Art and Architecture
English edition  
Sep  2016
366 pp.
132 b/w illus. 
Paperback
15X23 cm
$22.95
LE150
ISBN 9789774245756
For sale only in the Middle East

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Architecture for the Poor

An Experiment in Rural Egypt Hassan Fathy

The influential manifesto of Egypt's most internationally celebrated architect

In this now classic work, Hassan Fathy, Egypt’s greatest twentieth-century architect, describes in detail his plan for building the village of New Gourna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, employing both the traditional building material, mud brick, and such traditional Egyptian architectural features as enclosed courtyards and domed and vaulted roofing. Fathy worked closely with the people to tailor his designs to their needs; he taught them how to work with the mud bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of ancient techniques, such as the use of claustra (mud-brick latticework) to adorn the buildings. Although bureaucratic red tape and other problems prevented the completion of New Gourna, Fathy’s ideas have since commanded widespread attention both inside and outside Egypt, and Architecture for the Poor remains a testament to his vision as an architect of conscience. “Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor ... 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.” —Choice

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Hassan Fathy (1900–89) taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Cairo University and served as head of its Department of Architecture. He received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980, and the Union of International Architects Gold Medal in 1984. He was also the founder and director of the International Institute for Appropriate Technology.

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"Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor . . . 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."—Choice

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