Naoum Shebib - His The Architect
Naoum Shebib has set in Egypt the first milestones of modern architecture with the construction of the Cairo Tower, of the first skyscrapers and of various thin shell reinforced concrete structures.
Naoum Shebib believed that the architectural form of a building should reflect its structure without unnecessary elements as exemplified by the pure, sober and innovative forms of his creations. At the same time, he remained very concerned with the well-being of the occupant, convinced that the building needed to be user-friendly.
The Cairo Tower is characterized by the purity of its lines and the authenticity of raw materials that have been used. The absence of surface decoration and the daring use of reinforced concrete resulted in an elegant, light and almost transparent shell.
Naoum Shebib's skyscrapers are characterized by their sober, slender and tapered forms and feature a modern vision of urbanization; his two most remarkable apartment buildings, built in 1954 and 1958, are respectively 22 and 31 floors high.
In residential and other buildings, Naoum Shebib has used lattice in order to cast shade on sunny walls and to maximize natural ventilation, demonstrating its commitment to adapt the architectural form to the well-being of the occupants.
Naoum Shebib was fascinated by thin shells made of reinforced concrete which allowed redistributing the forces and constraints of the structure through harmonious forms while at the same time covering large areas. The encounter of the material and of the form was thus embodied these reinforced concrete thin shells, which became his signature.
The Ali Baba movie theater and the Cairo Motor dealer building are representatives of the use of the patented "Vault Chebib". With their huge vaulted roofs, these buildings provided very large functional open spaces.
The two churches, St. Catherine and St. Therese, illustrate the architectural harmony of the vaults, whose shapes and soft curves call to meditation.
Besides his best-known projects, he has built apartments buildings (4 to 11 floors), commercial spaces, office buildings, individual houses, factories, schools and churches.
A philanthropist devoted to his community and responsive to its needs, he has donated his services for various projects, of which the construction of a school - Kolali charity in a poor Cairo neighbourhood - and the design of three churches: Immaculée Conception, St. Therese and St. Catherine.