In simple terms this house is the renovation and extension of a 1980s villa but beyond this is the ambition of combining architectural heritage and contemporary environmental design to create an integrated language for hot and arid zones of Egypt. The gardens border the desert so passive heating and cooling strategies were appropriate for economic as well as comfort reasons. The design combines a compact form, high mass walls, shading, low-emissivity glass and a courtyard configuration to optimise natural ventilation. Further traditional elements including Coptic cross vaults and Siwa salt bricks are incorporated to support the passive strategy effectively, economically and in an aesthetically appropriate manner.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011.