre Marcel
  • Antonio Battigelli
  • Arnold Zarb
  • Eduard Matasek
  • Francesco Battigelli
  • Gaston Rossi
  • Henry Gorra
  • Marcel Dourgnon
  • Max Herz
  • Moustafa Fahmy
  • Oscar Horowitz
  • Raymond Antonious
  • Robert Williams
  • Mahmoud Riad
  • Ferdinand Debanne
  • V. Tragni
  • Ambroise Baudry
  • Antonio Lasciac
  • Georges Calligopoulo
  • Ernest Jaspar
  • Friederich Schoen
  • George Philipous
  • Joseph Urban
  • Marco Olivetti
  • Max Zollikofer
  • N. Catacouzinos
  • Paul-Conin Pasteur
  • Romollo Gilardini
  • Victor Del Burgo
  • Florestano de Fausto
  • Guido Gavassi
  • Ali Labib Gabr
  • Ariston St. John Diamant
  • Charles Ayrout
  • Ernesto Verrucci
  • George Parcq
  • Giuseppe Mazza
  • Domenico Limongelli
  • Mario Rossi
  • Michel Libermann
  • Raoul Brandon
  • Gennaro Scognamiglio
  • Ernest Richmond
  • Alexandre Loria
  • Aristide Leonori

Ali Labib Gabr

Ali Labib Gabr was Dean of the School of Architecture of Cairo University. 

Some of his works:

  • Ali Labib Gabr Bldg, Ibn Zanki Street, Zamalek
  • Villa Erfan-Liscovitch, Road 85 Maadi
  • Ali Hussein Bey Ayoub (1940), No. 25 Abu El Feda Street, Zamalek
  • Lebanese Embassy in Zamalek (1939) Mansour Mohamed Street
  • Yehya Bldg (circa 1951) in Zamalek where composer Abdel Wahab lived
  • Villa Dr. Mohammed Reda (as of 1949 Indian Embassy residence), Mohammed Mazhar St. Zamalek
  • Remodelled Villa Murro Pasha on Ibn Zanki Street, Zamalek
  • Possibly the Giza governorate HQ, Pyramids Road
Two peculiarities make the Indian Embassy residence on Zamalek's Mohammed Mazhar Street special. Firstly because it was designed in the art-deco style by leading Egyptian architect Ali Labib Gabr. Secondly, because in a city of 16 million this villa is one of 14 such properties with direct access to the Nile and therefore an endangered specie. Originally the villa belonged to Dr. Mohammed Reda who later sold it in 1949 to the newly independent government of India. The first Indian ambassador to live there was Assaf Ali Asghar Fayzy at which time the villa was both residence and chancery.

Sources: incl. Seif el Rashidi, Zetta Ragheb.

Antoine Selim Nahas. Photo c. 1952

Antoine Selim Nahas is by far the most prolific architect of his generation, Antoine Selim Nahas was born in Cairo on 27 August 1901. His father, Selim Nahas, owned a textile factory which he later passed on to Antoine's younger brother Robert before the latter sold it to Robert Hosni who proceeded to expand it.

Nahas was educated at Cairo's College des Freres (much later in his career he would build the extant College in Daher). Later, as a member of the Mission Scolaires Egyptienne en France he, joined l'Ecole Centrale des Art et Manufactures in Paris graduating in July 1925. Subsequently he enrolled in l'Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts where he taught after graduating in June 1930.

Nahas's first ever project was the design of Beirut's national museum circa 1930. It was in Lebanon that he met Gladys Shoucair whom he married before moving to Cairo in 1934 where their son Selim was born.

In Cairo, Nahas established his practice at No. 13 Cherif Street (10th floor) and later at No. 19 Kasr al-Nil Street (4th floor). Aside from his private practice, Nahas was Chief Architect for the Ministry of Education. He also obtained a professorship at Fouad (now Cairo) University's faculty of Fonoun al-Gamila (Beaux Arts). During his tenure he obtained the privilege for FG graduates to receive a diploma from the Beaux Arts in Paris after spending one year there. It was during his teaching career that he traveled to Lebanon for the execution of several prestigious public and private projects.

Doss Building, intersection of Soliman Pasha St & Fouad Avenue, 1930's

Nahas lived successively at Villa Sobhani on Dokhoulieh Street, where Sheraton Giza stands today), then in a roof-flat at No. 3 Rue Maspero, and in a self-designed Dokki villa he inherited from his brother Michael.

Following the 1961 nationalization and sequestration laws, Nahas, at the instigation of textile magnate Francois Tager and a cousin, Raymond Homsy, relocated in Rome where he started an urban development project The Italian venture ultimately failed for lack of sufficient funds. Two years later, Nahas relocated his practice in Beirut's Union Bldg in the Art et Metier district. He was subsequently appointed dean of Lebanon's Institut National des Beaux Arts

Nahas's last architectural achievement was the design of an extension for Beirut's National Museum, the same museum where he started his prolific career three decades earlier.

Nahas died in Beirut on 15 November 1966. 

According to his son Mr Selim Nahas, there have been difficulties trying to retrace Antoine Nahas's professional career which were compounded by several factors:

His two major offices namely the one based in Cairo at 19 Kasr El Nil street as well as the one in Beirut in Union National building in Sanayegh and his last apartment in Rome were all three looted. Thus losing all his archives as well as his book collection on classical architecture.

He was a very shy low key individual who avoided propaganda or any sort of advertisement throughout his life time. He, unfortunately, never wrote a memoir. 

Some of his works (Cairo and Giza):

