designed: 2013 by ramzi makram-ebeid

The design innovations developed by Ramzi have contributed towards Ice Cairo being recognized as a leading African innovation hub…We would highly recommend Ramzi Ebeid as an interior designer and product designer, as a team-player and pioneer in inspiring through design

Adam Moyneux-Berry, Co-Founder Ice Cairo

Converting a century old apartment into a hub for innovators and changemakers.

“…a place for action, creation and collaboration. We seek to leverage, support and enable Cairo’s vibrant community of innovators and changemakers, in order to fulfill our common desire for positive and sustainable change through the invention, adaptation, production and spreading of green technologies.”

Keeping that in mind, Ice Cairo wanted a professional looking space that is still fun & lively, and on a small budget.  Their office being an architectural jewel in the middle of downtown Cairo made that quite easy.

Working alongside Ice Cairo’s uber talented design team, mainly Salma Adel (product designer, graphic designer and space host) and Tobias Mathes (product designer), we were able to create a space that embodied all that Ice Cairo had asked for.  My first team project since design school proved to be a blast. 

First and foremost, we agreed that the space was to be renovated and updated, i.e. we bring back the original designs and anything we add is minimal (does not take away from the gorgeous flat) and functional.  Working with a renovation expert, Eng. Abdel Hamid Salah, we were able to clean and restore a good deal of the space.  For example, the previous renter had covered the exquisite original mosaic entrance, hallway and kitchen flooring with hideous grey vinyl tiles.  Eng. Abdel Hamid’s team successfully removed the ugly and restored the beautiful flooring below. 

Secondly, we wanted the space to have a subtle corporate feel, so we used the colors of the logo and combined that with the colors found in Tobia’s existing graffiti work, mainly shades of blue, green and grey.

Thirdly, we wanted all our designs to be sellable. Inspired from the hugely popular greed boxes, the modular mosky/greed stackable boxes, for instance, are functional, stronger then their inspiration, inexpensive and use sustainable materials like palm and wood salvaged from palettes. We used them for bookshelves and for standing and regular tables/workspaces. The desks and benches are minimal and can be easily moved around, making the space even more flexible.

We also wanted to give each room a unique feel.  Hence, each room is painted in a different way, a fun and very affordable way to add character to any space. My personal favorite is the room with the fireplace.  This room has the most intricate details, so we made the cornice, doors, door frames and baseboard all green to highlight that fact.  The fireplace was originally a dark gloomy brown, so we decided to lighten it up as the old color didn’t work with our color scheme. 

The second room is basically the opposite of the first, with sliding doors connecting the rooms together, these two rooms converge into one unified space.

The third room brought the blue into the picture.  As there wasn’t much existing detailing in the space, we divided it between a white base and a blue “sky.”

The large room, designed for the ice team, frames each of the doors and windows with blue and green, adding a little new clean detail to the space.

Finally, the entrance needed to accommodate more people.  The insanely high ceilings made that quite easy to accomplish.  With a strong white minimal and modern frame, Salma mixed green and blue wooden strips for the flooring to add color while allowing light between each strip.