The Heritage of Gamal Bakry


Bakry completed his Engineering studies in architecture at Cairo University in 1956 and Town Planning studies in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in 1966. He influenced and trained generations of architects yet maintained a continuous dynamic evolution of self and design approaches.


Bakry is remembered as one of the most prolific and outspoken architects in Egypt. From the 1960’s he was the first to defy the crude modernism practiced in Egypt through his avant garde forms that combined common sense with building program. His school of thought had not necessarily been in tune with mainstream architectural traditions in Egypt.


Nevertheless, his followers and critics alike had always acknowledged Bakry’s talent of infusing seamless functionality with daring forms.


In over fifty years of practice Bakry won numerous awards, competitions and participated in various conferences, including the first prize for Egypt in the Fifth Venice Biennale, where he was the general commissioner for the Egyptian team. His first commission, in his hometown of Port Said, spearheaded dozens of projects that ranged the spectrum of scale and location; within Egypt and abroad.


Bakry was a prolific writer, publishing a few books and many articles. He was an accomplished painter, furniture and graphic designer. With a quick sketch of the pen he described spaces with precision and insight that only experience and an inquisitive mind could produce. The impression Bakry has left is nothing short of inspiring to all who knew him.


Bakry will be remembered as a pioneer among the second generation of Egyptian architects, bridging the gap between high modernism and heritage revitalization, and linking pre-revolution aesthetic values with mass movements and commitment to social justice. Bakry’s unmistakable imprint in a subtle formal synthesis—a fundamental contribution to a contemporary Egyptian architectural language—may only be matched by a breathless career of uncompromising commitment to his convictions, and chivalry ethics towards his clients, fellow architects, and teams of students and staff working with him.


Gamal Bakry is succeeded by his beloved wife, Dalila ElKerdany, his children, Nahla, Amal and Adham Bakry, and grand children, Hisham and Yousef Ahmed Aly and Mostafa and Karim Abou Zeid. He is the godfather of many others.