Cairo Tiling‎ > ‎

As Paving

The arbitrary third, placed in alphabetical order, of a series of four pages titled ‘Cairo Tiling As’ …, in which instances are shown as architecture, flooring, paving (exterior to Egypt) and wall tiles, with each page of a dedicated nature, with here paving. Typically, these are of a commercial nature. As such, the Cairo tiling appears, as a design, worldwide, in many forms and artefacts, in varying degrees of frequency, and of which I have collected such a listing found under my ‘Miscellaneous’ page. In short, some instances, as detailed above, are of a much more considerable nature that others, so much so that I consider these are worthy of a dedicated page, to better see the examples, without ‘distractions’. As my collection grows, I may add more categories of a dedicated nature. In short, this series of pages is to be regarded as a ‘fun’ page. For sure, matters of the in situ Cairo tiling are by far the more important. However, I have not been unduly carefree or slapdash in my investigation here, this is still undertaken to my highest standards. If any reader knows of other instances, I would be more than delighted to receive details and include on these pages.

The format for each entry, in which I strive for consistency, is a follows (which has evolved and will likely continue to do so):

1. Beginning with the company name and country, I then discuss the marketing name (if any), such as Penta, or Pentax, or similar, or indeed dissimilar, amid a general discussion. Other matters, such as history, contact, is discussed elsewhere, as a separate entity.

2. Contact with the company for picture permission and background details, with picture/s, if permission has been granted. Typically, if so, I show one or more pictures. Further, the favoured format is in two aspects; first, a picture of the overall scene, to better put the paving in context with the surroundings, and then second, a detailed, close up view of the pentagons, to better view the geometry. However, this ideal is not always realisable; sometimes not both of the ideals are available, with only one or the other picture available. When picture permission is not forthcoming, the picture is omitted, with just a text entry only. However, I do not always receive a reply! Typically, the bigger the company, with branches worldwide, the less inclined they are to reply. In years gone by, upon an initial failure in response, I would try again after a definite break, upon which if no reply was received I would thus give up on the company. However, now, with time running out for me at the age of 60, I limit my enquiries to a single mail. In a sense, although galling to an investigator such as myself, a lack of response is understandable to a degree in that I am not purchasing the tiles; the information is not ‘vital’ in a commercial context! Although that said, I do indeed offer good publicity! Further, with experience gained on major companies, on occasion I think the better of it, for better or worse, and simply do not bother. If any companies reading this who have not responded, or have not been contacted and would like to correspond, I would be delighted to hear from you! 

3. The year when introduced, if known, into their range, and so establishing a history. As a broad premise, the older the instance the better, although ‘old’ examples are few and far between. Typically, this is generally omitted, especially in a commercial context. In short, knowing this will permit a history of sorts, albeit of a bare minimum. As such, of most interest are older instances, loosely defined. Most of the instances seen are of recent times, in the 2000s. Of a date to define ‘early’, the 1970s, and the earlier the better! 

4. Whether the Cairo connection is made. Is the manufacturer/stockist familiar with the Cairo (city) association? Typically, this is not stated, of which whether the manufacturer is aware is left open-ended and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling, is thus unknown. However, as the Cairo tiling is indeed a rare named association of a tiling, this, to me at least, gives added interest, and so ideally would be included, even if just mentioned in passing.

5. The geometry. As discussed elsewhere, the geometry can vary, from a pentagon that is a ‘near square’ to a ‘near rectangle’ and everything in between, albeit typically, the instances are of a ‘mid-range’ pentagon. On occasion, such details are to be found in the catalogue.

6. Company background. Some brief details of the company, for general interest.

7. Links to the sightings, typically of the company.

8. Acknowledgements.

The reason for this compilation is threefold, in order of importance:

1. A simple documenting of all instances, for the sake of general interest.

2. Any interested reader who desires a Cairo tiling for their home (wall or floor) can find the nearest stockist with relative ease. Of course, this is also certainly restricted to one’s home country, as otherwise the cost of shipping would be disproportionate as to the project. I make no recommendations here as to the quality of the goods offered.

3. A nod to the ‘mathematical tourist’, who upon visiting any of the towns and cities here may want to pay a visit. For obvious reasons, not all sightings here are visitable, being on private property. Although most have been sufficiently identified for this purpose, I will provide more exact details upon request (if available). In particular, I would like to add to my collection where photo permissions have been refused. Do send me something if seen on your travels!

Although not made explicit in the title (for the sake of a brief title), this Cairo Tiling ‘As Paving’ page is of not from the City of Cairo, but rather as an exterior paving in other countries. Indeed, although not widely known, there are others, likely arising independently, best described as a variation of the theme, specifically in (alphabetically by country) China (2), Colombia, Croatia, Denmark (2), Netherlands (2), Niger, Norway, Japan (6) (with the most numerous instances), Switzerland, Turkey (2), United Kingdom and United States, of a like street paving in style, but not necessarily reflecting the Cairo collinearity model.

