Hamed Saïd House
Cairo, Egypt
"The Hamid Said house in the al-Marg neighborhood of Cairo represents an important project in the collection because it is the first documented application of mud brick construction, and is still standing. The first phase, which was built in 1942, was simply a studio and sleeping space for the artist and his wife, incorporating a large vaulted loggia as an open exterior sitting area from which to appreciate the seemingly endless green palm grove surrounding the property. The construction of the house coincided with a climate of concern among Egypt's intellectual community at that time about the detrimental effects of industrialization on the traditional cultures of the world and the need for a search for Egyptian origins in the face of the threat. Hamid Said intended this house, in the midst of a vast tract of the same date palms and papyrus that signified Egypt's lush agricultural legacy in the past, to be both a restatement of these original agrarian roots of Egyptian culture, and a rural recreation of a studio, called "Tangezia", that he had once had in the Muqattem Hills. The final siting of the first section of this house was determined by camping out in a tent on the property with the architect for some time before construction actually began.

The second phase, which followed four years later, was equally sensitive in accommodating the environment, having been organized in such a way as to avoid several large trees on the site. A characteristically variegated and top-lit gallery of a type that was continuously refined by Fathy in subsequent designs serves as a transitional element between the first and second phases of the house, yielding framed views into a central courtyard which is the client's reward for allowing the trees to remain." (designed in 1942; construction completed in 1945)


Steele, James. 1989. The Hassan Fathy Collection. A Catalogue of Visual Documents at the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Bern, Switzerland: The Aga Khan Trust for Culture.
Al-Marg Neighborhood, Cairo, Egypt
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Hamid Said house
Said House
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