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Hassan Fathy

Hassan Fathy  (1899-1989) was a noted Egyptian architect who pioneered appropriate technology for building in Egypt, especially by working to re-establish the use of mud brick (or adobe).

Fathy trained as an architect in Egypt, graduating in 1926 from the University of King Fuad I (now the University of Cairo). He designed his first mud brick buildings in the late 1930s. He held several government positions and was appointed head of the Architectural Section of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cairo, in 1954.

Fathy was recognized with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1980.

Fathy utilized ancient design methods and materials. He integrated a knowledge of the rural Egyptian economic situation with a wide knowledge of ancient architectural and town design techniques. He trained local inhabitants to make their own materials and build their own buildings.

Climatic conditions, public health considerations, and ancient craft skills also affected his design decisions. Based on the structural massing of ancient buildings, Fathy incorporated dense brick walls and traditional courtyard forms to provide passive cooling.






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