Restoration and Revival of the Shali Fortress
Siwa, Egypt

A Mamluk fortress city on a hill, Shali is the largest and most recent historic settlement in the Siwa Oasis. Abandoned by former residents, the only interest in residential restoration was from non-Siwans. The revival project’s dual socio-economically minded and market-driven approach demonstrates the merits of public–private partnerships in heritage conservation. It provided a much-needed Mother & Child Healthcare Centre and Educational Centre in a new building, while establishing Shali as a commercial, non-residential zone, thus avoiding the need for additional residence-oriented infrastructure and aiming the restored accommodation at small Siwan businesses. Age-old local construction knowledge was employed throughout: kershef (a mixture of hardened salt rocks and mud), with palm trunks for roofing, and olive wood for reinforcement, doors, window frames, fixtures, and furniture. Locally extracted silts and oxides were used for decoration indoors and out. One old kershef building has been adapted as an Earth Architecture Centre.

Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Siwa, Egypt
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Associated Names
Completed 2020
n. a.
Building Usages
urban design and development