Standing out among Egypt’s rising architectural design firms is Artline Design & Build, a firm established in 2007 by two architect brothers, Ayman and Tamer Ahmed Ramadan, who are both active in academia as well as being professional practitioners in their field. eniGma’s Iman Nayel sat down with the two innovative architects to learn more about their design philosophy and the challenges they face in an increasingly competitive market.
s students and well into the start of their professional career, the architecture duo, Ayman and Tamer Ramadan, were always eager to participate in architecture and design competitions, and it was after winning an award for the youth housing competition by the Egyptian Engineering Syndicate in 2007 that they decided to set up their own firm, Artline Design & Build. More recently, they won a silver award in the Interior Space and Exhibition Design Category at the A’Design competition in Milan, becoming just one of six winners from Egypt over the past 13 years. In addition to that, Ayman is an assistant professor in the Department of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering in Ain Shams University and Tamer is also an assistant professor in the Modern Academy in Cairo. They both draw on both their academic as well as their practical experiences when working on a project. Their biggest influences include Zaha Hadid and Karim Rashid, as well as their mentor and professor at Ain Shams University, the late Dr. Ahmed Mito.
“We believe that the main challenge for us is applying what we learned academically in a practical way through our work,” say the brothers. Working together and combining their styles also gives them an advantage. “We always argue about our designs, but we manage to find a middle ground, and it is this teamwork that helps us develop each other’s ideas” they explain.
“At Artline, our principal philosophy is that we are not just designing a space; we are creating an experience with a unique atmosphere,” says Ayman. “We create free-flowing, futuristic spaces with clear continuity of lines across different levels of the same space. Our approach is monolithic, where everything matches and flows,” he adds. They are proud of their bold and innovative approach, which they advise all young architects to adopt.
Tamer adds that the main materials used for interiors by Artline are glass, Corian and greenery. They also lean more toward white or black colours and the use of mirrors in order to achieve an illusion of greater space. One of the main challenges they face in their work is finding their preferred materials and furniture, which is why they are planning on starting a sister company to manufacture their own materials.
Also, central to Artline’s philosophy is their unique client relationship. “We befriend our clients and take their opinions into consideration from start to finish,” says Tamer. Their use of Virtual Reality technology also serves the same purpose. It allows the clients to approve the exact designs to be delivered prior to creating the space. “It’s all about transparency and honesty,” the brothers emphasise.
Amongst the projects that the architects are most proud of are Shiny White Dental Centers, Hope Cure Oncology Center, Gold’s Gym Elite in Sheikh Zayed City, Groovy Medical Spa, Dar El Zokoora in Alexandria and project Dental and Derma in Dubai. “Designing medical spaces is a big challenge,” the brothers maintain. “The designs are obviously very complex and take careful account of several medical needs. We take all of this into consideration in such projects and work to meet those demands,” they add. Artline is not confined to medical centres, however. It also works with fashion retailers and restaurants, as well as residential spaces.