Tamayouz Excellence Award


Tamayouz Excellence Award is proud to announce the winners of its Rifat Chadirji Prize 2020, an annual thematic prize named after the prolific Iraqi architect and academic Dr Rifat Chadirji. 

Part of Tamayouz’s seven-category awards programme, the prize this year was themed ‘living pedestrian bridge over the Nile’ and sought proposals for a bridge that connected the Midan Al-Tahrir area (East Bank) to the Al Zamalek area (West Bank) in Cairo. 

The first place winner for the Rifat Chadirji Prize 2020 and the People’s Choice Award is a team of five from Cairo, Egypt: Ali Khaled Elewa, Mostafa Ahmed Zakaria, Sherif Khaled Abdelkhaleq, Ebtisam Mohamed Ahmed Elgizawy and Hoda Essam Abdelmawla. Second prize goes to a team of four comprising members from both the US and Iraq: Tay Othman, Ayman Tawfeeq, Saif Alrudaini and Muzdalifa Jafar. And third place goes to a team of three from Istanbul, Turkey: Basel Paşa Haclavi, Mohammed Jawdat Hameed and Hend Osama Ahmed Abdelwahab Abdelrazek. The Rifat Chadirji Prize also recognises six honourable mentions, which are listed below. 

The winners were selected by Tamayouz’s jury members, who met remotely this year. The members of the jury panel for the Rifat Chadirji Prize 2020 were: 

  • Dr Rasem Badran, Jordan: Founder of Dar Al-Omran.
  • Ali Naji, Jordan/Iraq: Consultant Civil Engineer and director of Sparkeast.
  • Dr Shabaan Taha Shabaan, Egypt: Professor of Architecture and Planning.
  • Tarek Naga, Egypt/USA: Founder of Naga Studio. 
  • Waleed Arafa, Egypt: Founder of Dar Arafa.
  • Shahira Fahmy, Egypt/UK: Founder of Shahira Fahmy Architects.
  • Ahmed Al-Mallak, Iraq/UK: Founding director of Tamayouz and academic at Coventry University.

More information about the judges can be found on our jury page.

After reviewing the submissions, the jury commented: “This year’s theme for the Rifat Chadirji Prize was unconventional, and it was crucial in raising awareness of urbanity, particularly in Cairo and generally in the Middle East. We enjoyed the different approaches taken by the participants, which presented freedom of thought. Many projects attempted to incorporate green spaces, which was greatly admirable, as such spaces are now dwindling in the Egyptian capital. While we would have liked to see participants engage more with the significance of the location, the winners truly considered human behaviour, and they applied different typologies and morphologies. As for the honourable mentions, we found them to be promising, although their execution needs further development. Regardless, the bridge competition was not a simple task, as it requires many forms of input from hydraulics to architecture to engineering, and we commend the participants for their genuine efforts.”

The winning proposals and honourable mentions were selected from a shortlist of 20 submissions, which was released in December 2020. Selection of the finalists was based on the criteria set in the competition’s brief. Commended solutions were those that offer a seed for new ways of life across Cairo, identifying and regenerating interest in the existing activities on both banks, as well as suggest new activities, taking into consideration the entire context. And the People’s Choice Award winner was selected by a wider group of academics and practicing architects.

The winners and finalists will be celebrated and awarded during Tamayouz Excellence Award’s annual ceremony to be held in 2021.

The Prizes

  • First prize:  The Rifat Chadirji Trophy (designed by Dia Azzawi) + $5000 + Certificate + Trip to the 2020 Award Ceremony (Flights & Hotel)
  • Second prize: $1000 + Certificate + Trip to the 2020 Award Ceremony (Flights & Hotel)
  • Third prize: $1000 + Certificate + Trip to the 2020 Award Ceremony (Flights & Hotel)
  • People’s Choice Award (sponsored by JT+Partners): $500 + Certificate + Invitation to attend the ceremony
  • Honorable Mentions: Certificate + Invitation to attend the ceremony

Jury Comments on the Winners

First Place & People’s Choice Award: Ali Khaled Elewa, Mostafa Ahmed Zakaria, Sherif Khaled Abdelkhaleq, Ebtisam Mohamed Ahmed Elgizawy and Hoda Essam Abdelmawla from Cairo, Egypt
“The jury felt this design was elegant and offered easy access across the Nile. There is fluidity and clarity in the project, and nice social spaces. The bridge restrains from being visually obstructive, and the three layers are complex yet simple, while the axis on the two sides is very inviting. 

“This design appears to be hugging its own piece of the river and fostering life within its boundaries. The starting plaza of the bridge at the eastern side is larger and more spacious to assure the relative importance of this side (the location of the former National Democratic Party), while on the western bank, the plaza is small and conforms to the realistic properties of this area. The bridge design is clear, dynamic and successful, and the structural system complies with the requirements of river navigation. 

“This project has very successful composition and is quite elegant in its composition.”

Second Place: Tay Othman, Ayman Tawfeeq, Saif Alrudaini and Muzdalifa Jafar from USA/Iraq
“The jury commended this project, and found its concept to be different and unique. While the bridge launches from both banks of the Nile and merges with the 6th of October Bridge, it completely respects both of the Nile’s banks. The jury found the form to be clear and straightforward, and they enjoyed the visuals and perspectives. The interaction of the path with the 6th of October Bridge and its descent towards the western bank is complex and implies more relative importance of this side of the Nile, which is understandable as this side is considered a final destination and station for the users. 