  • Abdelhamid Bey Kazrouni Bldg, Azhar Street. Tthis was Nahas's first building after graduation
  • Aziza Abdelmalek Bldg, Midan Sheraton, Giza
  • Air India Bldg (ex-Soussa Bldg), corner of Tahrir St and Soliman Pasha's Al-Chams Bldg, Kasr al-Dubara
  • Al-Chams Bldg, Mubtadayan
  • Aziz Abdel-Malek Hanna Bldg, Midan Sheraton, Giza
  • Aziz Bahari Bldg I & II, Midan al-Tahrir
  • Aziz Bahari Bldg, Midan Moustafa Kamel ex-Suares
  • Badrawi Bldg, Bab al-Louk
  • Belair Bldg
  • Bissada Bldg (1951)
  • Borg al-Giza (Abou al-Fotouh) Bldg, Nile Street, Giza
  • Choucha Bldg, Fouad Avenue
  • College Des Freres, Daher
  • Doss Bldg (1935), Soliman Pasha/Fouad Avenue
  • Farid al-Atrash Bldg, Nile Street, Giza
  • Francois Tager Bldg, Corniche al-Nil, Kasr al-Dubara
  • Inji Zadeh Bldg (1938), Ramses Street
  • LEBON Bldg, Gabalaya Street, Zamalek
  • Leon Chaldjian Bldg, Bloc A & B, Soliman Pasha & Baehler Streets (with participation of L. Nafilyan)
  • Mirshak Bldg, Giza
  • Mirshak Villa, Nile Street, Giza
  • Mitry Bldgs, 14 & 16 Nabatat Street, Garden City
  • Naus-Eid Bldg (1938), Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Nitocrise Bldg
  • Paul Lifschitz Villa, Midan Mosseri, Maadi
  • Protestant Church (behind Mogamaa), Kasr al-Dubara
  • Sabet Bldg, Garden City
  • Shooting Club, Dokki
  • Shoucair Bldg, No. 13 Cherif Street
  • Taleb Bldg, Fouad Avenue
  • Tawil Bldg
  • Wahba-Choucha Bldg, Cherif Pasha Street opposite Ex-al-Ahram
  • Bldg facing Wakf Institution also known as Emaret al-Lewa
  • Al-Mukawlun Al Arab Bldg on Adly Street

Outside Cairo:

  • Mahalla al-Kobra Factories


  • Albert Pharaon Villa, Alley
  • Farid Shoucair Villa, Aley, 1935
  • Francis Kettaneh Villa, Aley
  • Jordan Bank, Rue Picot, Beirut
  • Lebanese Parliament, possibly in collaboration with architect Mardiros Altounian, executed by Elias al-Murr
  • National Museum, Beirut. Co-architect Pierre Leprince Ringuet. The museum features on Lebanese currency
  • Sami Shoucair Bank (never executed)
  • Sehnaoui Bldg and bank, Kantari Street, Beirut

Associates and employee at Antoine S. Nahas practice between 1944 -1956

  • Eugene Nuzzo (Italian) (Chief Architect)
  • Guy Marcinhes (Swiss) draftsman)
  • Kamal Hajjar
  • Shafik Hosni
  • Michel Takla
  • Samir Matar
  • Mrs. Esther Nahmias (Chief Administrator)

Some of the contractors who executed major projects:

  • Baron Rolin
  • Simplex (Freres Hettena)
  • Al Shark ( Freres Vidon)
  • Hassan Aboul Fetouh
  • Guirgossian

 Office Employee in Beirut: 

  • Cherif Nassif (architect/designer)

Eugenio Nuzzo held the chief architect position in Mr. Nahas’ office during the second half of the forties and the fifties. During WW2 Nuzzo, an Italian national, was interned by the British at Al-Fayed concentration camp in the Ismailia district. Nuzzo left Egypt in 1960 for Italy. He re-met Antoine S. Nahas in Rome where they discussed a new venture, which did not take off unfortunately. During the sixties and seventies, Nuzzo participated in several projects in Italy and other European countries. Ultimately, he became chief architect of the Exhibition grounds in Via Cristoforo Colombo in Rome (Fiera di Roma). He died in Rome, Italy in March 1982.

Architect Eugenio Nuzzo

Sources: Selim Antoine Nahas (New York), al-Emara Magazine, Linda Baladi (Paris), Talaat Badrawi (Cairo), Frank Nuzzo, Italy.

For more photos of Antoine Selim Nahas, click here.

Antonio Lasciac

Lasciac is an Italian-Egyptian architect born in Gorizza. Considered one of the more prolific architects during Khedive Abbas Hilmi's reign. Promoted to Senior architect of Khedivial palaces following the death of Fabricius Pasha.

Facade of Banque Misr. March 2016.  Banque Misr is another Neo-Mamluk and Neo-Islamic/Moorish landmark designed by Antonio Lasciac and built in 1927. Lasciac also designed the Assicurazioni Generali di Trieste, along with Arnold Zarb, which was also built in Neo-Mamluk style. In both buildings, he employed mosaics, horseshoe arches, and geometric lattice balconies in the architecture all in the form of a modern building. The Banque Misr building continues to house the bank and is located opposite the Church of Saint Joseph.

Khedivial Bldgs after a partial facade restoration, March 2016

Built in 1911, the Khedivial Buildings were a grand project comprising of four commercial and residential properties. Considered the first of this scale, this multi-domed complex was designed by three famous Cairene architects: Gustave Brocher, Antonio Lasciac and George Parcq. The buildings are located atEmad El-Din and Soliman Pasha Streets. The façades of two of the buildings had undergone a restoration though the interior of the buildings and hidden façades were neglected.

Khedivial Bldgs, Emad El Din St, Cairo, c. 2000

Maison Primi building front door. Architectural work by Antonio Lasciac. Photo by Fratelli Alinari Archives. Alexandria, Egypt 1887.

Some of his works:

  • Adly Yegen aka Sherif Sabri Palace, Garden City (demolished)
  • Modified Asicurazione Generali di Trieste Bldg, Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Banque Misr, Mohammed Farid Street
  • Ibrahim Hilmi Palace (now, Part of Ein-Shams University, Abassia
  • Khedivial Bldgs, Emad El Din Street
  • Omar Sultan Palace, Bab al-Louk district (non-extant)
  • No. 9 Naguib el Rihani Street (1928)
  • Palais Suares (non-extant)
  • Said Halim Palace, Maarouf, Cairo (later Nasriya school)
  • Prince Gamil Toussoun (a.k.a. Princess ss Nimet Kamal al-Din) Palace (Foreign Affairs), Kasr al-Dubara
  • Youssef Kamal Palace
  • Mazloum Pasha Palace, No. 13 Mazloum Pasha Street (Villa pulled down in 1935 after serving as a Lycee Francais)
  • Zafaraan Palace (later Ein-Shams University
  • Altered Hidiva Saray in Bebek, Istanbul
  • Praticipated in construction of Tchibukli near Istanbul 
Sources: Luciano Prinzivalli, Italy; al-Emara Magazine; others.

Antonio Battegelli

Brother of architect Francesco Battigelli who reportedly authored the Arc de Triomphe in Alexandria and Khedive Ismail's mausoleum. Born in Trieste in 1838 and died in Vienna in 1898.

Some of his works:

  • Zogheb Villa on Kasr al-Nil Street (with collaboration of Max Herz)
  • Extension of Rudolf Hospital in Abassia (along with his brother Francesco)

 Sources: Rudolf Agstner. 

Alexandre Marcel

 French architect member of the Institut.

Some of his works:
  • Mohamed Aly Club
  • Basilique Cathedral, Heliopolis
  • Baron Empain Hindu palace, Heliopolis 
Sources: Pascal Garret.