The Listing

China, Alibaba and Hangmao Industrial Stone Company in Hainan (1 of 2)

The paving here is a commercial concern, available from Alibaba, a Chinese multinational conglomerate, the world's largest retailer and e-commerce company. This appears to have been sourced from the Hangmao Industrial Stone Company in Hainan. Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC), consisting of various islands in the South China Sea.

This is of grey granite, with a polished surface. The Alibaba website states that it has a multiplicity of usages, namely paving, floor, wall, kitchen, bathroom, although for some uses here do not seem to be the best, albeit it is available in a variety of thicknesses, as presumed deemed most appropriate to the application. Certainly, the most obvious application is paving, and so is thus shown here, and not elsewhere on my pages.

The website does not make any connection to the Cairo tiling by name, and so whether this is based on the Cairo association, or is by pure coincidence, simply as pentagonal paving, is not known. The company was formed in 1998, albeit when this was introduced into their extensive range is not clear, and so this is not a particular ‘old’ sighting.

China, Yunnan Province, Baoshan, of Tengchong Sanyond Stone Co., Ltd. (2 of 2)

Tengchong Sanyond Stone Co., Ltd. of Baoshan, Yunnan Province, China, is a company who describe themselves as ‘specialized in manufacturing natural stone materials’. They have a website in English, but not searchable. They market the Cairo tiling as flagstone pavers, in two versions, in red and black lava stone (basalt). The tiles are titled ‘Pentagon shape lava stone’, under the more broader ‘Red Lava Stone, Multi Color Basalt Flagstone Pavers, Irregular Flagstones’ and ‘Special-Shaped Flagstone Basalt Black Stone for Paving’ descriptions. It is not known when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range.

Photos from StoneContact portal site

The angles and dimensions of the tile are not known. Only the thickness of the black stone is given,  of 15mm, 18mm and 20mm, although a customised size is possible. No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association. 

I did not contact the company, judged, fairly or unfairly, that they would likely not respond to a non-commercial query of foreign origin.

Company details and background

Tengchong Sanyond Stone Co., Ltd., formally known as the Tengchong Sanyond Stone Factory was founded in 2002 and is specialised in manufacturing natural stone materials. They have been mainly focusing on exploiting and proceeding Yunnan local special stones, such as vacuolar basalt (lava stone), sandstone, marble, and slate. They are one of the leading lava stone manufacturers in Yunnan and one of the biggest lava stone quarry owners there. In the past years, they have mainly focused on the domestic market, but recently they have been exporting their products to all over the world, such as Korea, Germany, Spain and others. They have a turnover of US$ 2.5-5 Million, with currently 100 employees. 

Geographically, Yunnan is a province in southwestern China with a varied landscape encompassing snow-capped mountains, rice terraces, lakes and deep gorges. Yunan is known as ‘the land of the south clouds’. The region is known for its large number of ethnic minorities. The capital of the province is Kunming, formerly also known as Yunnan. The province borders the Chinese provinces Guangxi, Guizhou, Sichuan, and the Tibet Autonomous Region, as well as the countries Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar.

Colombia, Medellín, of Adoquín-Ar Company

Adoquín-Ar, of Medellín, Colombia, is a company who describe themselves as manufacturers (and seemingly suppliers) of concrete pavers. They have a nicely produced website in Spanish only (but can be translated automatically with Google), and is searchable. They market the Cairo tiling simply as ‘Pentagonal’, described as ‘Irregular Pentagon that visually breaks the installation pattern giving sensation of different parts’. This is coloured in a variety of earthy reds and browns. The pavers also appear in their catalogue, pp. 76-79. Two interesting innovations is that of a tactile element and the built-in LED light of the Lucequín range. It is not known when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range.

The angles, side lengths and thickness of the pavers are not known. No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association. 

I contacted the company, but they did not respond.

Company details and background

Adoquin-Ar was founded in 1988, in the southwest of Antioquia, Amagá, of which they were offered a privileged location full of raw material for the manufacture of concrete pavers. The size, number of employees and the turnover are unknown, but all the indications are is of a large-scale concern.

Geographically, Medellín is the capital of Colombia’s mountainous Antioquia province. Nicknamed the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ for its temperate weather, it hosts a famous annual Flower Festival.

Croatia, Rijeka, The Zamet Centre

The Zamet centre in Rijeka, Croatia, shows a most impressive sighting, in many ways, first here as paving, and then second in an architecture context, with the building itself (as this is a dual-aspect sighting, the latter discussed on the ‘As Architecture’ page). This was relatively recently built, in 2008, by 3LHD architects, of Zagreb, Croatia. Rijeka (population 128,000, of 2011) is an industrial port city in Croatia.

