Ceramics Factory
Qina, Egypt
"A second community-oriented project that followed New Gourna at this time was a Jesuit based crafts centre located at Garagos, which was intended to improve the standard of living of the people in the village there. The plan for a ceramics factory, while deceptively "low-tech" in appearance, represents an extremely logical and efficient production diagram for the manufacture of pottery. The spaces in the complex are organized sequentially, beginning with the delivery of the clay, which is available locally, through its screening, washing, preparation and storage and then on to the workshops where it is sculpted and formed. After sculpting, the pottery is fired, packed, stored and shipped.

The tricky problem of how to utilize the desirable northern exposure in all of the workshop spaces and yet maintain a compact, linear organization is solved by running all utilitarian spaces not used by the craftsmen perpendicular to the studios so that they act as dividing elements, and take up less room across the plan. The final spatial organization of the complex is not only arranged in a highly functional way, but also results in a satisfying horizontal massing of the elevation. The large curve of the dome covering the offices of the supervisory personnel on the one extreme, balanced by the thin vertical smokestack of the firing kiln on the other, act as visual brackets for the undulating curves of the vaults that wave up and down between them. The volumetric composition of the centre as actually built is much altered from this first concetions as intended."


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. 21.
Garagos Village, Qina, Egypt
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