Ara Charakian

 Offices located at No. 33 Emad al-Din, Cairo.

  • Badrawi Bldgs (Fathi & Mansour) Nos. 4 and 8 Saleh Ayoub Street, Zamalek
  • The Albert Harari Bldg at corner of Ibn Zanki and Saleh Ayoub, Zamalek
  • Villa Malak el Hefni, Giza
  • Badrawi Bldg opposite Zoo on Giza Street
  • Villa of Hamed Zaki Pasha, former minister of economy, Heliopolis.
Sources: Talaat Badrawi; Youssef Hamed Zaki

Arnold Zarb

Assicurazione Generali di Trieste Bldg (b. 1939), corner of Abdel Khalek Sarwat and Mohammed Farid, downtown Cairo. 

The building that houses Assicurazione Generali di Trieste, an Italian insurance company, 1925, Cairo, Egypt. Built in 1910 in Neo-Mamluk style

Assicurazioni Generali di Trieste building after facade restoration, March 2016

Ariston St. John Diamant

Some of his works:
  • Savoy Chambers off Kasr al-Nil
  • Agricultural Bank
  • Gresham Insurance Bldgs off Soliman Pasha Square
  • Oriental Hall at the American University in Cairo
  • Barclays Bank, Mousky

Sources: Twenty Century Impressions of Egypt.

Albert Zananiri

Some of his works:

  • Auberge des Pyramides, Avenue des Pyramides
  • Auberge du Lac Fayoum (Karoun lake; inaugurated by Winston Churchill)
  • Dar al-Chifaa Hospital, Abassia
  • Dar al-Hilal printing & publishing house (founded by George Zaidan), Lazoghli
  • Freda Court, 10 Montaza Street, Zamalek
  • Chourbagi textile factories
  • Ismail Sidky Pasha Bldg, Maa'had al-Swissri Street (now Aziz Abaza), Zamalek,
  • Paul Rostom Bldg, Hadika Street, Garden City
  • Sheik Saad al-Abdallah al-Sabbah (Kuwait) Bldg originally Albert Zananiri Bldg. Before it was sold in 1961, 7 Hassan Sabri, Zamalek
  • Wadie Saad Bldg, Salah al-Din Street, Zamalek
  • Zaidan (Emil & Shoukri) Bldg, Abdel-Khalek Sarwat, Street
  • Elie Sednaoui Bldg, 6 Adly Pasha, Street
  • Villa Elie Sedanoui, Ruffer Street, Rouchdi Pasha, Alexandria
  • Zaidan (Emil & Shoukri) Bldg, Midan al-Tahrir
  • Zananiri (a.k.a. Lappas) Bldg, No. 2 al-Selouli Street, Giza

Lebanon and Europe:

  • Grand Séminaire of the Greek Catholic "Melkite" Church, Lebanon
  • Greek Catholic Patriarchate in Abra, Tripoli, Lebanon
  • Michel Farah villa, Jounieh, Lebanon
  • Episcopal College "Khalil Moutran", Baalbek, Lebanon
  • 1020 Via Cassia, Rome
  • Immeuble Commerciale, Rue du Rhone, Geneva
  • Etangs du Corot, Les Yvelines, Paris

Sources: Irene Rostom, Myrna Zananiri-Toutounji, Nevine Zananiri, Kamal Tamraz, al-Emara Magazine, Liliane Sednaoui-Tager, Joseph Debanné.

 Georges Calligopoulo

Some of his works:

  • Evangel Avramoussi Bldg, No. 9 al-Kamel Mohammed Street, Zamalek
  • El Sayed Mohammed Bldg, Wabour Fransawi Street

Charles Habib Ayrout

Some of his works:
  • Ayrout Bldg, Cherif Pasha Street
  • Shawarby Pasha Bldg
  • Ayrout Villa, Zamalek
  • Mosseri Buidling (now Mofti) on Shagaret Al Durr St., Zamalek
  • Bishara Bldg, Nile Avenue
  • Halim Doss Bldg, Midan Shafakhana
  • Ibrahimieh Secondary School, Garden City
  • Kahil Bldg, Kantaret al-Dikka
  • Bldg Gamal el Dine Abou El Mahassen, Garden City (1951)
  • Villa Valadji, Heliopolis

Dimitrius Fabricius Pasha

Savoy Hotel, Soliman Pasha Square, Cairo, Egypt, early 20th century

National Bank of Egypt, early 20th century

Exterior of the National Bank of Egypt, 1942

Fabricius Pasha was Director of Khedivial palaces. He died on 3 March 1907 at his house in Boulak St in Cairo.

Some of his works:

  • Major restorations to Abdeen Palace follwoing the major fire of 1891
  • Montazah palace, 'Salamlek'
  • 1903 National Bank of Egypt HQ on Cherif Pasha Street
  • Modifications to Abdeen Palace
  • Savoy Hotel
  • Agricultural Bank

Eduard Matasek

Matasek was an architect of Austro-Hungarian origin, born in Vienna on 18 March 1867 and died in Alexandria on 31 October 1912. He pened offices in Cairo with Maurice Cattaui. In his younger days, Matasek had either worked for, or been apprenticed to, famous Austrian architects including Wieser, Lotz, Fellner and Helmer. In Cairo he designed several commercial and residential Bldgs including the main Jewish Synagogue in downtown Cairo and the Austro-Hungarian Rudolf Hospital in the now popular district of Shubra. The first is already listed and the second has been disfigured over the years. Matasek is said to have taken part in the design of the Credit Foncier's Cairo headquarters, today Arab International Bank. Its principal designer however was Max Herz Bey the dean of the Austrian architects in Cairo. Herz was responsible for several government-commissioned Bldgs before WWI amongst them the Islamic Museum. He received the title of Pasha on 11 August 1912.

Some of his works:

  • Chaar Hashamayim Synagogue (b. 1902-4), Adly Street
  • Suares/Casdagli Villa, Midan Kasr al-Dubara
  • Mosseri Villa, Soliman Pasha Street (demolished)
  • Matasek Villa, Maadi (demolished)
  • Robert Rolo Villa, Kasr al-Dubara (burnt down)
  • Austro-Hungarian Hospital in Shubra
  • Saleh Sabet Villa
  • Ahmed Khairy Villa
  • Hassan Khairy Villa
  • Saleh Sabet Villa
  • Immeubles for the Societe Belge de l'Ezbekieh Co., Emad El-Din St

Sources: Twentieth Century Impressions of Egypt; Rudolf Agstner; Maria Stern.

Ernest Jaspar

A Belgium architect responsible, along with Alexandre Marcel, for most of original Heliopolis in 1907-14.

