Designing MetaTut: Inside the First Egyptian City in the Metaverse
With a futuristic fusion of ancient Egyptian architecture, Metatut pays tribute to the past and takes us back to the future.
Dashing into the virtual realm, Metatut, the first Egyptian city in the metaverse takes us back to the future by centering around ancient Egypt, presenting its lore in otherworldly recreations that invite visitors through portals into hidden worlds. Launched by the ancient Egypt-inspired design brand Tutera to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Metatut’s first phase explores an imaginary scenario where King Tut comes back to life, at least virtually, to restore the glory of yore.
Through four main portals that were completed, Amarna - The Hall of the Sun, The Enhanced Melody Hall, Nefertiti Palace and Avenue of The Kings, Metatut presents a fusion of ultra-futuristic and ancient Egyptian design. Cairo-based design studio Cube Consultants designed it following a similar visual language found in Tutera City, a conceptual research-oriented development that focuses on science, astronomy and space tourism. Inside Metatut, theology, philosophy, and romances of the past are displayed in mammoth scale unconstrained by traditional architecture and wrapped in a celestial theme.
The Avenue of the Kings, a royal boulevard drawing its symbolism from the Theban Valley of the Kings in Luxor, showcases iconic works of ancient architecture in an experience that takes visitors towards a courtyard where symbols of the kings and queens are reflected on star constellations. The royal path leads up to The Inner Pyramid, representing the pyramid of Khufu; it is intended for the aforementioned research purposes.
Aided by artificial intelligence, the Enhanced Melody Hall was designed to host conferences, exhibitions and festivals in its huge theatre which features symbols of a winged sun, while having stars revolve around its hall. While certain areas briefly feature King Tut, it’s in Amarna - The Hall of The Sun where the young king is heavily present.
The design is inspired by the concept of King Tut rebuilding the ancient city of Amarna, which his father, Akhenaten, established as the new capital of ancient Egypt when he declared a new theology oriented around one sun god, Aten. The ancient king’s dream, the House of Aten, features a gallery surrounded by towers as a bridge appears to be floating in space because, well, welcome to the metaverse. At the end of the bridge, a hall has the planets of our solar system in a constant swirl around the sun as a tribute to the celestial deity.
The Akhenaten and Nefertiti Palaces neighbour each other in Metatut as the king and queen did in the real world. Through its hierarchical foyer, the Akhenaten Palace tells the story of Akhenaten’s rise to power, going through his timeline until the attempts of his erasure from history. Nefertiti, on the other hand, hosts multiple exhibitions that cover beauty and fashion in ancient Egypt. Physically, Metatut doesn’t exist and it never will, but it still manages to convey the grandeur of ancient Egypt, however futuristic the general approach is. After all, you can still sense the insane scale often associated with ancient Egyptian temples and structure when viewing Akhenaten’s mask being projected from within a vacuum in Metatut.
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