Desert Backer Villages
Araba bi Sohag, Egypt
To deter construction on Upper Egypt’s limited agricultural land, the government plans to build 400 villages in the desert behind existing villages. Arrabet Abu Aziz is one of the first of these, accommodating 8,000 people on 120 acres, with educational and municipal services and a light industrial zone that provides an economic base. Buildings are oriented north-west to capture prevailing winds and reduce exposure to the sun, and are densely grouped to protect each other from the harsh climate. Based on surveys in the original villages, there are three dwelling types, each with inner courtyards that protect privacy and provide shelter for animals.


The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2011.
Araba bi Sohag, Egypt
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