Some of his works:

  • Heliopolis Palace Hotel, (now Presidential Palace--Kasr al-Orouba)Heliopolis.
  • Offices of Heliopolis company, Heliopolis
  • Gezira Mansions ("Imaret al-Yemeni") (circa 1908), Zamalek

Contractors: Leon Rolin & Padova; Ferro & Dentamaro.

Ernesto Verrucci Bey

Some of his works:

  • Abdin Palace additions between 1919-36
  • Governorate of Cairo Bldgs, Abdin
  • Kobbeh Palace facade
  • Montaza Palace, Haramek in Alexandria
  • Music/Puppet Theatre built in 1929, Ramses Street
  • Tomb of Walda Sultana in Rifai Mosque

Sources: Luciano Prinzivalli, Italy; al-Emara Magazine.

Francesco Batigelli

Francesco Batigelli was born in Trieste and is alleged to have participated in construction of the Old Shepheards Hotel.

Shepheard's Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, early 20th century

Sources: Rudolf Agstner.

Friedrich Schoen

 Born in Lovasbereny, Hungary on 17 August 1857 and died in Lithuania in 1941. 

Some of his works:

  • Stein Department Store Bldg off Midan Attaba al-Khadra

Sources: Rudolf Agstner.

Georges Parcq

A French-Egyptian architect who left his mark across Cairo starting with the pre-WW1 Sednaoui department store on Midan Khazindar. He occasionally collaborated with Jacques Hardy and Max Edrei. His widow survived him occupying penthouse at Nile View No. 18 Saray al-Gezira Street, Zamalek.

The Cordahi Complex, Alexandria, Egypt. Built between 1921-1928 on the site that was occupied by the former prestigious Zizinia Theatre (1863-1917). The new Complex was designed by the Cairo based architect George Parcq, commissioned by Mr George Cordahi, one of the most prominent financiers and developers in the city. The Theatre and the two adjacent blocks were seized from their last owner Pierre/ Badr El Din Cordahi in 1961. Managed ever since by the Ministry of Culture, the Theatre was renamed in honor of the Alexandrian born and Egyptian composer Sayed Darwish, while the two residential blocks are presently in private and public ownership.

Some of his works:

  • Cassab Bldg (1925), 14 Saray al-Kobra, Garden City
  • Credit Foncier Egyptien Villa, later Mubarak Public Library (b. early 1930s), Giza
  • Emile Jacob Villa (b. 1935), Kasr al-Aali (Corniche), Garden City
  • French Embassy chancery (b. 1936-7), Giza (with collaboration of Jacques Hardy)
  • Martatos Bldg (b. 1914), 6 Walda Pasha, Garden City
  • Sednaoui, Elias Villa (b. 1919) 13 Ahmed Pasha Street, Garden City
  • Sednaoui, Joseph Simon Villa (b. 1914), 13 Tolombat Street, Garden City
  • Sednaoui department store, Midan Khazindar
  • Setton (or Sabet) Bldg, No. 2 Ismail Pasha Street (b. 1929), Garden City
  • The two Setton (or Sabet) Bldgs, No. 3 Midan Ismail Pasha (b. 1929), Garden City
  • Manasterly Bldg No. 2 Ahmad Pasha Street (b. 1923), Garden City
  • Hassan Shahin Pasha Bldg "Nile View" (b. 1930s) No. 18 Saray al-Gezira Street, Zamalek
  • Shahin (Negm al-Din) Bldg, Hoda Sha'raawy Street
  • National Insurance Bldg, Midan Moustafa Kamel (ex-Suares), Cairo
  • Union Vie de Paris Bldg, Avenue Fouad
  • Bldg. situated at corner of Emad el Din, Alfy, Saray el Azbakia and Bustan El Dikka Streets
  • The Cordahi Complex, Alexandria

 Sources: Some Bldgs are plaqued; Kamal Tamraz. 

Giuseppe Mazza

Some of his works:

  • Groppi's Bldg, Midan Soliman Pasha
  • Elhamy Hussein Bldgs (b. 1938), Garden City
  • Sednaoui Bldg (circa 1929), Midan Soliman Pasha
  • Airways (BOAC) Bldg (circa 1930), Midan Tahrir
  • Apartment Bldg near Banque du Caire(circa 1930), Adly Street
  • Gobran Apartment Bldg, Ibrahim Naguib Street (corner Saraya al-Kobra Street), Garden City

Garo Balyan

Garo Balyan is the alleged descendant of Ottoman court architect Krikor Balyan of Dolmabahce fame. Garo (b. Istanbul, 1872; d. Cairo 1948), came from a family of architects. In view of internal unrest in Turkey, he relocated in Cairo working for Dimitri Fabricius Bey, the then-architect of the Ministry of Public Works and the Royal Court. Balyan later set up his own practice in the Green Bldg, No. 4 Midan Tewfik. Survived by a son, Harustan.

Chemla Department Store, Avenue Fouad 1er, early 1950s

Some of his works:

  • Amr Ibrahim Villa (b. 1922), 16 Gezira Street, Zamalek
  • Chemla Department Store, Fouad Avenue, Cairo
  • Cicurel Department Store (original), Fouad Avenue, Cairo
  • M. Green Bldg (b. 1910), Avenue Fouad/Midan Tewfikia
  • Matossian Bldg (b. 1904), 4 Talaat Harb, Cairo (neo-baroque)
  • Shakkal (name given to bldg with shop bearing same name), Talaat Harb Street
  • Philipossian Villa, Heliopolis
  • Bassna Sha'raawi/Mahmoud Sami Pasha Villa, 12 Tolombat Street, Garden City
  • Union Bldg (with participation of Max Edrei) in Zamalek (Bldg. contractor, Shaker Arida)

Gaston Rossi

Gaston Rossi is a Descendant of Elia Rossi Bey, doctor to the khedive. Partnered up with Victor Salama and Paolo Caccia Dominioni. First partner was Count Henri de Heller. 

 Grand Continental Hotel, later became Continental-Savoy Hotel, Cairo, early 20th century 

Continental-Savoy Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, 1930s

Some of his works:

  • Cinema Metro in Cairo and Alexandria
  • Cinema Kasr al-Nil, Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Kom-Ombo Mosque, Kom-Ombo
  • Hotel Continental & Galleries, Opera Square
  • Chester Beaty Villa, Pyramids Avenue
  • Hanan Villa, Zamalek
  • Victor Salama Villa, Dokki
  • Cerva Factory, Heliopolis
  • S.E.P. Offices in Dokki
  • Immobilia Buidling (With Max Edrei), Cherif Street, Cairo
  • Automobile Club, Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Elie Mosseri Mausoleum in Bassatine
  • Bajocchi (Albert) Villa, Road 17, Maadi

Sources: Victor Salama, Vera Rabinovitch-Bajocchi.