The paving is extensive, of equilateral pentagons (determined from the design drawings provided by the architects), in various shades of grey concrete.

The edifice is a large, multi-purpose building with a sports hall, local community offices, library, and retail and service spaces, situated at B. Vidas Street. The building has also made extensive use of the Cairo tile as decoration for the outside of the building, with 50,000 ceramic tiles designed and manufactured specially for the centre! The pentagons are coloured to resemble aspects of Croatian life. The stripes were inspired by ‘gromača’, rock formations used all over Croatia by farmers to form fields, in two parts; suhozid – a wall made from local stones and dolac, a small field surrounded by the stone walls, which the centre artificially reinterprets by colour and shape to mimic or resemble the contrast between suhozid and dolac in gromača.

A most pleasing and delightfully produced 5.35 video of this is at:

The pentagons feature throughout. More photos can be seen at:


© 3LHD Architects


Mladena Žarković (office administration), Koraljka Mandaric (PR coordinator), Marko Dabrovic, Sasa Begovic (architects).

I might just add that 3LHD has been most helpful in every way with my numerous inquiries and asking for further details, from the office staff to the architects themselves. Well done everybody!

Denmark, Hørsholm City Centre

A sighting at Hørsholm (population 46,000) town centre (25 km north of Copenhagen), Denmark, upon renovation of the pedestrian streets with associated squares and walkways. This was undertaken by Henrik Jørgensen architects, in 2014, on behalf of Hørsholm Municipality, with the studio awarded the task after winning the invited design competition. More pictures are on their website:

A most impressive sight indeed, with the paving and associated water feature covering a wide extent of the town shopping centre. However, much of the background details behind this went unresolved. Upon a request for more information from the architects, I obtained photo permission, but no more; whether the Cairo tiling was chosen for a specific reason is unclear. The paving appears to be of concrete, of four different shades, but with no apparent patterning.

© Henrik Jørgensen architects, general scene, left; detail, right


Freundliche Grüsse, of Henrik Jørgensen architects for photo permissions.

Denmark, Ikast, Multilayer House

C. F. Møller Architects, of Denmark, with Nina Walsh apparently leading the project, have for the newly built (2015-2018), large multi-house ‘Hjertet’ (The Heart), Vestergade 65, 7430, in Ikast, Denmark (an exact address is given for the mathematical tourist) used the Cairo tiling as large scale surround paving. The concrete company IBF manufactured the pavers. The premise of the multi-house is not entirely clear. It does not appear to be a private house in the normal sense, but rather as a ‘meeting place’ of some description. Møller describes this as:

The heart of Ikast is a new meeting place for culture and communication in central Ikast. The heart brings together teaching, activities, community, exercise and play in new ways.

Realdania (a private association in Denmark which supports projects in architecture and planning) states:

The house is open to everyone and the concept is based on trust and accountability. Everyone can come in from the street and take advantage of the facilities. It could be the bicycle club that uses the house as a meeting place and then take a bath in the changing rooms, it can be the squared dance association that meets every Thursday or citizens who just want to enjoy a cup of coffee in the café.

The facilities, of both indoors and outdoors, including a multipurpose hall and meeting rooms and various fitness and leisure equipment, with a multi-track, football pitch and skatepark.

Nina Walsh states:

Precisely in this project, in combination with the green areas and the house, the paving has been the main architectural element in the work on the landscape. It was important that the coating did not have a direction, that it is possible to both add and subtract the coating over the years if changed use, and it will appear solid cast despite.

At the same time, the coating is the focal point of a house that does not have a back cover but is accessed from all sides. The usage varies depending on which side you are on. The large 5-edged tiles provide a quiet geometric rug, and the large tiles provide fewer collections and thus become elements themselves for use in teaching, for the current art project with texts or for skater where functionality is enhanced.

We are really excited about the finished tile that we have called Penta. The whole interaction between the house, the coating and the green elements has been as desired.

The architects title this as ‘Penta’ (a common description). Several of the pavers have phased in ‘small texts’ - written by the city's local citizens. In July 2019 CF Møller won the prestigious award ‘The International Architecture Award 2019 by the Chicago Athenaeum’ for this project. The jury had received a record number of projects from all over the world, but nevertheless it was ‘Heart’ that took first place.

It is not entirely clear if this was simply taken from IBF’s existing range or was a custom order, or indeed if this is available to purchase from them.

Hjertet has a nicely produced website in Danish which can be translated automatically into others, (presumably from Google) and is searchable. 

No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the C. F. Møller Architects, IBF or Hjertet site (and others), and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely all are unaware of this association, as otherwise this would have been mentioned.

The angles and dimensions of the tile are not known, although the height and width are, 109 cm x 82 cm, with a 12 mm thickness. Despite many pictures, none of these shows the paving orthogonally; all are at an angle, and of which from experience gained I am loathe to speculate in such circumstances. This is coloured in seemingly two main colours, not easily described, a variety of muted browns and grey.

