“House of Architecture” Cairo in Light

Photo shooting of my Lighting Design Elective students final installation at the „House of Architecture“ last night in Islamic Cairo …
Thank you all at the House of Architecture“ and Director Prof. Heba Eldeen for your support and allowing us to use the location to work with …

The House of Architecture in Islamic Cairo area of Darb Al Labana is a wonderful example of vernacular architecture and climate control design. It is fascinating to experience how the compact stone building with “Mashrabiya”, Light wells, courtyards with water pools controls and distributes daylight and natural ventilation to achieve a micro climatical world of quiet comfort in the megapolis.
The house offered the students a diversity of small and big spaces to try out different lighting scenarios.

Thank you students for the concentrated work through out the semester, a small exhibition is coming!
And of course thank you TA Mai Tarek…



The House of Sustainability is an architectural study as the result of a multi-stage participatory planning process for the future use/development of a central area in the center of the forestry town of Tharandt. In the past, the German House (host cities, cultural hall, cinema) was located on this area. With the demolition of the former Deutsches Haus hotel and inn in 2014, a central inner-city fallow or empty area was created. The design presented here (tree house / house of sustainability) is the result of a feasibility study on the district development of the central inner-city location in the forestry town of Tharandt from 2014. The House of Sustainability design for Tharandt reflects the genius loci of the forestry town of Tharandt, brings together modern hi-tech and original nature and creates a symbiosis of city and natural landscape in dialogue with the traditional architecture of the surrounding area (church, castle, town hall). The glass facade creates transparency and draws attention into the interior. There is a large space there for trees and plants that need special protection in our climatic conditions or their own climate. In this way, the building also creates a link to the forest botanical garden, which can be expanded with the tree house/house of sustainability to include plants and plants from other latitudes on earth.

Lighting concept for the city center of Bad Vilbel

Lighting concept for the city center of Bad Vilbel

Current completion of the lighting concept

The well-known mineral water town of BAD VILBEL is getting a lighting concept for its city center. The development of the content has been completed and a first rough version has now been handed over to the city administration. Final completion is planned for the end of the year and the concept will be officially presented at the beginning of the new year.

The Handbook serves as an important tool to engage citizens, business owners, investors and city representatives in the decision-making processes necessary to ensure a future “people and nature” friendly, innovative and sustainable lighting strategy for its unique historic city center and riverfront .

The city of BAD VILBEL is located in the south of the state of Hesse, in the immediate vicinity of the metropolis of Frankfurt am Main and is known for its mineral water springs. With the concept, which was implemented as part of the nationwide “Living Centers” program in Germany, the historic city receives an attractive, innovative and sustainable lighting concept to improve the evening ambience.


    Staging the historical building structure in the appropriate architectural lighting scenarios.

    Improving citizens’ sense of security at night.

    Development of a light guidance system inspired by the unique motif of the city’s natural spring water.

    Development of identity-related “City Light Art” scenarios for the riverfront.

The lighting concept for Bad Vilbel is the seventh lighting master plan that we have developed for a city, a city district or a local center in recent years.

#lightingdesign #citymarketing #light #lightplanning #lightdesign #architecture #urbanplanning #sustainabledesign #sustainablecities #brandidentity #lightdesign

Mobility center Reitbahnstreet

Mobility center Reitbahnstreet

“Future traffic development is an important topic for architects. That’s why the study of the mobility center for Dresden’s city center is not about a parking garage in the traditional sense, but rather about flexible architecture for an innovative, future-oriented mobility concept.” Ruairí O’Brien With the concept we are in line with the medium- to long-term mobility development, in which the use of the automobile is only one option among many alternatives. The central location in the city center and the proximity to the main train station enables different mobility approaches to be linked in an innovative mobility hub (electric mobility, bike & ride, park & ​​ride, rental stations, charging stations, rentals, etc.) and thus sustainable concepts for the city Future. An innovative, adaptable and evolving architectural concept was developed to take into account the future development of the city and transport in the city. Transformability is a property that will be important for future architecture in general to demonstrate true sustainability. The future decline in motorized individual transport and the long-term development towards a car-free city are already conceptually integrated here and the conversion of the building to benefit other uses, such as living, working/office, trade/services, has already been planned in advance. A sensible solution should be found for the inner-city brownfield site at the back of Prager Straße, with which the existing backyard atmosphere can be improved through the urban development context of Prager Straße and other current problems in connection with the inner-city development of Dresden can be addressed – as a benefit for the city and in favor of less vacant wasteland.

Euthanasia Information and Memorial Site, Berlin

Euthanasia Information and Memorial Site, Berlin Tiergartenstrasse

Competition entry for the design competition Memorial and Information Site for the Victims of the National Socialist “Euthanasia” Murders at the site of the planning headquarters, Tiergartenstraße 4 in Berlin.

