Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt
Architecture for the Poor describes Hassan Fathy's plan for building the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, Egypt, without the use of more modern and expensive materials such as steel and concrete. Using mud bricks, the native technique that Fathy learned in Nubia, and such traditional Egyptian architectural designs as enclosed courtyards and vaulted roofing, Fathy worked with the villagers to tailor his designs to their needs. He taught them how to work with the bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of such ancient crafts as claustra (lattice designs in the mudwork) to adorn the buildings.''Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor, in his country at least, cheaply and humanly by the use of earth for building and by teaching people to build for themselves. There is no other book quite like this. It is an important work and should have far-reaching effects on planning and building in the richer countries where the environmental consequences of present building techniques are being examined and questioned.'' --ChoiceHassan Fathy, an Egyptian architect, has taught on the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo and served as head of its architectural section. He has received numerous awards including the French Literary Prize for this book, which originally appeared in a French edition.
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