The Yacoubian Building in Downtown Cairo

The Yacoubian Building (عمارة يعقوبيان, Édifice Yacoubian) is a mixed-use building in Downtown Cairo, Egypt, built-in 1937. Located on No. 34 on Talaat Harb Street, Cairo, the Art Deco-style edifice was named after its Lebanese-Armenian owner and businessman Hagop Yacoubian. The architect of the building was Garo Balian.

The building served as a residence for Cairo’s upper-class during the Kingdom of Egypt, home to cotton millionaires, members of the royal family, and foreign nationals.

During and after the 1952 revolution the building was used as a domicile for Egyptian military officers and their wives. By the 1970s the building was transferred to mixed-use, including shopfronts and offices.

A fictionalized version of the building serves as a metaphor for Cairo’s deterioration in the 2003 Arabic language novel The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany.

The novel was adapted into a 2006 film of the same name, directed by Marwan Hamed. A larger building, located on Talaat Harb Square was used for the exteriors. The Yacoubian Building in Beirut, Lebanon belonged to the same family.

Dan Richardson

Taken from: Mano Chil

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