Based on the artistic core idea of creating a dialogue between the spatial expression for the commemoration of the victims, the sculptural “pool of tears” and the site of the perpetrators with the ground plan of the building Tiergartenstrasse 4, both a mental and emotional approach to the topic of “euthanasia” murders becomes possible.

Awarded by: City of Berlin, 2012

City Warehouse Jena with Hologram Façade

City Warehouse Jena with Hologram Façade


After years of vacancy, the historic post-and-beam building of the city warehouse in Jena was brought back to life through the step-by-step implementation of the city warehouse concept developed by Ruairí O’Brien. The identity-creating overall concept for the revitalization of the monument connects inside and outside and past, present and future and creates an attractive upgrade of the inner-city living space.

Hologram facade Jena

According to O’Brien’s design, the city warehouse at Jena’s market square presents itself with a hologram façade and new roof, integrated into the existing market ensemble in terms of urban development. After years of vacancy, the historic post-and-beam building was brought back to life through the gradual implementation of the city warehouse concept developed by Ruairí O’Brien. The identity-creating overall concept for the revitalization of the monument links the past, present and future of the city and creates an attractive upgrade of the inner-city living space. The hologram conveys a holistic message that breaks new ground in the living preservation of monuments.
Services: Lph. 1-8 HOAI
Awards: Recognition for the façade award of the city of Jena, recognition “architektourpreis” Chamber of Architects Thuringia.

Hologram façade- Built urban identity

The hologram façade embodies the essence of the city of Jena, it is a tribute to its spiritual and economic identity. The façade as an independent aluminum-steel-glass construction placed in front of the listed building depicting a spatial expression of the city storage concept. The identity-creating “eye” of the building highlights the historically significant structure inside with translucent to transparent effect and protects the valuable center of the monument. The hologram façade of the city warehouse forms a tailor-made connection between contemporary architecture and the historic structure.

Beirut Memorial

Beirut Memorial “Pool of Remembrance”

Memorial for the victims of the gas explosion in 2020

International call to develop an architectural idea for a memorial in Beirut to mark the site of the tragic explosion in 2020.

“The need of people to face death, tragedies and losses has produced great art, music, poetry and architecture. Burial chambers, cemeteries, remembrance gardens and memorials reveal to us countless human stories. They reflect us, our time and our culture.
As part of the healing process, we must close the wounds and tend to the scars, to leave a mark for new beginnings. It’s very challenging to create a place where people can feel a transition, an access to spirituality or just to their own inner selves, a place where they can find peace, whether it’s through hope or acceptance.” Ruairí O’Brien, 2020

Design guide Bahnhofstrasse Berlin-Lichtenrade

Design Primer Bahnhofstrasse Berlin-Lichtenrade

Design Guidelines for the Active Centre, the Bahnhofstrasse Shopping Street

The design guideline is intended to contribute to an increase in the quality of stay and to the valorisation of the special features, e.g. the urban qualities in the active centre area. The Design Primer can serve as an advisory tool, which is aimed in particular at property owners and tradespeople, in order to contribute to improving the design quality of the properties and consequently of the entire AZ area.

With the design primer, proposals for measures for a coordinated design of the façades were developed, which should serve the owners as a guideline for action in the redesign of their façades. For Bahnhofstraße and especially the ground floor zones, the retail location, possible ways were shown, for example, how façades with their structuring/design elements can fit into the built environment. The design primer uses exemplary illustrations to make the design aspects comprehensible and offers advice for conversions or an energetic refurbishment of the buildings.

Essential components:

  • Analysis of the situation on site: Brief description of the building history of the street and creation of a façade typology with examples of suitable façade designs and those in need of repair
  • Derivation of design recommendations for façades, especially the ground floor (structure, advertising, structuring elements, colouring)
  • Recommendations for the energetic renovation of façades and for implementation
  • Preparation of the design primer as a brochure.

Light Sculpture for the Schwerin Market Place

Light Sculpture for the Schwerin Market Place

micro light sculpture 01

The micro light sculpture in Schwerin was the first in a series of light sculptures that architect and artist Ruairí O’ Brien purposefully developed using simple means, simple materials and simple construction as a tribute to the art of architecture, to the effect of light on people, space and time.

Light sculpture for the Schwerin market place, consisting of 3 equal, variably combinable modular parts, which in the present composition form a cube space and a focal point to the light theme with quiet action character. During the day it takes the function of a shadow caster, in the evening that of a light machine. In a subtle way, it reflects the chronology of the daily routine and the dramaturgy of life, ergonomically illustrating the relationship between micro and macro scale.