Heliopolis style

Heliopolis style is an early 20th-century architectural style developed in the new suburb of Heliopolis in eastern Cairo, Egypt. The Belgian Cairo Electric Railways and Heliopolis Oases Company, responsible for planning and developing the new suburb, created the new style to implement an exclusive distinctiveness to the design of its buildings. This revivalist style is a synthesis of Medieval Egyptian Revival, Moorish Revival, Persian Revival, and European Neoclassical architecture styles.

Heliopolis Style Building in Korba, Heliopolis


The goal of this style was to successfully implement the aesthetic and functional advantages of the influencing styles. Combining the qualities of these types brought Moorish and Persian facades, Egyptian spatial volumes and ornaments, and European floor plans, and Neoclassical and Moorish interiors together in a homogeneous unit.

The Heliopolis style integrated qualities, including:

  • climatic adaptation techniques of northern Africa (implemented in volumes).
  • Persian-Moorish Revival sense of architectural style detailing (implemented in facades).
  • Euro-Egyptian hospitality social traditions, of the early 20th century era (implemented in plans and interior design).


The Heliopolis suburb is the only example of this unique architectural style, and is still very well preserved. The Heliopolis style is represented there by a large ensemble of buildings in a wide area with the historic form-language. The Heliopolis Palace, originally a grand hotel opened in 1910 and now a presidential palace, is an exceptional example.

Architects practicing at the time in this style included Charles Ayrout and Henry Habib Ayrout.

See alsoEdit


  • Dobrowolska, Agnieszka (2006). Heliopolis: Rebirth of the City of the Sun (Paperback) (First ed.). American University in Cairo Press. p. 176. ISBN 977-416-008-8.
  • E.Godoli, M.Giacomelli (2005). Architetti e ingegneri italiani dal Levante al Magrèb 1848-1945. Repertorio biografico, bibliografico e archivistico (Archivi dell'architett. ital. d'oltremare) (Brochure) |format= requires |url= (help) (in Italian). Maschietto Editore. p. 400. ISBN 88-88967-47-8.
  • Ilbert, Robert (1981). Héliopolis, le Caire 1905-1922 : genèse d'une ville (in French). Marseille,Paris: Centre national de la recherche scientifique. p. 153. ISBN 978-2-222-02954-0.
  • Volait, Mercedes (dir.) (2001). Le Caire - Alexandrie Architecture Europeennes 1850-1950 (Paperback) (in French). Le Caire: Archeolog, IFAO/CEDEJ. p. 252. ISBN 2-7247-0290-5.
  • M.C.Bruwier, A.Van Loo (2010). Héliopolis (Hardcover) (in French). Brussels: Fonds Mercator. p. 229. ISBN 978-90-6153-930-8.

External linksEdit