designed: 2015 by ramzi makram-ebeid
“Ramzi has clearly understood PwC needs and passionately followed our branding guidelines, yet keeping the fresh and colorful young look which we have requested….PwC Egypt takes pride in its unique premises at the Greek Campus and highly recommends Ramzi Ebeid for similar services.”
Working with a multi-national like PWC, meant that I had to work, for the first time, with global guidelines. Additionally, I was fortunate to have room for design creativity despite these guidelines.
PWC wanted to create a welcoming office for start-ups and small to medium business at the GrEEK campus, while still maintaining its’ professional demeanor. What used to be the American University in Cairo – GrEEK campus, has been recently transformed into a technology and innovation park in the middle of downtown Cairo. PWC were surprisingly flexible and open to my ideas, which I really appreciated.
The very colorful PWC logo, as well as the famous AUC Library steps that the office overlooks inspired the design of this project. Having been a study-abroad student myself many years back on this very campus, I knew first hand the symbolic and emotional attachment AUCians have to the steps. This also allowed me to divide the space into different levels, each serving a different function. For the layout, the PWC logo was perfect. Combining the two, allowed us to have a reception area, an informal/projector screen viewing area, a work area/kitchenette and a meeting space. All the spaces have a level of privacy, while also allowing a very clear view of the large projector screen/white board. In short – the entire space can serve as a viewing area for the projector, including all the steps that were specifically designed for movement and seating.
When it came to the style of the space, I wanted the PWC corporate colors to appear as much as possible. I therefore decided on a white background for them, and used the colors only for the seating (and one shelf). The final result is that each area is colored coded with a PWC color.
The finishes were a crucial point. An all white space can easily come off as being clinical. To avoid this, I played with natural materials. The flooring is made of solid oak strips, while the workstations are oak veneers. I exposed the brick walls to give the space a converted feel, while also creating an interesting dichotomy between the sleek clean wood and the rough surroundings. Though the leather chairs are not natural, something I usually don’t like, they are very heavy duty and actually look natural.
Writing surfaces is something I always like to add in any space. For this project, there are two. The projector wall is also a whiteboard, so you can simultaneously do presentations and write notes. The other is a frosted glass wall, inspired by client and the man behind the GrEEK campus Ahmed Alfi. This wall also serves as an indirect lighting for the space.
Finally, for the lighting, I wanted this space to be cold and clean, so all light is white. For flexibility and to showcase the different materials, the lighting is all track lighting.
Working with the same contractor (Mazura) as Kamelizer, was the perfect fit. Not only are these two offices in the same campus, they are in the same building, with only one office separating them. So, we had already gained knowledge of the building and were able to see the possible problems that might arise.
Contracting by: Mazura