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

By Hassan Fathy

Structure for the negative describes Hassan Fathy's plan for development the village of recent Gourna, close to Luxor, Egypt, with no using extra glossy and costly fabrics reminiscent of 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 how one can paintings with the bricks, supervised the erection of the structures, and inspired the revival of such historic crafts as claustra (lattice designs within the mudwork) to embellish the structures.

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

Sample text

50. Ezbet el Basry: [bUs in Ambush There was another little village, or hamlet rather, of some twentyfive houses, situated outside Meadi about nine miles from Cairo; it was called Ezbet el Basry and was inhabited largely by thieves. Very justly, it was quite swept away by a sudden flood, such as occurs every twenty years or so, and the Egyptian Red Crescent undertook to rehouse the homeless families. This flood showed the hand of God most plainly, for not only did it punish the unrighteous, but it restored to at least one of their victims his stolen property.

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 anyone class is missing, the final building will be affected in some way or another, and the role of architecture in the cultural development of the country will be diminished. If the unskilled labor is missing, then obviously the building will not get built! For this reason one cannot economize on unskilled labor. One can economize, however, on some of the other classes.

So now, like it or not, man is saddled with the responsibility that frightened both the angels and the mountains, and has the chance to prove himself greater than either. Let us not forget, though, that he accepts the risk of defeat, and that if defeated he will be seen to be the most presumptuous and contemptible animal in creation. The world at any moment is a blank page awaiting our pencil; an open space may hold a cathedral or a slagheap. Because no two men make the same decisions in similar circumstances, we say that men's characters differ.

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