Dariya Housing
Dariyah, Saudi Arabia
"Under the auspices of the United Nations Rural Development Project, Fathy also designed a prototypical housing unit for the village of Dareeya at this time. As the patriarchal home of the Al-Saud family, Dareeya intrigued him because it had once been an outstanding example of Najdi mudbrick architecture before its destruction in the factional struggles that lead up to the unification of the country under King Abdul-Aziz. The Dareeya prototype is not only a masterful interpretation of one of Saudi Arabia's most symbolic regional styles, but also offers valuable clues to the process involved in that reading. The documents, which include a survey of a typical existing house in the village, carefully show how each of the rooms relates to an interior courtyard, and achieves the separation of male guests from the family quarters within. The new proposal mirrors these sensibilities to a great degree, even to the extent of the location, sequencing and proportion of the rooms involved, and the use of the roof as a sleeping area on hot summer nights. Typical Najdi decoration, such as wall crenellations, cuneiform vents and elaborate column capitals are also used to establish a stylistic connection with the past architecture of Dareeya. Finally, critical shading diagrams are used to show how courtyard proportions of height and width were established to produce maximum shading and how diurnal and seasonal zoning mandates the final positioning of spaces within the house. One of these prototypes was actually built, but local resistance to a traditional architectural approach prevented its repetition."


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, 52-53.
Dariyah, Saudi Arabia
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Dareeya Housing
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