George Philipous

Some of his works:

  • Philipous Bldg, Mahmoud Azmy, Zamalek

Henri Fresco

Some of his works:

  • Lebovitch Villa, Road 81, Maadi
  • Philippe Drakidis Bldg, Midan Ismail Sidky, Zamalek
  • Emmanuel Appel Bldg, Tantah Street, Heliopolis
  • Bldg at No. 18 Aziz Osman, Zamalek
  • Bldg at No. 36 Mansour Mohammed, Zamalek
  • Bldg No. 20 Gezira Street, Zamalek
  • Embassy Court, Gabalaya Street, Zamalek
  • No. 23 Amin El Rafei Street, Dokki

Giacomo Loria


Little Venice Building, Alexandria, Egypt. Located in the heart of Alexandria’s historical East Harbor, Giacomo Loria’s “Little Venice” pictures a magnificent blend of culture and was awarded the best Municipality Honorary prize for best facades in 1929, for its Moorish arches that live in perfect harmony with the Gothic detailing inspired from Palazzo Ducale.

Some of his works:

  • Little Venice Bldg, Alexandria

Henry Gorra

Some of his works:

  • Victoria College, Alexandria
  • Italo-Egyptian Bank, Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Zogheb Bldg (b. 1903) on Opera Square (corner of Kasr al-Nil and Abdel Khalek Sarwat Pasha Streets.

Joseph Urban
Born in Vienna on May 26, 1872 and died in New York on July 10, 1933.

Some of his works:

  • Abdin Palace extensions in 1892

Source: Rudolf Agstner.
Domenico Limongelli

Born in 1880. 

Some of his works:

  • French Embassy Residence (formerly Villa Sinot Hanna), Giza
  • Wassef Boutros-Ghali Pasha Villa, Giza (non-extant)
  • Bldg on Kasr el Nil Street atop Cinema Kasr el Nil
  • Limongelli Bldg, No. 4 Hod al-Laban, Garden City
  • Sobhani Villa (replaced by Giza Sheraton)
  • Sacred Hearts Church (1930) on Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street (corner Ramses Street)
  • Salesian Institute at Rod al-Farag
  • Villa Philomene
  • Villa Mohammed Ali Tewfik Pasha (later Villa Achilles Henon Pasha) today Helwan University Music Academy on Shagaret el Dorr Street, Zamalek
  • St. Mary Church in Zeitoun, Cairo built in in 1925, supported and ordered by Tawfik Bek & his sister Victoria, the sons of Ibrahim Khalil Pasha
Sources: Michel Boutros-Ghali, Amin Fakhry Abdel Nour, Fernand Sobhani, Marie-Louise Henon, Maximous El Antony.

Ricardo Smith

Some of his works include Heikal Bldg and Moassat Bldg in Alexandria, Egypt

Heikal Bld, Alexandria, Egypt, c. 2009


Heikal Bldg, Ramleh Sq., Alexandria, Egypt. Architect Ricardo Smith designed the building for Heikal family and was completed in 1929. Through applying the facing bricks facade and the colored mosaics, the historicist revivalism experiment has its recognizable icon, the building's orientation of form, projecting light and shade contrasts on the building's facade.

Moassat Bldg, Alexandria, Egypt. The building was designed by Ricardo Smith and executed in 1929 to help funding Moassat Hospital through its income.With a 300-seat theatre in the ground floor, applied his vision of the Neo-Romanico style using the facing brick within the Islamic pointed arches.

Luigi Manham

Luigi Manham was the son of an Austrian Lloyd employee. Born on 25 March 1869 in Alexandria and died on 20 July 1957 in Cairo. Changed nationality from Austrian to Italian in 1923.

Some of his works:

  • Egyptian Museum (1902)

Contractors: Giuseppe Garozzo & Francesco Zaffrani.

Max Edrei

Max Edrei is an Egyptian-French architect born in El Senbellawein, Egypt on 12 August 1889 and died in Mantes-la-Jolie, France on 27 September 1972.

Immobilia Bldg, Sherif Pasha St, Cairo, 1940

Cinema Radio, Soliman Pasha St, Cairo, 1950

Immeuble Rabbat next to Ausonia Hotel/Claridge Hotel Bldg, Cairo, March 2016. This massive residential complex on Avenue Fouad 1er and Sherif Pasha Street, known as the Rabbat Building, dates from 1927 and is an example of modernist architecture in Cairo. It is part Art Nouveau and part Art Deco and is the work of three Egyptian-French architects: Léon Azéma, Max Edrei, and Jacques Hardy, who also teamed up later to work on the Tribunaux Mixtes building further down the street.

Some of his works:

  • Cinema Radio (with participation of Garo Balyan), Soliman Pasha Street
  • Union Bldg in Zamalek (with participation of Garo Balyan). Bldg contractor Shaker Arida.
  • Ernest & Grace Wissa Bldg, Adil Abou Bakr Street, Zamalek
  • Green Villa
  • Karkegi Bldg, (Tunis Embassy), Saray al-Gezira Street, Zamalek
  • Immobilia Bldg, Cherif Pasha/Kasr al-Nil Street
  • Justice Palace, Fouad Avenue
  • Chaker Khayatt Bldg (1938), Adil Abou Bakr Street, Zamalek
  • Hettena Bldgs, Abdel Khalek Sarwat Street (ex-Queen Farida; Manakh)
  • Mohammed Shahine Pasha Bldg, Sheik Hamza Street, Cairo
  • F. Nahas vaults in Melchite Cemetery, Old Cairo (with collaboration of Jacques Hardy and Leon Azema)
  • Villa Rolo (Goethe Institute), Alexandria (1926)
Contractors: M. Gargour.
Sources: al-Emara magazine, Victor Salama (Paris), Max Karkegi, (Vitre, Bretagne, France).

Max Herz

Born Miksha Herz on 19 May 1856, in Otlaka, Hungary. Studied in Budapest. Came to Egypt as a tutor for the children of the proprietor of Hotel Du Nil. In 1882 worked in Egypt at the Wakf ministry then under Julius Franz Pasha (chief court and Awqaf architect during reign of Khedive Mohammed-Tewfik became pasha on 26 February 1885) whom he replaced in 1888. Deputy Head of the Committe. Died in Zurich on 5 May 1919.

