Tamarai is a bar lounge and restaurant. It has become a new addition to the must visit destinations in Cairo. Designed to reinterpret a past and offer a unique identity to a variety of guests; Tamarai has a contemporary atmosphere of a past legacy. From the architectural elements down to the plate and cup; everything was customized to fulfill a concept of duality. Contrast between history and present, formal and informal, static and dynamic even black and white. With the desire to create a local identity; we turned to the rich heritage of the pharaohs and strived to reinterpret spaces for 21st century. The main aim was to capture the subtle essence of ancient Egyptian grandeur and inject it with contemporary self-similar ingenuity. The abstraction of these two poles drove the design process where contrast and duality were key. The space abides to two different grids: The first one is an orthogonal grid-iron responding to the formality of the space and serving the different technical functions such as light and AC. It represents the classicism in Pharaonic architecture, with a few other influences such as the sacred notions, the unique proportions, the grandeur in spaces and the sense of scale. On the other hand, an informal geometry of a remarkable structure leads the way across the different spaces. It twists and turns to hold a diversity of functions and emphasize the contrast with the first grid. It started as a contemporary view of the ancient sun boat and it developed to become the icon of the project. A wooden guide dances throughout the spaces; it is the free spirit of the present. "Each design element has been especially commission and exclusively crafted. The temples of the pharaohs are reborn in soaring pillars moulded from amber-coloured granite and marble, while the rough-stone walls are imprinted with drawings of temple plans. The textures and colours of the ancients envelop the space. Lush hand-made linens lined with gold tumble down the floor-to-ceiling windows, covering chairs and lining tables, guests dine from plates of terracotta and alabaster, while a rich palette of black, white, turquoise, red copper and burgundy draws on the wonders of Tutankhamen’s treasures. The formal and the informal blend seamlessly in 400 square metres of fluid space, with fine dining areas up to 250 guests curving around the lounge area and the sensual spots in-between where drinks are sipped and tales are spun. The floor rises and falls, the carefully created levels ensuring guests never loose sight of the Nile beating beneath. The pièce de resistance is the pharaonic sun-boat that seemingly floats at the very heart of the Tamarai. Made of shimmering wood, it houses the restaurant’s main bar and forms a fantastical focal point. From the moment guests step out of Tamarai’s private elevator, the design adventure begins, with the iridescent curves of the boat stretching up to the ceiling and out to the reception area, creating a map in the sky to draw you into the space."


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