In 2018 we had the honour and pleasure to design the corridors of the new DEO upper school building in Cairo.
The basic idea of the design was to portray Egyptian and German personalities from the fields of culture, politics and science and to provide each with a quotation. Among the Germans are Willy Brandt, Martin Luther, Sophie Scholl, Hannah Arendt and Alexander von Humboldt. Among the Egyptian Naguib Mahfouz, Lotfia Al Nady, Doria Shafiq, Taha Hussein and Imhoteb.
As my predecessor in the colour design of the DEO I may count the German graphic artist and painter Bernd Damke. More than 40 years ago, he defined the colour design and the guidance system of the old school buildings of the DEO.
The age groups of the DEO are divided into colours and the upper level is orange. As the main colour tone of a design in the interior area, this colour tone represents a challenge due to its intensity. It was necessary to consider how to adapt this very intensive colour tone as elegantly and harmoniously as possible to the architectural conditions and changing lighting conditions. Replacing the orange tone with partial orange or even white, the interplay of orange lettering on a white background and white lettering on an orange background was an exciting balancing act.
The final result of this design was a complete success. Modern, atmospheric and inspiring for teachers and students!
The DEO Cairo is one of eight recognised German schools abroad in Egypt. It pursues the concept of an integrated encounter school, which accepts both Germans and students of Egyptian or other descent. It is possible to take the German school-leaving examination, the Abitur, after twelve years of school. Today the school is attended by about 1,300 pupils, of whom over 85 percent are Egyptians.
The new upper school building was ceremonially opened on October 29 by the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maaß, who was presented with a framed photograph of our wall work by Willy Brandt, signed and framed. The Egyptian Minister of Education Tarek Shawky also received a photograph with the motif of the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz.
Pictures: Pedro Costa Gomes