By Hassan Fathy
Structure for the bad describes Hassan Fathy's plan for construction the village of recent Gourna, close to Luxor, Egypt, with out using extra smooth and costly fabrics similar to metal and urban. utilizing dust bricks, the local approach that Fathy discovered 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 you can paintings with the bricks, supervised the erection of the constructions, and inspired the revival of such old crafts as claustra (lattice designs within the mudwork) to embellish the constructions.
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Extra resources for Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt (Phoenix Books)
Not only indignant, but ill; he would collapse after designing twenty. Yet when designing 31 Individuality in the Village a million houses for the poor, so far from collapsing is he that he is ready to take on another million the next month. He designs one house and adds six zeroes to it. In doing this he is multiplying something that, properly, cannot be multiplied. When a house is built, various kinds of work go into the building. ); (6) unskilled labor. Each of these classes of labor makes up a certain proportion of the total amount of labor, and the ratio between them should be fairly constant.
If an architect had come between owner and craftsmen, he would have produced plans that neither could understand, and, unable to escape from his drawing boards, would have remained quite ignorant that the variations of detail possible in a design make all the difference between a good house and a bad one. I once talked to moallem Mohammed Ismail, a craftsman who makes windows out of stained glass set in plaster. This was once a 1. Once, the head architect in the Ministry of Works, which is responsible for building and maintaining mosques, had to prepare some plans that included a capital with stalactites in the customary Arab pattern.
The village of Gourna is built on the site of these Tombs of the Nobles. Here there are very many graves, some known, cleared, and cleaned, and some still unknown to the department and consequently full of objects of great archaeological interest. There are seven thousand peasants living in Gourna crowded into five clusters of houses, built over and around these tombs. Seven thousand people living quite literally upon the past. They-or their fathers-had been attracted to Gourna some fifty years before by the rich graves of their ancestors, and the whole community had ever since lived by mining these tombs.