Arquitectura Para Pobres: The Legacy of Hassan Fathy
Hassan Fathy was an Egyptian architect who dedicated his life to building affordable and sustainable housing for the poor. He was inspired by the ancient techniques and traditions of his country, especially the use of mud bricks and vaulted roofs. He also incorporated elements of Islamic architecture, such as courtyards, domes, and lattice windows.
Fathy's most famous project was the village of New Gourna, near Luxor, which he designed and built between 1946 and 1952. He aimed to create a self-reliant community that would preserve the culture and dignity of the peasants. He involved the villagers in the construction process, teaching them how to make and use mud bricks. He also encouraged them to revive their crafts and skills, such as pottery, weaving, and carpentry.
However, Fathy faced many challenges and obstacles in his work. He often clashed with the authorities, who did not appreciate his unconventional methods and ideas. He also faced resistance from some of the villagers, who were reluctant to move to the new houses or to adopt new ways of living. Moreover, he had to deal with the harsh climate and the lack of resources and infrastructure.
Despite these difficulties, Fathy left behind a rich legacy of more than 100 projects in Egypt and other countries, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Greece, and Pakistan. He also wrote several books and articles on his philosophy and practice of architecture, such as Architecture for the Poor, which was published in 1973. He received many awards and honors for his contributions to humanity and the environment.
Fathy's work has inspired many architects and activists around the world who share his vision of social justice and ecological harmony. His buildings are still standing today as examples of beauty, simplicity, and functionality. His ideas are still relevant today as we face the challenges of poverty, inequality, and climate change.
If you want to learn more about Hassan Fathy and his work, you can download a PDF version of his book Architecture for the Poor from this link: https://www.perlego.com/book/1840474/architecture-for-the-poor-an-experiment-in-rural-egypt-pdf. You can also find other PDF documents related to his work from these links: https://idoc.pub/download/arquitectura-para-los-pobres-2nv8kr3rzolk, https://sway.office.com/RazcqXLyG1BTwglz, https://dreamlandit.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Arquitectura-Para-Pobres-Hassan-Fathy-Pdf-Download-INSTALL.pdf.
One of the main principles that guided Fathy's work was the respect for the local context and culture. He believed that architecture should be adapted to the needs and preferences of the people who live in it, not imposed by external forces or trends. He also believed that architecture should reflect the history and identity of the place, not erase or ignore it.
Another principle that Fathy followed was the harmony with nature. He was aware of the environmental impact of architecture and sought to minimize it. He used natural and renewable materials, such as earth, wood, and straw. He also designed his buildings to take advantage of the natural elements, such as sunlight, wind, and water. He created passive cooling and heating systems, such as wind catchers, fountains, and fireplaces.
A third principle that Fathy advocated was the participation of the users. He did not see himself as a master builder who dictates what to do, but as a facilitator who empowers the people to build their own homes. He involved them in every stage of the process, from planning to execution. He taught them how to make and use mud bricks, how to shape and decorate their houses, and how to maintain and repair them. He also respected their opinions and feedback and adjusted his designs accordingly. aa16f39245