I contacted Nina Walsh of the company for further details, but she did not respond. I did not contact IBF or Hjertet itself.

Geographically, Ikast is a Danish town in the Mid Jutland Region (Midtjylland). It has a population of 15,626.

C. F. Møller Architects

C. F. Møller Architects is an architectural firm based in Århus, Denmark. Founded in 1924 by C. F. Møller, it is today the largest architectural firm in Denmark based on the number of employed architects. About half the revenue is earned outside Denmark. Besides the main office in Århus, the firm has offices in Copenhagen, Oslo, and London.


IBF are specialists in concrete - for all purposes. They are at the forefront when it comes to developing new products and solutions. This applies to quality, functionality and aesthetics. They provide solutions to the Danish construction industry. IBF has been a significant partner in construction for companies, private and public

The company was founded in 1960 by Johannes Rosenkilde who bought a small cement foundry in Ikast.

Hjertet (House) (house website) (background details only, no pictures)

C. F. Møller Architects (focusses on the interior, and of which in an exterior shot although the paving is shown, this is poorly portrayed, with the pentagons not being discernable) (better pictures, but still not ideal) (on the award)

IBF (some excellent photos)

Japan, Various Towns and Cities

As such, the Caro tiling as paving is popular in Japan, with no less than six sightings, in different locations, and all different in their own ways. The pictures below are from Jun Nishiseko, Yoshiaki Araki (and, more accurately an account) by István Hargittai, and on the Sorae-Rae blog. Nishiseko is the main contributor (with three entries), and who describes himself as a ‘mere observer with no expertise on pavement, civil engineering and construction’. In short, he has an interest in photographing geometrical architecture, and of which paving is featured extensively. He has posted many pictures on his blog, in Japanese, of which it is possible to surmise the meaning of the text from an automatic translation, albeit far from ideal. In essence, his posts are in three parts, of a heading, a picture of the paving, and commentary, mostly as to location. As such, upon a translation, I repeat these here, of which I add background details (from Wikipedia) to the city information for general interest. Araki and Hargittai have single sightings.

As such, much of background detail here is not available, such as the all-important date of installation, and reasons why, if any, a Cairo pentagonal design was chosen. All this remains essentially speculation. However, by observing their general condition, I doubt very much if any of these are truly ‘old’, say before the 1970s, and more likely much more recently. As I have found with my paving investigations, change can happen without reason! A perfectly good paving, despite the cost and time involved, can be removed for the sake of, in effect, fashion, worldwide!

To clarify the text below, a prefecture (the term is not used in English) is a political region or local government area in some countries, for example Japan, France, and Italy.


Sighting 1, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture

Heading: ALL pentagonal block large plain (Hamamatsu City Tenryu-ku Nijo)

© Jun Nishiseko

Caption: A block at the entrance to a commercial facility called Tenryu Family Town, which I visited in Shizuoka Prefecture again during the consecutive holidays. Such a big pentagon block has never been seen here. It may be a property made in the late 60's or early 70's. A wide stairway leading to the mezzanine and a half basement is comfortable in this timely space. This is Hamamatsu city now. "Toe Nijo" has become a long time ago.

City Detail: Hamamatsu, with a population of 795,000 (of 2018) is the largest city in Shizuoka Prefecture. Tenryū-ku is one of the seven wards of the city of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture.

Sighting 2, Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture

Heading: ALL 5 square small block (Toyohashi-shi Ekimae Odori)

© Jun Nishiseko

Caption: At Toyohashi I went on a business trip. The pavement is the sidewalk on the main street where the tram runs. I have confirmed several places in Tokyo, but I have only seen here in Aichi, here in Okazaki city, and in this pattern a large one in here and here. Both are in Shizuoka prefecture.

City Detail: Toyohashi, with a population of 372,000 (of 2015) is a city in Aichi Prefecture. 


Sighting 3, Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka Prefecture

Heading: ALL pentagonal block Large colorless + green + red (Shizu Ward Shimizu Ward Aioicho)

© Jun Nishiseko
Caption: On the national road in front of Shin-Shimizu Station. I found a large pentagonal block that was only 30m long but I only saw in front of the old supermarket of Tenryu, which was up before. It also has low saturation, but uses three colors.

City Detail: Shimizu-ku, with a population of 234,923 (of 2018), is the easternmost of the three wards of the city of Shizuoka in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Sighting 4, Higashi-Koganei station of Japan Railway Chuo line, Tokyo Tokyo, with a paving in front of the Higashi-Koganei station of Japan Railway Chuo line. The paving could date from when the station opened, on September 10, 1964, although of course it could easily have been much after, certainly it does not appear old, with obvious age. The photo was taken in 2012. This is quite extensive sighting.City Detail: Koganei-shi, with a population of 121,000 (of 2016) is a city located in the western portion of Tokyo. Also see Google Street view:,139.5247&z=22&t=k
Just drag the little man to the pavement, and the pentagons will then appear.