“However, the jury felt that the two sides of the bridge featured different architectural languages and that the two pavilions were disconnected. The judges also felt that more clarity about the distance between the two levels was needed, as well as about the impact of noise pollution from the 6th of October Bridge, but in general, they found this project to be of great potential. 
“While the jury is concerned about the structural requirements of this project in reality, they commended the architects of the project for taking a risk and exploring unconventional solutions.”

Third Place: Basel Paşa Haclavi, Mohammed Jawdat Hameed and Hend Osama Ahmed Abdelwahab Abdelrazek from Istanbul, Turkey
“The jury found this proposal interesting and believe that the user experience of this bridge would be nice. Its modest approach was greatly appreciated, and the design successfully allows for many activities within the public realm. 

“The jury felt this project reassures and celebrates the vibrant and variable cultural heritage values and components of Cairo in the form of a changing experience and styles along the multiple clusters on the bridge. These multiple distinctive values come together and blend to form the whole body of the bridge, resembling the coherent fabric of Cairo as a whole. 

“However, the jury wondered if the spaces were too dense and how this would affect the reality of using the bridge. Regardless, the jury found this design to be human and likeable.”

Jury Comments on the Honourable Mentions
*Honourable mentions are listed alphabetically

Arun Giant (Rittipong Tiandum and Sasithorn Tiandum) from Bangkok, Thailand
“The jury found the idea of this project clear and respectful of the Nile’s banks. However, they felt that the project was overly structured and its scale was too large. The jury noted that the presence of the two separate parallel paths might make it confusing for users at both ends of the bridge to start their journey across (in spite of the two paths connecting at several points and in the middle). Nonetheless, this project is off to a good start, as its overall form and structural system complies with river navigation requirements. The project could have benefited from simplification to the structure.”

ATELIER AZIZ ALQATAMI (Aziz Alqatami, Khalid Algharaballi, Christophe Martinese and Gilbert Caneba) from Kuwait
“The jury felt that this project offered a simple solution; however, such a straightforward geometrical form could use further development so as to emphasise a visual continuity with the Nile and both of its banks. Furthermore, the judges felt the connection of the bridge to both Nile banks is very vertical and completely enclosed (which serves the purpose of creating a floating effect for the bridge) but this decreases practicality for such a densely populated city.”

COdESIGN (Anna Cornaro, Valerio de Divitiis, Francesco De Tulio and Maya Roufail) from Dubai, UAE
“The jury felt that this project has a lot of potential with the idea of the meeting banks and the use of observation decks is interesting. Its idea is direct and clear; however, the presentation did not provide enough clarity on what happens at the point of contact of the two slabs of the bridge, and more insight on this moment would have been appreciated. The observation deck facing the museum will not be able to look at old Cairo due to the height of buildings, therefore, realigning the observation decks in another angle would have given users a much better view.

“While the jury commended the architects’ unconventional approach, the execution needs further development in order to become more successful.”

LULO (Juan Esteban Porras, Isabella Jaramillo, Jana Valentina Guevara and Avril Figueroa) from Cali, Colombia
“The jury found the form of this project interesting, and the scheme addresses the shading for the bridge during the hot months of the summer. However, the historical reference could have used further research. The view looking down from the west bank is exaggerated in the renderings.

“The jury also noted that the use of the two threads (spines) would look interesting, but they could have used more interaction and connection between the two forms.”

KarmBuild (Karim El Kafrawi, Diaa Diab, Mariam Maged, Farah Faheem) from Cairo, Egypt 
“This project presents an interesting take on traditional bridge forms and uses these forms to offer viewing and gathering spaces for users on the river. The mass in some places though is exaggerated. It could have used some structural simplification to make the bridge have a lighter impact on the banks. Furthermore, the connection with the banks is vertical, which is not practical for such a densely populated city. When you look at the bridge, it doesn’t entirely blend in with the banks; rather, it seems imposed on them and this is because of the verticality and the limited integration with the site.”

Mostafa Hazem and Ola Ahmed Maged from Giza, Egypt (003)
“This project responds to Cairo’s lack of green spaces by offering a green pathway for visitors to go from the East Bank to the gardens of Al Jazira, which is separate from the second available pathway which offers a more direct connection between the two banks. Although the project features two pathways, it appears practical here as the two spines intertwine at several points offering users the ability to switch between them. The jury also appreciated the project’s consideration of views, and the incorporated access to the rooftop of the museum. However, on the Western Bank, the bridge appears to stop abruptly, and further clarification of the bridge’s integration with the site would have been appreciated.”

Tamayouz Excellence Award is sponsored by Coventry University, the Iraqi Business Council in Jordan, Kufa – Makiya Charity, JT+Partners (People’s Choice Award sponsor), Dewan Architects + Engineers, Ayad Al-Tuhafi Architects, Bonair Ltd, British Airways, LWK + PARTNERS, Final Fix Interiors, and the United Nations Global Compact – Iraq Network.

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