Saint Catherine's Church, Heliopolis, 1950
In 1950, the Syrian Catholic community mandated Naoum Shebib to design and build Saint Catherine's church. It is located on Midan Triomphe in Heliopolis, a suburb of Cairo.
The structure is made of several reinforced concrete thin shells that can be seen from either inside or outside the church.
The arch forming the body of the church is consolidated by three narrower and taller arches that dominate the entire structure.
Inside the church, gentle and simple curves convey a warm atmosphere, propitious to meditation. The arches are supported by thin delicate columns at the periphery and by a discrete external wall. In the upper section of the wall, a fine glass border brings lightness to the arches.
A modern style stained-glass cross adorns the main façade. Six large stained-glass windows alongside the three central arches add brightness to the interior. Everything is simple and bare, yet modern, elaborate and original.
It is remarkable that while designing and building this complex multiple-arch structure, Naoum Shebib managed to achieve such an integrated and harmonious result.