© Yoshiaki Araki, general scene, left; detail, right

Sighting 5, Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture

© Sorae Rae Blog
Caption: It is an interlocking block that is laid on the sidewalk, but the pattern is quite retro. Nostalgic ... this, probably from the late 1970s to the 80s ...

City Detail: Hekinan (Hekinan-shi) is a city located in Aichi Prefecture, with an estimated population of 70,000 (of 2015).

Sighting 6, Location Unknown

Further, there is an additional sighting by István Hargittai; a photograph appears in Symmetry: A Unifying Concept by István Hargittai and Magdolna Hargittai, page 174. Upon correspondence, Hargittai told me that it is ‘very frequent’, and the photograph dates from about 1984. However, he has no other pictures, and the exact location, scale and extent remain unresolved. As can be seen, this is of a plain, non-coloured paving.


Toshi Sunada, for drawing my attention to Jun Nishiseko’s blog.

Yoshiaki Araki, for drawing my attention to the Tokyo train station paving, supplying pictures and for finding this on Google Street view.

István Hargittai, on clarifying his account in his book.

Netherlands, 1/3, MBI, De Steenmeesters

MBI, De Steenmeesters (the stone masters), Netherlands, is a major company who describe themselves as ‘stone masters’, in various applications, one of which is that of stone pavers. They have a nicely produced, extensive website in Dutch only (but can be translated automatically with Google), and is searchable. Note that strictly, this instance is inadmissible for the page, as the paving is not quite a true Cairo tiling, but rather can be described as ‘skew’, albeit still retaining many characteristics, such as overlapping hexagons at right angles. A feature here is that of the irregular, wavy edges. Therefore, as a broad like paving, with such obvious connections to the page here, I have thus decided to include. They market the skew Cairo tiling in the ‘GeoSteen’ collection simply as ‘GeoArdesia Alivo’, described as a ‘5-angled tile with organically shaped edges’. From their catalogue: The GeoSteen range consists of quality products which are the result of 70 years’ experience. Over time, these items have been refined, improved and, on occasion, completely reinvented. GeoSteen products enjoy a separate, natural top layer and and exceptionally strong concrete base. The range is available in three finishes: smooth, riven and structured.

Paving in context, left, detail, right

This is described as for the garden, in five colours, and indeed a picture search of ‘GeoArdesia Alivo’ shows many applications for garden use as patios. The paving is easily obtainable; the company has branches all over the Netherlands. It is not known when the skew Cairo tiling was introduced into their range.

The angles, side lengths and thickness of the pavers are not known. No mention of the connection as to the near Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the skew Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association. 

I did contact the company.

Company details and background

MBI, founded by Mr. A. J. (Anton) van der Meijden, is a family business since 1945. During the first few years, production was carried out with five people. The range mainly consisted of concrete piles and slabs and the commonly used concrete blocks. But even then, masonry bricks were produced. Now 70 years later, the family business has grown enormously and has 4 production and sales locations: Aalst, Kampen, Nieuw-Lekkerland and Veghel and two foreign sales offices in Wuppertal (Germany) and Kortrijk (Belgium). A major step was made in 2011, when Holcim Beton and MBI joined forces. In 2017 MBI reached an agreement with Holcim to take over its share. With this takeover, MBI was again completely in the hands of the Van der Meijden family.
The size, number of employees and the turnover are unknown, but without any doubt, this is of a large-scale concern.

Netherlands, Houthaven, of Struyk Verwo Infra Company

Struyk Verwo Infra (SVI), Netherlands, is a company who describe themselves as ‘the market leader in public paving in the Netherlands’. They have a nicely produced website in Dutch only (but can be translated automatically with Google), and is searchable. They market the Cairo tiling simply as ‘Penta’ (a common title, used by others), described as ‘large-format concrete bricks’, available in a variety of textures. This is coloured in concrete dark and light grey. As such, there is only one confirmed sighting, in Houthaven, and furthermore of an extensive nature, but exactly where is unclear. The Houthaven Facebook page of 4 April 2019 also shows the paving, seemingly in the process of installation, but it is unclear if this is the same installation. The pavers also appear in their catalogue (all in Dutch). It is not known when the Cairo tiling was introduced into their range,but likely this is 'modern', loosely stated.

The side lengths (base and sides, 49.5 cm and 35 cm) and thickness (12 cm) of the pavers are known, although not the angles. No mention of the connection as to the Cairo association is made on the site, and so whether the use of the Cairo tiling is purposeful or accidental, the latter in the sense of a generic pentagon tiling is unknown. Likely they are unaware of this association. 

I contacted the company, but they did not respond.

