Amazing Architecture to inspire you

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish

The Egyptian architectural student Ahmed Darwish has designed ''Salt formation center'' an art center that relies on Salt physical reactions as an artistic raw materialt, located in Marriott lake in Alexandria, Egypt

Project description by designer:

Marriott region is a proposed new rising city located in the west of Alexandria city, Egypt;which aims to attract the people from the old city "Alexandria"which has become very crowded and its infrastructure is unattainable to accommodate the growing number of people and bring them to the Marriott lake surround. So the proposal was to establish some mega projects at some points along the lake which create services to attract workers and people in the long term.

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt image © Ahmed Darwish

Egypt's salt industry ranks first place in the Arab world and ranks 13th in the world, producing 2% of global production and Its only use is just for food and export!

Marriott Lake was related to the manufacture and trade of salt since ancient times, now Marriott Lake is surrounded by the east and west with the largest salt production companies in Egyptwith production capacity 4.8 M.T /year.

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt image © Ahmed Darwish

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt image © Ahmed Darwish

The project is an art center based on the use of salt in art direction and architectural applications in an attempt to reconsider the way to maximize the use of salt, which represents the distinctive identity of the lake and in turn be acentral core and an initial phase which Other phases will be followed as an extension of the project to transform the peninsula which the project located in the middle of the Marriott Lake into an open salt exhibition,also this place aims to  persuades people to take advantage of salt in the digital architectural fabrication field to solve the problem of fishermen in the lake, who rely on fishing as the only source of living and suffering from the lack of a suitable place for fishing and residence, which in turn drives them to establish slums on the banks of the lake  and that solution could be applied also in the slums of El Max district in the east of the lake which suffering from the same problem.

the art center building beside the lake image © Ahmed Darwish

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt image © Ahmed Darwish

The building is divided into two main sections in addition to their services:

  • The first one is the production section in which the salt is processed and the density and temperature of the salt solution are controlled to be ready to be transported by piping to the exhibition area, This section is vertically connected to the research labs zone and workshop area.
  • The second one is the exhibitions section which Consists of 3 zones :
  1. Manual salt carving exhibition.
  2. An exhibition of 3D printing and computer-aided design using the local salt of Marriott Lake and mixes it with glue to have a material that strong, waterproof, lightweight, translucent and inexpensive.
  3. The biggest zone which indoor wired pavilions structureFixed in basins containing a saturated salt solution, by time Salt grows and condenses on the pavilions wires and Natural salt formations will be formed beneath the sunlightor with methanol as a catalyst (The natural physical reaction of the saline solution under sunlight).

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt

manual salt carving strategy

Third strategy: The natural crystallization of salt strategies

Experiment vol.1

Testing experiment for crystallization of salt on a structure submerged in a saturated salt solution.

by adding “methanol” to the solution which acts as a catalyst that doubles the speed of crystallization, So The number of days will be reduced.

Experiment vol.2

Testing experiment for crystallization of salt on a structure a part of which is submerged in a salt solution. and the rest of the structure out of the solution.

“Methanol” and “Sunlight” acts as a catalyst that doubles the speed of crystallization, So The number of days will be reduced.

crystallization of salt

methanol and sunlight

indoor pavilions by carbon fiber

salt formation

architectural elevation of the art center

architectural plans of the building

section drawings

site plan of the building Site plan

structure system Structure system 

engineering structure system drwaing Structure system layout 

skin studies

the skin of the building

skin studies

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt

Salt formation center designed by Ahmed Darwish in Alexandria Egypt

interior of the art center image © Ahmed Darwish

interior view image © Ahmed Darwish


Architect: Ahmed Darwish

Location: Marriott lake in Alexandria, Egypt 

Area: 6000 m²

Tools used: Rhinoceros 3D, GrasshopperAdobe PhotoshopLumion 9

Latest Posts

Most Popular Posts


Our Partners