Interpretative Exhibition in the Palace of Baron Empain, Heliopolis

Comprehensive design of turning into a permanent exhibition the interiors of the palace completed in 1911 for Baron Edouard Empain, the Belgian industrialist who established Heliopolis in 1905 as a satellite city in the desert outside Cairo. While the houses of this human-made oasis took on costumes of Islamic architecture, for the Baron’s own palace, the French architect Alexandre Marcel conjured a Khmer-inspired fantasy complete with elephants and dancing goddesses. The palace has been restored by the Historic Cairo Project of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The exhibition presents Heliopolis and the man who created it.

The challenge was to design an informative and engaging exhibition without diminishing the value of the outstanding qualities of the historic interiors. Fully reversible stands of wrought iron designed for mounting the exhibition evoke the aesthetics of the period when Heliopolis was established.

The final version of the exhibition contents is the creation of the High Scenario Committee of the Museums Sector of the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, while the exhibition stands result from  the expertise of al-Wataniya contracting company.

The new displays were inaugurated by the President of the Republic on 29 June 2020.

November 2019 – February 2020

Location: Heliopolis Cairo, Egypt

Design: Agnieszka Dobrowolska, Joanna Dyzewska

Technical team: Eslam al-Na’eb, Basam Magdi