Cairo, EG

Goethe Institute

Goethe Institute

Image: Stephan Genge

Goethe Institute

Image: Stephan Genge

Oasis of Encounter: Construction of the Goethe Institute in Cairo

The Cairo’s Goethe Institute Cairo at 17 Sharia Wassef, in the Dokki district on the west bank of the Nile, combines modern architecture with traditional Arabic design. The result is an open, transparent building, which blends harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. The Schöck Dorn was used as the structural connecting element between the various parts of the building.


The four-storey building was built in reinforced concrete solid construction. The vertical load transfer takes place via irregularly distributed columns and walls. Between the building sections hall and classroom there was a connector bridge across all levels where a two- centimeter wide expansion joint was installed allowing one building section to expand independently of the other. In order to exclude the transfer of horizontal forces resulting from earthquake loads, the Schöck shear force Dorn type ESD SQ 30/350 was installed to transfer the vertical loads. In this case the Schöck Dorn was the most cost-effective and practical solution. Due to the very slim component dimensions using steel reinforced concrete corbels was not possible.

Schöck Dorn as a connecting element

In concrete components that can move towards each other due to temperature fluctuations, concrete shrinkage and creeping can cause considerable stress that can lead to cracks or other structural damage. For this reason, expansion joints are installed. These expansion joints can separate individual structural components, or, as in this case, disconnect whole building sections. They allow one section of a building to expand independently of another section. In the area of the joint, the structural components that have been separated by the joint must be supported. Conventionally, corbels with sliding bearings or a double arrangement of the load-bearing walls and columns have been used at the structural component joint. This approach is time-consuming to maintain and to form – it also requires space, which limits later development and usage. Schöck’s Dorn offers a simpler solution: These dowels are ready for installation and thus enable simple planning or formwork. Using these Dorns simplifies reinforcement management. The Schöck Dorn serves the transmission of high lateral forces to the expansion joints while simultaneously enabling movement in the longitudinal and transverse direction to the dowel axis. Through the use of high-grade stainless steel a secure and maintenance-free connection is guaranteed. Choosing the right Schöck Dorn depends on the structural load-bearing capacity in the respective installation situation. The Schöck Dorn calculation software allows for simple and rapid measuring of expansion joints using the Schöck Dorn types SLD and LD.


Worschech Architekten Planungsgesellschaft mbH, Erfurt

Landschaftsarchitekt Kokenge Ritter, Dresden


Federal Office for Building and Building Regulations III A 4, Berlin

Structural engineers

Ruffert Ingenieurgesellschaft für Tragwerksplanung mbH, Erfurt

Construction company

AL HABASHI general contracting, Cairo