Some of his works:

  • Cairo Islamic Museum (1903) Note: this Bldg is also attributed to Alfonso Manescalo in the book Early 20th Century Architecture in Cairo by Sakr
  • Rifai Mosque (expansion works) 1906-11
  • Zogheb Villa aka Danish Legation
  • Herz Villa, Sheik Barakat Street, Kasr al-Dubara
  • Credit Foncier Egyptien Bank (designed by Carlo Francolini), Abdel Khalek Sarwat
  • Nestor Ginaclis Palace (decoration works), Midan Khedive Ismail (later Tahrir)
  • Egyptian pavilion at Chicago exhibition--Theme: Cairo streetscape.

Sources: Rudolf Agstner.

Michel Libermann

Michel (aka Max) Libermann's offices were located at ex-Marconi Bldg. No. 18 Madabegh (later renamed Cherif Pasha) Street, in downtown Cairo where the National Bank of Egypt stands todayAlthough Libermann catered to the upper class specializng in villas and medium-sized apartment Bldgs, at the twilight of his career he was commissioned to build the Pepsi Cola plants in Cairo and Alexandria.Reportedly a Russian Jew, Libermann was single. He is described by his sometime assitant and aide 1948-53, George Khoury-Hadad, as as a short, bald loner who suffered from a nervous tick (constantly shaking his neck). His family consisted of a sister married to advertising agent Silvio Matattia of 1 Borsa El Gedida, Cairo.In 1955 Michel Libermann shared offices with architect Joseph Levys at No. 48 Kasr El Nil Street.

Some of his works:
  • Semi-circular redbrick Bldg on Moustafa Kamel Square (sourc: George Khory-Haddad)
  • Villa Bindari (1925), Nile Street, Giza, next to "Villa Castro" occupied by late president Anwar al-Sadat)
  • Former Brazil Embassy residence, Nile Street (corner of Sobhi Pasha) Street, Giza
  • Villa Sarruf-Shoucair (1925), Ahmed Pasha Street, Garden City (now home of Citibank)
  • Apartment Bldg No. 5 Taha Hussein Street, Zamalek, for account of Libermann's brother in law Mr. Silvio Matattia. The Bldg is presently owned by Aleya el Ayouti. No. 5 is also Libermann's last known address in Egypt.
  • Villa Alaili, No. 10 Taha Hussein Street, Zamalek (presently owned by US Embassy; residence of DCM.
  • Bldg No. 5 Mahkamma/Privat (later Mohammed Saqib Pasha) Street. "Lozi Bldg" (a.k.a "Immeuble Henon") presently (year 2000) up for sale by its owners the Henon sisters: Marie-Louise and Christiane, the French granddaughters of Caisse de la Dette's Monsieur Achilles Adrien Henon Pasha.
  • Villa Khalifa (1924) No. 15 Brazil Street (now Embassy of Bahrain) built for Mahmoud Khalifa
  • Villa now occupied by Ministry of Culture on Shagaret el Dorr Street, Zamalek

Sources: plaqued; Ibrahim Mahmoud Khalifa; George Khoury-Haddad.

Max Zollikofer

Some of his works

  • Central Bank of Egypt with participation of J.p. SergeantLa 
  • Genevoise, 26th of July Street

Maurice "Moise" Menasche

A son of Abraham Menasche, Moise (or Maurice) was born in Cairo on 18 December 1907. He studied at College des Freres 1926-27 before joining l'Institut Philotechnique in Paris where he graduated in March 1931. Married to Germaine from whom he begot Albert, Benoit, Nanda and Sylvain. Lived at 10/12 Tewfik Street, Heliopolis and later at No. 5 Seket al-Fadl, Cairo, near the French Consulate. Menasche died in Paris in September 1960. 

Some of his works:

  • No. 12 Tewfik Street, Heliopolis for account of Emilie Kamel Toueg
  • Villa of widow N. Abou-Heif in Cairo (1935/36) (contractor Moh. Hassan Allam).
  • Villa of Leon Regenstreif (driector of Davidson & Regenstreif) in Giza in 1931.
  • Villa of Mrs. Soumaya Farid on Massoud Street, Dokki (1938)
  • Villa of Mohammed Atta Moustafa Bey, Massoud Street, Dokki (1936)
  • Villa of "Lewa" Mohammed Hafez Atta Pasha, No. 29 al-Kalaa Street, Heliopolis
  • Bldg of Ahmed Saleh Abdullah on Fawzi al-Motei Street, Heliopolis (1935)

Sources: Jacques Menasche.

Moustafa Fahmy Pasha
At work on a new mosque

Chief Architect at Ministry of Public Works and the most prolific architect during the last two decades of Egyptian monarchy. He graduated in Paris, France from L'Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and l'Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'Etat.

Some of his works. Better known works:

  • Cairo University
  • Numerous Primary & Secondary Schools (e.g. school on the Corniche in Old Cairo)
  • Mausoleum of Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul
  • Mausoleum of Prime Minister Adly Yeken Pasha
  • Mausoleum of Prime Minister Ismail Sidki Pasha
  • Mausoleum of Prime Minister Mohammed Mahmoud Pasha
  • Mausoleum of Minister Aziz Izzet Pasha
  • Mausoleum of Senator Ali Shaarawi Pasha
  • Church and mausoleum of Minister Naguib Mahfouz Pasha
  • Medical Society "Dar Al Hikma" Headquarters on Kasr Al Aini Street
  • Engineering & Architectural Society Bldg on Ramses Street
  • Young Muslim Association Bldg
  • Benevolent Muslim Society Hospital
  • Egyptian Women Union Bldg on Kasr Al Aini Street
  • Agouza Hospital
  • Bridge at Montazah Palace in Alexandria
  • Exhibition Bldgs (Grand & Petit Palais) in Exhibition Grounds, Zamalek
  • Residence of Dr. Naguib Mahfouz Pasha, Garden City
  • Mansion of Justice Minister Mahmoud Ghaleb Pasha, Pyramids Road
  • His own villa, No. 1 Saiid Zulfikar Street, Manial Al Rhoda.
  • Numerous villas and apartment blocs
  • Manufacturing plant at Ghamrah for account of United Yeast Co. LTD., Manchester
  • Annexes of Haram Al Sharif, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
  • Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia
  • Three royal Palaces in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Villas of Cherif Sabry Pasha in Alexandria (English countryside style).

