Ritchie Studio

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Arkan Theatre, Cairo

ritchie*studio were appointed by El Badr to develop the concept design for an 800-seat new theatre as a multi-purpose cultural venue in Sheikh Zayed City, to the west of central Cairo.








Located beneath the landscaped parkland to one of the main entrances of Sheikh Zayed City, the Arkan Theatre is an oasis of entertainment alongside the Arkan mixed-use development. It is cultural facility in the client’s ‘unique lifestyle village’ for residents, employees and visitors.

The concept design of the Arkan theatre optimises the potential uses of the predetermined theatre volume and external sunken courtyard established by the client. It balances seating layout and volume to produce a range of acoustic qualities. This allows the theatre to host a varied repertoire of performances and events – theatre, music, comedy, conferences, and product launches.

At ground level, we envisaged the identity of the theatre expressed through a landscape of dichroic glass obelisks which would bring daylight into the auditorium below. This feature was subsequently removed by the client. The auditorium space is conceived as a golden chamber hidden beneath the landscape. With accents of pale blue and reflecting the colour palette and textures of ancient Egyptian jewellery.

The auditorium is rich in tone, elegant, and sophisticated in its operation.

ritchie*studio was supported by Jan Braker Architekt in Hamburg and collaborated with Doug King of Doug King Consulting, Paul Gillieron of Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design, Ulrike Brandi of Ulrike Brandi Licht, and Jake Wiltshire of Jake Wiltshire Lighting Design.

ritchie*studio collaborated with the client’s in-house design and construction team who delivered theatre from the concept design.


Arkan Theatre

Sheikh Zayed City, Egypt

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