By Hassan Fathy

Structure for the negative describes Hassan Fathy's plan for development the village of latest Gourna, close to Luxor, Egypt, with out using extra sleek and dear fabrics akin to metal and urban. utilizing dust bricks, the local method 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 easy methods to paintings with the bricks, supervised the erection of the constructions, and inspired the revival of such historic crafts as claustra (lattice designs within the mudwork) to beautify the structures.

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Additional resources for Architecture for the Poor: An Experiment in Rural Egypt (Phoenix Books)

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The tradition is lost, and we have been cut off from our past ever since Mohammed Ali cut the throat of the last Marneluke. This gap in the continuity of Egyptian tradition has been felt by many people, and all sorts of remedies have been proposed. There was, in fact, a kind of jealousy between those who regarded the Copts as the true lineal descendants of the Ancient Egyptians, and those who believed that the Arab style should provide the pattern for a new Egyptian architecture. Indeed, there was one statesmanlike attempt to reconcile these two factions, when Osman Moharam Pasha, the Minister of Public Works, suggested that Egypt be divided into two, rather as Solomon suggested dividing the baby, and that Upper Egypt be delivered to the Copts, where a traditional Pharaonic style could be developed, while Lower Egypt should go to the Moslems, who would make its architecture truly Arab!

Within a few days all the houses were roofed. Rooms, corridors, loggias were all covered with vaults and domes; the masons had solved every problem that had exercised me (even to building stairs). It only remained to go out and apply their methods throughout Egypt. It happened that I had a friend, Taher Omari, who had a farm at Sedmant el Gabal on the edge of the desert of Fayum. It was in a lovely situation and just perched on the clifflike edge of a kind of plateau overlooking the Bahr Youssef Canal and the Nile Valley.

They excavate and sell, and no one knows the provenance of their finds, which means a big loss to Egyptology. Sometimes they do worse: if by chance one of these robbers finds treasure made of gold, he melts it down. Jewelry, plate, statuettes-masterpieces of workmanship, beyond price in any market-go straight into the pot 16 Prelude: Dream and Reality and are turned into sordid ingots, to be sold for the current price of gold. From the surviving works-the treasures of Tutankhamon's tomb, the lovely figured dish recently found at Tanis-we can get some idea of the wicked destruction that has been going on.

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