Positions Held:

  • Chief Architect of Royal Palaces 1930-52
  • Director General of the State Bldgs Department 1926-39
  • Director General of Cairo Town Service 1939-45
  • Director General of Alexandria Municipality 1945-49
  • Minister of Public Works 1949-50
  • Director General of Cairo Municipality 1950-52 

Decorations received:

  • Title of Pasha in 1946
  • Grand Officer of the Cordon of the Nile
  • Commander of the Legion d'honneur, France
  • Grand Officer of the Order of the King of Greece
  • Grand Officer of the Order of the King of Albania
  • Grand Officer of the Order of Humayun, Iran
  • Grand Officer of the Crown of Italy

Sources: groundbreaking plaques; Moustafa Fahmi Pasha family.

N. Catacouzinos

Some of his works:

  • Sarpakis Bldgs, Midan al-Tahrir (ex-Ismail)
  • Georgalas Frères Bldgs, Madbouli Street

Sources: Plaques.

Mario Rossi

Some of his works:

  • Assem Villa, Zamalek
  • Atta Afifi Villa, Giza
  • Bahy al-Din Barakat Villa, Giza
  • Ganage "Gabalaya" Bldg (b. 1920s), Hassan Sabri Street
  • Gaston Weiser Bldg, Souk al-Tewfikieh Street
  • George Wissa Villa (b. 1920s), Garden City
  • Omar Makram Mosque
  • Zamalek Mosque near Zamalek Bridge

 Sources: Andre Weiser (New York), Ahmed Sidky and others.

Nubar Kevorkian

Some of his works:

  • Abdel Aziz Kaboudan Bldgs, Maadi
  • Sapriel Bldg (b. 1930), 18 Dar al-Chefa, Garden City

Marco Olivetti

Immeubles Gattegno after restoration except the back sides and the interiors, Cairo, Egypt, March 2016

Gattegno Department Store Building (Formerly Le Bon Marché). These two similar adjacent buildings were designed by the Italian-Egyptian architect Marco Olivetti for the French department store le Bon Marché in a neo-Renaissance/Florentine style. The buildings were later acquired by the Italian family Gattegno, who opened their own department stores in them. Although the family is long gone, one of the buildings still functions as a Gattegno department store.

Some of his works:

  • Gattegno Bldg, Emad El Din St
  • Youssef Cattaui Pasha (b. 1922), Garden City
  • Nessim Ades Villa (b. 1925), Garden City
  • Taverna-Bertolissi Bldg., Soliman Pasha Street, Cairo
  • Tewfikieh Mosque (near Kafr al-Zayatt) built for account of Abdallah Izzet.
  • National Bank of Egypt - Hamzawi Branch, Mouski
  • Homsy Bldg (b. 1925), Souk al-Tewfikia

Sources: Denise Selim Amoun, Luciano Prinzivalli.

Oscar Horowitz

Born 3 October 1881 in Jagendorf, Austria (today, Krnov, Czech Rep.)

Some of his works:

  • Tiring Department Store (b. 1911-13), Attaba
  • Ali Ibrahim Pasha (MD) Villa (b. 1920s), Tolombat Street, Garden City

Tiring contractor: Leon Rolin Fils.

Sources: Rudolf Agstner, Laila Serag al-Din.

Paul Conin-Pasteur

Egyptian-French architect who headed the Bldgs Department at the Ministry of Public Works.

Some of his works:

  • French Consulate 'Maison de France' Cairo (b. 1925)

Sources: Bourse Egyptienne.

Paolo Caccia Dominioni

Count Paolo Caccia Dominioni ((Nerviano, Lombardia 1896 - Rome 1992)) was the son of Italian diplomat Carlo Dominioni who served in Alexandria and Ports Said before retiring in 1927.

Dominioni's son is best remembered in Egypt for his Italian Mausoleum of Alamein inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's Gugenhiem Museum in New York. Dominioni spent a good part of his professional life in Egypt. Towards the end of his Egypt career he set up office on Soliman Pasha Street's Cinema Metro Bldg together with Victor Salama and Gaston Rossi.Dominioni was a nephew of a Cardinal-Secretary to Pope Pius XI. He received a papal title of count. He was also a reserve colonel in the Italian army during the Ethiopia campaign and later in WW2. He married late in his life. On 20 October 2002 at El Alamein, Dominioni's widow received the highest Italian decoration from Italy's president Campi. 

Some of his works:

  • Cinema Metro, Soliman Pasha Street
  • Villa Gabriel Takla,Tombak Street, Garden City
  • Villa Bacos, Abou al-Feda, Zamalek
  • Villa al-Salama, 12 Ahmed Hishmat Street, Zamalek (demolished)
  • Technical Communal School, Champolion Street
  • Surgery section of Italian Hospital, Abbassia
  • Embassy of Italy, Ankara, Turkey
  • Italian memorial in Alamein

Sources: Victor Salama (Paris).

Raymond Antonious

Egyptian-Syrian architect.

Some of his works:
  • Ahmed Hamdi Villa, (b. 1939), Giza
  • Anderson Villa, Giza
  • Cassab Villa, Giza
  • Elias Ghadban Bldg, 11 Nabatat Street, Garden City (assisted by arch. Aklimandos)
  • Elie Curiel Bldg (sold in 1949 to Dr. Mohammed Reda), 15 Nabatat, Garden City
  • Debane Villa, Heliopolis
  • Emil Kahil Villa, Heliopolis
  • Farid Saad Bldg, Misr Street, Heliopolis
  • Hatwell Villa, Heliopolis
  • Khouri Bldg, Maarouf
  • Tamraz (Edouard) Bldg, No. 20 Saray al-Gezira, Zamalek
  • Tamraz (Edouard) Villa, No. 5 Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek (replaced with Berzi Bldg in 1980s).

Sources: Al Emara Magazine; Mrs Isabelle Boulad-Kamal Tamraz.

Raol Brandon

Orosdi-Back, Cairo, Egypt, early 20th century

Orosdi-Back, December 2015

Villa Hug, Cairo, Egypt, early 20th century

Some of his works:

  • Orosdi-Back department store, Abdelaziz Street,Cairo
  • Villa Hug, Maa'had al-Swissry Street, Zamalek

Sources: Plaqued (Orosdi-Back).

Raoul Zeheri

Raoul E.Zeheri was indeed one of the most prolific architects and builders in Cairo, having built many private villas and apartment houses throughout Egypt. He was also involved in the Bldg of cement factories and various projects for La Compagnie des Tramways in Cairo. He died in 1975 survived by two daughters one of whom lives in Oak Lane, Texas.

Some of his works:

  • Apartment Bldg No. 2 (b. 1934) Tolombat Street, Garden City
  • Cloister and Sanctuary of Ste. Therese de l'Enfant Jesus at Choubrah for the Rev. Peres Carmes Dechausses in 1949

Sources: plaqued and daughter of Arch. Zeheri.

