History and the present – two poles that ideally go hand in hand in university teaching. The campus of the American University in Cairo (AUC), which was founded in 1919, has succeeded in achieving this balance in terms of its redesign and furnishings. The close union of yesterday and today is particularly evident in the cafeteria of the AUC: classical round arches structure the local sandstone of the walls, which is partly hidden behind white-painted wooden panelling. A tile pattern in light blue and white, which decorates the polished concrete, serves to guide the way on the floor. With regard to the furnishings, Style Design Architects chose various pieces of furniture by Pedrali that combine dynamic with straight lines and thus harmoniously continue the architectural contrast. Central to the furnishing is the flexible use of the spacious room for cultural events: for these, the furniture should be able to be rearranged quickly and easily.
Selected was the "Fox" armchair by Patrick Norguet for Pedrali: the polypropylene shell in smoky blue and sand is held by a curved ash frame. The contrast in the material and the alternation of open and closed surfaces give "Fox" a sculptural appearance. At its side is the "Arki table”, which has easel legs. The compact tabletop is exceptionally thin and is held by a frame of extruded aluminium. This formal connection is particularly pleasant for those sitting at the table and also offers a larger group of guests plenty of freedom of movement. For smaller groups of up to four people, the "Lunar" tables by Pio e Tito Toso are provided with a minimalist structure made of steel and a square marble top. The matching counterpart to the cool material and clear edges of "Lunar" is offered by the "Nym" chair by CMP Design made of ash wood with a curved backrest and flowing transitions. In addition, the architects have placed a surrounding table area around the centrally placed square columns of the cafeteria, which is ideal for a short meeting. The barstool version of "Nym" is placed there and is complemented by the "Babila" barstool, which was designed by Odo Fioravanti with conical legs made of ash wood and a footrest of die-cast aluminium. Thanks to this harmonious interplay, an open and creative atmosphere has emerged that combines modern elements with the rich history of the place to create a coherent overall appearance. (am)