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Egyptian Continuum Text
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EGYPTIAN CONTINUUM

(CIRCA 1973)

EGYPTIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM

 

Howard Hughes' Suma Corporation was competing with a number of international contracting firms for the development rights to the 20,000 hectares surrounding the Giza Plateau and the great Pyramids, one of the great wonders of the world.  In return for a winning concept, assembling an international team of experts, project financing of the infrastructure, and master planning of the overall development, the Egyptian government would donate 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres) as its part of the project.

 

The Doultons were retained to provide the winning project.  They had less than two months to assemble a team, make a site visit, conduct basic research, prepare schematic engineering drawings and orders of magnitude cost estimates, and produce a presentation   to be given personally to President Anwar Sadat.

 

To help realize their vision for building a fourth pyramid in golden glass as the location for a new national museum, they retained the creative genius of John DeCuir, Sr.  John was a seven-time Academy Award winning production designer, whose work included the most costly film up to that time “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor and Rex Harrison.

 

With the help of structural engineers Johnson and Nielsen, Alcoa Aluminum and others, innovative technical designs were created that were no less state-of-the-art as the original pyramids.  To minimize vertical suports JN devised a revoluantry hanging floor structure. The first high speed "inclinator" was created to move passengers from each of the Pyramids four corners. Alcoa's energy efficient concept for sandwiching foam insulation between the gold glass exterior and aluminum panels interior  was another "first" of its time.   

 

  The deadline was well met, the presentation made, the prize won.  The story was televised as a 20-minute segment on ABC Weekend World.  Suma and its partners formed a joint venture with a third party, to the financial benefit of all.  

 

The Doultons were then offered a deal they could not refuse, to assess, analyze and improve the attractions which existed along the Nile River.  Thus began a five year odyssey traveling the portion of the Nile which lies within Egypt and making recommendations along the way.

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