Ferdinand Debanne

Some of his works:

  • Virginia Boulad Bldg (b. 1932-3), Corniche El Nil (next to George Wissa Villa), Garden City

Sources:  Hisham Mehrez.

Romollo Gilardini

Some of his works:

  • Ali Sadek Bey Villa now Wafd Party HQ (b. 1930s), Nawal Street, Dokki

Gennaro Scognamiglio

Born in Naples 13 March 1903 and brought to Egypt in 1910. Studied at Leonardo da Vinci and graduated from Milan's School of Engineering. At age of 15 worked as draftsman for Yorkshire Engineering Company in Cairo. In 1926 joined the firm of Ahmed Aboud Pasha. Built several Bldgs and villas especially in Koubeh Gardens where a street was named after him.

Some of his works:

  • A. Monti MD Bldg, Ramses Street

Sources: Luciano Prinzivalli.

Leon Nafilyan

Some of his works:

  • Chaldijian Bldgs (a.k.a. part of Baehler Bldgs), b. 1934, Soliman Pasha St

Robert Williams

Davies Bryan Bldg, Emad El Din St, Cairo, Egypt, 1920s

Davies Bryan Bldg, Emad El Din St, Cairo, 1930s 

 Davies Bryan Bldg after undergoing facade restoration, March 2016

 Davies Bryan Building, February 2016. The imposing Davies-Bryan Building on Mohammed Farid St (formerly Emad El Din Street) in downtown Cairo was built in 1911 by Robert Williams. It housed the Welsh Stores of Davies Bryan & Co., one of Cairo's leading clothing shops of the period. From the mid-1930's, the ground floor also housed the studio of the famous Romanian-Jewish photographer, Jean Weinberg, who photographed the Egyptian royal family. In the era post-1952, ownership of the building changed hands and it came to be known as Chourbagui Building. For more details about John Davies Bryan in Egypt, please click here.

Some of his works:

  • Davies Bryan Bldg (b. 1911), Emad El Din St at corners of Adly and Abdel Khalek Sarwat St

Victor del Burgo

Born in Cairo on 27 June 1910 Victor del Burgo died in 1998. He had studied at College des Freres, Khoronfish then with Professor Fritz Popper. Worked with Allgemeine Oesterreichishe Baugesellshaft before joining the Ministry of Public Works.

Diana Palace Theatre, Cairo, Egypt, 1942

Some of his works:

  • Cinema Diana (1930), Alfi Street
  • Orouba Villa, Heliopolis
  • Mattossian cigarette factory, Giza
  • Al Ghazzal Mosque in a factory in Mostorod

Ernest Richmond

Some of his works:

  • Nineteen official Public Works Department houses in Zamalek circa 1906-7 (some still used today by British Embassy at Ibn Zanki and Shagaret al-Dor Streets)


Some of his works:

  • Villa Abdel Baki El Kocheri, Abou El Feda Sreet, Zamalek

Sources: Al Emara Magazine.

Alexandre Loria

Upper dome of Abdel Hamid EL-Shawarby Pasha Building, Boulak Avenue, Cairo

Some of his works:

  • Neo-pharaonic "Chawarbi Bldg" on Ramses Street corner of 26th of July

Mahmoud Riad

Some of his works:

  • Serageledine-Badrawi Bldg at corner of Shagaret El Dorr and Ibn Zank Streets, Zamalek
  • Arab League Headquarters

Auguste Perret

Some of his works:

  • Villa Elias Awwad on Mohammed Mazhar Street (replaced by Swedish Embassy in late 1970s)

Florestano de Fausto

Some of his works:

  • Italian Embassy in Garden City (1929-30)
  • Adriatica Insurance Bldg at No. 15 Cherif Pasha Street

Victor Erlanger

Ausonia Hotel Bldg, Cairo, December 2016

Ausonia Hotel Bldg, Cairo, March 2016. Double domed and Neo-Baroque in style, this very Parisian-looking building was designed by the French architect S. Victor Erlanger in the early 20th century. It originally housed the Ausonia Hotel, whose name is still just about discernible on the façade, but nowadays houses the Claridge Hotel and has come to be known by that name. It is located on 26th July Street, formerly known as Avenue Fouad 1er. Next to it is the modernist Rabbat Building and across the street is the late Art Deco ex-Morandi Hotel building. The architect Erlanger is also responsible for designing the Lycée Français in Bab el-Luq (Cairo), the French Consulate in Alexandria, and also the Lycée Français in Damascus, Syria.

Some of his works:

  • Ausonia Hotel Bldg. at the corners of Talaat Harb, 26 of July and Sherif Street (Plaqued)
  • Lycee Francais School, Bab El Louk Cairo (inaugurated by PM Ismail Sidki Pasha on 17 November 1931 and HM King Fuad I on 4 April 1932)

Guido Gavassi

Some of his works:

  • Tewfik Doss Pasha mansion, No. 11 Mohammed Mazhar Street, (b. 1930) Zamalek (today Saudi Embassy residence)
  • Zamalek Bldg on Kamel Mohammed Street, Zamalek
  • Hamed Alaila Bey Villa (behind Ahmed Shawki Villa on Nile Street) Giza

Aristide Leonori

St Joseph's Church, Cairo, early 20th century 

Interior of the Church of St. Joseph, early 20th century

Nave of the Church of St. Joseph, early 20th century

The ceiling of the Church of St. Joseph, early 20th century

St. Joseph's facade and Interior, Cairo, March 2016

The Romanesque/Florentine church of Saint Joseph was built by the architect Aristide Leonori in 1909 to serve the growing Roman Catholic community in Cairo. A previous small church had existed on the site since the 19th century, when Khedive Ismail, ruler of Egypt at the time, donated the land for the purpose. Yet to this day, service is still conducted in the church in Italian, French and Arabic.

Some of his works:

  • St. Joseph Church on Mohammed Farid St.


Some of his works:

  • Mazloum Bldg No.9 Adly (Maghrabi) Street

V. Tragni

Some of his works:

  • Zamalek Mansions (1935), No. 17 Shagaret al-Dor Street, Zamalek

Marcel Dourgnon
Some of his works:
  • The Egyptian Museum, est. 1902 
Contractors: Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani.

Statue on the front facade of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo, designed by Marcel Dourgnon, 1895-1897. To view more, please proceed to the Architectural plans for the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Special thanks to Mr. Samir W. Raafat who researched and wrote the entire architects' part, lightly edited by, and for being one of the main sources; Mr. Mohammed (MM212) at Virtual Tourist who took pictures of Cairo in July 2005, April 2007 and March 2016 and wrote their detailed descriptions; Sigma Properties for pictures and information of some Alexandrian buildings.