Company details and background

Surprisingly little, for such a large company, is known! They appear to be a sub-branch of the CRH company, of which upon an initial search is even more obscure, of a multinational building conglomerate, of which I refrain from investigating further. SVI founding, size, number of employees and the turnover are not stated, but all the indications are of a large-scale concern.

Geographically, Houthaven is a neighbourhood of Amsterdam, situated in the West borough. Literally meaning ‘lumber port’, Houthaven is a port situated along the IJ in Amsterdam's western port.

Niger, Niamey, US Embassy by Knot Design/Miller Hull

An instance of paving outside the new (2019-2020) US Embassy Compound in Niamey, Niger, (pronounced neejair). However, matters of attribution are not clear-cut, with two concerns associated with the project. This was seemingly designed by Knot Design of Portland, Oregon, US, although another US architecture concern is mentioned, Miller Hull, with studios in Seattle and San Diego, US, who were awarded the contract. Both sites share the same watercolour concept sketches. However, Knot Design in broad terms (as to Embassy matters) discuss and picture this on their website (albeit only once), whereas Miller Hull mentions this only in passing, and so I will assume that this is primarily of Knot Design’s lead. But I may be wrong; Knot Design is a small concern of just three people, whilst Miller Hull has 31. Did Miller Hull contract this out to Knot Design in some capacity? Who knows? However, details as to the Cairo tile aspect are non-existent on both concerns! The only Cairo tile picture, by Knot Design, is accompanied by the caption:

Tessellating Cut Stone Pattern at Main Entrance

And that’s it! The story as given is more of a general discussion as to the Embassy compound, which is understandable in the circumstances. As is my wont, I then contacted the company for further details and picture permissions. However, they did not reply. An email to their surprisingly bounced, and so I then repeated the message to Marilee Hanks, owner and principal, and of which I received no reply. I did not contact Muller Hull. Therefore, background matters are left unresolved here, but likely, whoever is responsible for this, are unaware of the association.

An open question is the choice of tiles. It seems unlikely that Niger would have any tradition of pentagon tiles/pavings. Likely is was chosen simply on account of aesthetic design.

Company details and background (excerpted from their pages)

Knot Design

After 28 years in business as Anderson Krygier, the firm has new specialists, new pursuits, and a new name.

Knot is a team of expert designers, imaginative problem solvers, and collaborative partners delivering expertise in Landscape Architecture and Experiential Graphic Design. We are forward-looking, contextually aware, deliberate, and genuine.

Miller Hull (excerpted from their pages)

Miller Hull founders David Miller and Robert Hull began by designing many award winning earth sheltered and solar buildings in the early 1980’s. The tradition of designing dynamic and environmentally sensitive buildings continues to this day.

We were awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Overseas Building Operations to design several U.S. embassies around the world, beginning with a new Embassy currently under construction in Niamey, Niger.

Norway, Tromsø, at Clarion Hotel, The Edge

A most astonishing sighting is at the Clarion Hotel, The Edge, Tromsø, Norway, with no less than four different appearances, of flooring, paving, ceiling panels, and carpeting! One could even stretch this to a fifth; even the planters are of a Cairo pentagon! Needless to say, this is the most extensive usage at a single site (although dual sightings are known, at First Base Pizzeria). The circumstances behind such a quadruple use have yet to be determined; it can hardly be coincidental!

Tromsø (population 71,000, of 2014), is a city in northern Norway, is a major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle. It’s famed as a viewing point for colourful Northern Lights that sometime light up the nighttime sky. It  is described, as one of many other towns and cities, as ‘Paris of the North’

Clarion appears to be a major name in the hotel business, with branches worldwide, under the umbrella of Choice Hotels. The hotel is a recently opened conference and business centre, of 2014. The hotel is the largest conference hotel in Tromsø. The 12-storey building has 290 hotel rooms and meeting rooms for up to 1000 people.

Here, I discuss as paving, with the other usages described elsewhere. As such, nothing is known as to the installation of the paving. The pictures show the paving at an angle, of which although taken at a reasonable elevation (and not an a raking angle), of which I know from previous experience is still fraught with difficulty in determining the angles by purely visual means, and so I thus reserve judgement on this. The paving appears to be of a grey concrete, with different shades of grey, albeit without any apparent colouring arrangement.

© Detlef Schobert, General view, detail 

Switzerland, Basel, by Westpol Architects

A sighting at a courtyard, in Basel, Switzerland, by Westpol Architects. However, much of this sighting remains sketchy. Despite two mails as to a request for background details and permissions to the architects, no reply was received. Further, their website leaves much to be desired. It is not easy to find, and the entry is seemingly without commentary!:

However, it is briefly described on the architecture ‘Landezine’ site, with text presumably supplied by Westpol, which at least gives the location and year (Basel, 2009), but little more:

Westpol: The location is shaped with different characterised courtyards. On the one hand the garden-yard which offers cozy retreats within the plantation of large shrubs and hidden playing islands, on the other hand the so called city-yard, which is orientated to the public space. It is dominated by a big square with huge tree-troughs and seatings in the shadow. Erlentor Basel 2009 l Basel l Residential Parks l Roofs l Switzerland

Quite what ‘Erlantor’ means is unclear. Landezine also gives a more exact location; this is at Erlenmattstrasse 14, 4058, Basel. Would any visitor kindly supply some pictures?

