Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt by Hassan Fathy

By Hassan Fathy

Structure for the terrible describes Hassan Fathy's plan for development the village of recent Gourna, close to Luxor, Egypt, with out using extra sleek and costly fabrics equivalent to metal and urban. utilizing dust bricks, the local method that Fathy realized in Nubia, and such conventional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy labored with the villagers to tailor his designs to their wishes. He taught them how one can paintings with the bricks, supervised the erection of the structures, and inspired the revival of such historical crafts as claustra (lattice designs within the mudwork) to decorate the structures.

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Extra info for Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt (Phoenix Books)

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Tradition is not necessarily old-fashioned and is not synonymous with stagnation. Furthermore, a tradition need not date from long ago but may have begun quite recently. As soon as a workman meets a new problem and decides how to overcome it, the first step has been taken in the establishment of a tradition. When another workman has decided to adopt the same solution, the tradition is moving, and by the time a third man has followed the first two and added his contribution, the tradition is fairly established.

Mrs. Bruyere, the wife of one of the archaeologists, has seen in a peasant's house crude bars of gold that must once have been treasures that would take pride of place in any museum in the world. Of course the peasants had fallen a natural prey to the dealers in the city, who, being alone able to communicate with unscrupulous foreign buyers, were able to exploit the Gournis' delicate position and buy their valuable produce for far less than its real value. The peasants took all the risks, developed the skill, and did the hard work; the dealers sat in perfect safety, encouraging the vandalism, and grew fat on the Gournis' hard-won loot.

How can we possibly send architects to wrangle with a million families? Quite Utopian. Housing is hard politics-we have done very well-we have tabulated our families according to size, composition, income, estimated change. By statistical analysis we have discovered that there are five kinds of family, and we have designed the ideal house for each. We are now going to build 200,000 of each kind of house. " And so the government's architects produce their irrefutable argument and build their million identical houses.

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