He’s built a lot of arts schools, and he’s built a lot of sports facilities, but he’s never built one that combines both pursuits. That’s all about to change as Egyptian architect Nader Goubran nears the construction stage of the Apex Academy in Cairo, which will incorporate physical literacy, sports and arts right into the students’ everyday curriculum.
When it opens its doors in September 2020, it will host approximately 750 students. Once it’s fully constructed that number will balloon to 3500.
“This is completely different than a traditional project, not only for Egypt but in the rest of the world too. I’ve been to a lot of schools, in a lot of different countries, and I’ve never even seen this attempted before,” said Goubran.
“In my understanding, this is the first of its kind in the world.”
Goubran recently traveled to Sport for Life’s office in Victoria to discuss the details or the project, which has a vision of shepherding students right from kindergarten through to graduation following long term athlete development, quality sport and physical literacy guidelines for development. Beginning by exposing the students to a wide variety of activities, the school will offer high performance opportunities.
But they’ll never have to leave the campus, because everything is there for them. The 50,000 square meter elementary facility for kindergarten and elementary school students will link to the 200,000-square meters of land where the high school students will train. It will all be meticulously designed to promote physical literacy aims and active living.
During the meeting Goubran brainstormed with Sport for Life CEO Richard Way and our team, working out the kinks as construction crews prepare for their start date a few months from now. He felt the face to face meeting was crucial if they wanted to be on the same page about the best ways to promote physical literacy through the design process.
“If you want to do a project like this, you have to do it right. Thankfully we have the right vision, the right people and the right funders, to make this happen,” said Goubran. “We’re almost ready to get to work.”
Sport for Life has a number of projects internationally, but few of this ambition or scope. When Way saw firsthand the blueprints for what Goubran envisions, he marveled at the scale of the project. It has the potential to impact tens of thousands of lives over the coming years, and radically transform how Egyptians engage with the physical literacy movement long-term.
“What excited us about this project is the vision of Karim Gabbour, CEO for MCV, the corporation behind this initiative. To create a school with a sport and art focus with a mission of developing the next generation of Egyptian leaders,” he said.
“This multisport complex has the potential to be an example for other architects and designers across the globe, and could trigger a movement that sees education intimately linked with physical literacy design. In this case, the magic is in the details. ”