Egyptian architects and engineers Gehan Ahmed Nagy Radwan, Sameh Morsj Gad El-Rab Morsi and Ahmed Magdy Ali are heavy on idealism and light on literal plans for their design Stairway to Heaven, a skyscraper design that blends reality and dreams to create a new utopian dimension.

Located within the slums of Cairo, the Egyptians’ entry couples the smiling faces of children and women with a futuristic tower plan that stacks spheres and rectangular living units high into the sky. The opposite shapes are symbolic of the different purposes the structure serves: dream bubbles foster idealism, living cells house real life, and a “main core of hyper cubes” fuses the two, as would a time machine, say the architects, in a way that opens a “fourth dimension” to residents. A new reality is what is truly created when blending dreams of the future with the roots of your past, issues of identity and community considerations.

The tower is meant to be replicated many times over throughout the slums, redefining life for all stuck in Cairo’s impoverished neighborhoods. Dreams the architects envision residents realizing include those connected to education, health, work, entertainment, and freedom.

The buildings will recycle waste, making good resources from the bad, and will feature foliage such as tall palms interspersed amongst the residential units, even at high altitudes.

The masses of spheres and cubes in contrasting white and orange are visually stimulating, but the value of the entry perhaps best lies within its message. At a time so important in Egyptian history, a vision for a place that brings freedom, health and opportunity to residents most in need is a beautiful one indeed.

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