Also, see the first twenty seconds of this video:

As to the paving, this is of plain, non-coloured concrete, of an extensive nature. The geometry is unclear; the Westpol pictures that are available are all shown at a raking angle (which makes for distortions), making a determination thus not possible.

Come on, Westpol, you can do better than this!

Turkey - Location Unknown

A sighting of a street paving likely from Turkey, of which I might add was found in the most serendipitous of circumstances, whilst I was searching for houndstooth (of which the model is wearing), with the paving appearing in the background to a fashion shoot! The page itself, not unexpectedly, discusses the fashion aspect, without reference to the paving. Of course, I tried to follow this up with the site designer, under the seeming pseudonym ‘Styleboom’ with a query for more details and permissions, but disappointingly she didn't respond. (I sent a Turkish translation for her as well as an English mail.) Her real name remains unknown. Consequently, much of this sighting remains sketchy. Strictly, I am not even sure as to the country, never mind the town or city! However, as ‘Styleboom’ is from Turkey, it is a reasonable supposition. Further, she is from Istanbul, and so this is a plausible location, but far from definite. As ever, with such a sighting established, I then searched more extensively on pavements from Turkey and Istanbul but could find any more examples of this.

As to the paving itself, this is of a quite wide expanse, of a plain (concrete?) colouring. The page is at least dated, of 2013, so this puts an upper bound on its instigation. The paving is not obviously ‘old’, with obvious wear, but exactly how old is not clear. 

As ever, is there any reader familiar with this sighting and can add more exact details?

Turkey, Istanbul?

An unconfirmed, although most likely sighting, is said to be at Istanbul, Turkey. Mirek Majewski (a mathematician specializing in geometry of art and architecture) in a Facebook posting of 2017 involving the Cairo tiling states:

There is also such pavement in Istanbul on the other side of Golden Horn.

However, beyond these sparse details, nothing more was forthcoming, as well as without a confirmatory picture. Of course, I then tried to follow this up with him, but he did not reply (despite previous correspondence). A search involving Turkey, Istanbul and the Golden Horn in various combinations proved fruitless.

Does anyone know of this at all?

Some background details on the Golden Horn, from Wikipedia:
The Golden Horn, also known by its modern Turkish name, Haliç, is a major urban waterway and the primary inlet of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. While the reference to a ‘horn’ is understood to refer to the inlet's aerial silhouette, the significance of the designation ‘golden’ is more obscure, with historians believing it to refer to either the riches brought into the city through the bustling historic harbor located along its shores, or to romantic artistic interpretations of the rich yellow light blazing upon the estuary's waters as the sun sets over the city. Its Greek and English names mean the same, while its Turkish name, Haliç, simply means ‘estuary’.

United Kingdom, Leicester Cathedral
A recent (2014) installation of a Cairo tiling is at Leicester Cathedral gardens (and were featured on the news in conjunction with King Richard III reburial in March 2015, which is how this sighting came to my attention). The cathedral gardens were officially opened on 5 July 2014 as part of a celebratory weekend, of a general renovation/refurbishment of the surroundings.

However, strictly, this can be described as a variation of the Cairo tiling; two different pentagons are used, although still within the Cairo tiling remit, and so still worthy of inclusion here.

© John Welford, General scene, left, detail, right

John Welford, for photographing the Leicester Cathedral pavement sighting upon my request

United States, Bellingham Arts District
A substantial and significance ‘foreign’ sighting is at Bellingham, Washington state (near Seattle), in the Bellingham Arts District. Jared Williams of the Arris Stoneworks Company, in association with Ellen Sollod (a local artist) and Nakano Design Associates designed these. The pavers are in Obsidian (black) and Brindle (grey). Each pentagon’s geometry is of 90° (2), 108° (2) and 144° (1) and they were installed in 2008.

© Jared Williams. Bellingham Arts District, general scene, left; detail, right.

Jared Williams, for background details of the United States, Bellingham Arts District sighting

Uncertain Location

On occasion, sightings are left in a somewhat unresolved state as to location, of which I thus place here.

