The graduation project of AUC’s Architectural Engineering student, Salsabeel Amin, won the CSBE Award for excellence in design. StreetBook is a hub that connects non-government organizations to each other and to communities they serve. It is a physical realization to a networking system representing the identity of NGOs. The project concept was inspired by the 25th of January revolution where there has been an unleash and explosion of potential rising in the Egyptian community (such as initiatives to improve and give back to our community). However, such great potential has almost all been put to waste as it was not channeled nor utilized properly. Therefore, StreetBook intends to capitalize on the vitality of NGOs and revive their role in managing and reflecting the needs and serving the will of the people. The project accommodates the headquarters of NGOs operating in Egypt, to formulate an iconic identity for such a network
StreetBook operates by implementing a sequence of activities: to “gather”, “enable”, and “disperse”. The members of grassroots organizations gather in flexibly designed open and enclosed spaces which offer a variety of community based activities. Involved members acquire the necessary skills and resources and then disperse to the communities transferring their know-how to other active members and thus inflict change to the community.
Philosophically, StreetBook helps communities to sustain themselves by adopting a grassroots methodology. Architecturally, the project adopts a sustainable design approach by constructing a base in a sub-zero level thus preserving the green earth shelter of the Fustat Garden where it is located. The base houses all public large scale activities. The project then utilizes the body of shipping containers which are refurbished to be used as mobile structures that are clipped on to the site to accommodate the offices of NGOs. The containers may be disconnected and moved out, as mobile trucks, to actual distant sites, distributed around the city where they are stationed to serve the different communities. The result is a project that reflects an innovative concept and picturesque colorful building across Ain El Sira Lake, whose structure is economic, sustainable and at the same time changeable. The project’s form is in a continuous state of metamorphosis based on the movement of temporary clipped-on containers in and out of the site, thus maintaining the morphology of change.