Al-Qurainah Farmhouse
Al-Qurainah, Saudi Arabia

Blending with and embracing the mountain scenery, this complex offers a model for sustainable, low-cost suburban housing as an alternative to reinforced concrete, continuing Hassan Fathy’s legacy of re-establishing earth building as appropriate to Egypt. Intended for leisure use and social gatherings, it prioritises intangible qualities of delight and spiritual warmth through its materials, spatial arrangement, symphonies of light and shadow, and nurturing of indigenous craftsmanship. Walls are mostly in compressed earth blocks (CEBs) - a modern mud-building technique - produced from the earth on site, with reinforced-concrete footings. Various curved roofing types, largely of fired brick, were built without formwork by skilled Egyptian masons: domes on pendentives or squinches; steel-ribbed or Nubian vaults. Passive climate-control strategies include cooling towers and cross-ventilation.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Al-Qurainah, Saudi Arabia
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Completed 2010
1,334 m²
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