France, Canada or the UK An instance of the paving of an uncertain country, but likely France, Canada or the UK, as found by Richard Phillips (1947- 2015) of the UK, with a background in education, psychology and design. At the start of the concerted investigation, in 2010, John Sharp kindly drew this sighting to my attention, on Phillips’ mathematical ‘Problem Pictures CD-ROM’ (one of three) titled ‘Pentagonal Paving Blocks’, but without further detail. Of course, I then followed this up with Phillips, outlining the Cairo association, who told me in two 16 August 2010 emails:

(1) I am not too sure what the Cairo pentagon tiling is…

(2) I took the photo as a colour slide about August 1992 but unfortunately cannot recall where it was taken. It is certainly not Egypt as I have never been there. During that year I was in France, Quebec City and various parts of the UK. The picture might even have been taken on the Nottingham University campus where I worked. I am fairly sure it shows modern concrete paving blocks. So it was unlikely to be more than a few years old when I took it…

Therefore, with much uncertainty as to the location, establishing the country of this sighting is problematical! However, there are possible leads, with Nottingham University and Quebec City, which narrows down the UK and Canada possibilities a little. With such a specific UK location, this is practical to investigate to a degree, but upon an online search, a picture was not forthcoming. Has anyone with a connection to Nottingham University, or is willing to visit, or seen this? Even a negative observation would be of use. Nothing shows on Quebec City.

One further point about the photo. Upon closer examination, these do not appear to be individual tiles, but two in unison, of a ‘bowtie’’ appearance, with a line seemingly painted/marked down the centre to give the pentagons.

I was not able to establish which one of the ‘Picture Problem’ CD Roms this was featured, and of which I did not pursue further (i.e. obtain). Ideally, I would of course, but judged not strictly required, having obtained the relevant information. A brief background. Problem Pictures has 184 photographs, Problem Pictures Themes has more than 300 photographs and Problem Pictures Numbers has more than 600 photographs. The three collections are similar in approach but, as its name suggests, Problem Pictures Themes has a larger proportion of pictures grouped into themes or topics. The photographs on the three CD-ROMs are different except, that five pictures on Problem Pictures are duplicated on Problem Pictures Themes,

Background Richard Phillips has a background in education, psychology and design. Until 1998 he was a Reader in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham. He has also worked at the Department of Psychology, University College London, and at The Royal College of Art, London. He maintained links with the Shell Centre for Mathematical Education at Nottingham. Research topics include face recognition and map design.

Created: 22 March 2012.

30 September. Added United States, Bellingham Arts District sighting.

1 October. Pictures added to Leicester Cathedral sighting.
24 November. Switzerland, Basel links added.

10 July. A major
reappraisal of the Japan sightings. Previously, I only showed Jun Nishiseko's Hamamatsu picture, with minor overall commentary. This I now expand, in a consistent approach, with translations of his blog posting, and posting all three pictures he has. Further, the Yoshiaki Araki and 
István Hargittai accounts are updated, to take into account the new format.
11 July. A major reappraisal of the Switzerland, Basel sightings. Previously, (2015) I only showed two links, without any pictures (due to the intransigence of the company), and still to the present day or commentary. This I now discuss from what little detail Westpol and Landezine give on the web.
12 July. Turkey sighting added.
15 July. A major reappraisal of the Hørsholm, Denmark sighting. Previously (2018), placed under the 'As Architecture' page, now placed more appropriately 'As Paving'. Further, with new pictures, to better show the overall view and details, and text noticeably expanded from just two lines.
16 July. Norway, Tromsø, Clarion Hotel text and paving pictures added 16 July 2019. Only briefly discussed previously in an generic architecture context. 17 July. Croatia, Rijeka. Reappraisal of Zamet Centre. Text expanded and with different pictures, to better show the dual-nature listing (paving and architecture). Only relatively briefly discussed (ten lines) previously in an generic architecture context. 24 July. Turkey, Istanbul. Text added. 25 July. China, Alibaba and Hangmao Industrial Stone Company. Text and picture added. 12 September. China, Tengchong Sanyond Stone Co., Ltd. Text, pictures and links added. 13 September. Colombia, Medellín, of Adoquín-Ar Company. Text and links added. 16 September. Netherlands, Houthaven, of Struyk Verwo Infra Company, text and links added. 17 September. Netherlands, MBI, De Steenmeesters company. Text, pictures and links added. 29 October. Denmark, Ikast. Multilayer House, 'Hjertet'. Text, pictures and links added. 2020 6 January 2020. Niger, Niamey, by Knot Design/Miller Hull. Text, and links added. 7 January 2020. Uncertain country, but likely France, Canada or the UK, by Richard Phillips. Text and links added.

Re-organised 4 April 2019 under changed title, 'As Paving' as part of a new themed series of the 'Cairo Tiling As...' instances. Previously some of the material was placed as a generic 'Foreign Cairos', albeit mostly of pavings, which in retrospect was a little imprecise as to the medium. Some material is now placed elsewhere, under what I consider as better categories, such as the Hamburg Music Hall (Flooring), Heidelberg Castle (Flooring), German School Sighting (Flooring).