Kazerouni House: a Traditional Architectural Statement in the Egyptian Countryside
Airfare Daily Deals eCigarettes Eyeglasses Hotels Jewelry Online Backup Online Dating Online Printing Online Tickets Skin Care Textbook Rentals Vitamins Web Hosting Weddings
Find thousands of shopping-related forums
SEARCH

Kazerouni House: a Traditional Architectural Statement in the Egyptian Countryside

The Kazerouni house, which is known as “Mit Rehan”, meaning “the way of the basil”, also exhibited Hassan Fathy's ability in handling the use of the traditional Egyptian vocabularies such as domes, vaults, arches, as well as mashrabiyyahs (wooden lattice work) outside and inside the house.

One of the most outstanding houses of the renowned Hassan Fathy is the Kazerouni house. In 1979, the two sisters, Samiha and Nazly Kazerouni, friends of Fathy, approached him to build a house in the countryside on Saqqara Road, Giza, Egypt. They were impressed by Fathy’s concept of using traditional materials and forms. The Kazerounis believed that Fathy’s traditional “style would blend in better with the peaceful green fields of the area than more modern styles”.

      Image credit    General view to the house overlooking the back courtyard

 

Image credit      Domes and vaults                   Image credit     Fireplace chimney 

Like theAlpha Bianca house, built by Fathy in Spain, the Kazerounis suggested their essential requirements, including the number of bedrooms, a large living room, and a clear view of the surrounding countryside. However, Fathy sought to design a house which would hold a meaning for the family and satisfy their needs. Although the house is a straightforward solution to the particular conditions, it represented a definitive model of Fathy’s ideas of what a house should be both in plan and elevation.

 Image credit    Fountain and Mashrabiyyah       Image credit     Wooden lattice work       

The Kazerouni house, which is known as “Mit Rehan”, meaning “the way of the basil”, also exhibited the architect’s ability in handling the use of thetraditional Egyptian vocabularies such as domes, vaults, arches, as well as mashrabiyyahs (wooden lattice work) outside and inside the house. The ground floor is L-shaped in plan, enclosing an internal courtyard along the east and south sides. The north side of the courtyard comprises a domed loggia to catch the breeze as well as to provide shade during the summer, while a limestone wall containing three pointed-arch mashrabiyyah windows closes the west side.

     Image credit      Courtuard with sitting area and mashrabiyyah windows

The courtyard’s mashrabiyyah windows overlook large gardens, trees and a vegetable patch. One of the distinctive features of the ground floor is the reception area which overlooks the surrounding house-garden and the interior courtyard through pointed-arch windows covered by mashrabiyyahs and stained glass. The sitting area in the first floor overlooks the main entrance through a large mashrabiyyah window which provides a focal point to the house. Although the architect used a limited number of building materials, a subtle relationship was established between the limestone blocks and the wooden mashrabiyyah windows, latticework and balustrades.

                              Image credit     Interior view: Sitting area

        

 

           Image credit     Interior view: Sitting area

Fathy treated the limestone with the herb fenugreek, which is a traditional method of preventing cracking and chipping that Fathy learned from his research into traditional Egyptian architecture. The herb is boiled until it forms a sticky paste and then applied to the limestone blocks. Like the walls, the floors inside the house were also covered with sheets of stone to give the home a more rural look. On top of the limestone walls, Fathy built the large dome of mud-brick. In addition, according to the Islamic-Arabic traditions, the architect gave each room in the house the appropriate dimensions to its use regardless of the symmetry or asymmetry of the façade. There is no doubt that the Kazerouni house represented a milestone on the architect’s professional career.

References:

1. Robert Hefferon & Deborah Hefferon, House Glorious: Where Every Step Has A Meaning. Cairo Today, v. 3, no. 10, October 1982, p. 44.

2. Shadia Iskandar, House & Garden. Egypt Today, v. 18, no. 5, May 1997, p. 87.

3. Hefferon, Robert & Deborah Hefferon, House Glorious: Where Every Step Has A Meaning. Cairo Today, v. 3, no. 10, October 1982, pp.44.

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Architecture on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Architecture?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (18)

Beautiful job!

Ranked #10 in Architecture

Interesting techniques in building presented in the Islamic way. Well done, Abdel.

Brilliant work as always

Such a beautifully designed home. I love the domes, archways and lattice work, and the clever usage of fenugreek with the limestone. A wonderful presentation and a very enjoyable reading experience Abdel. Thank you!

Thank you everyone, your kind and supportive comments are reall appreciated.

Once again, a fascinating article!

Thank you Melissa for your appreciated comment

Very interesting read (as usual). Thanks Abdel.

What a wonderful feel all of Fathy's works of art create. Yet another inspiring article!

Thanks Ann for your supporting comment

Very interesting. I really enjoyed both the article as well as the pictures. Voted you up. Excellent job!

Thank you Caryn for your appreciated comment

I learn something new every time I read Abdel's article. This one is no exception. Thanks!

Thank you Pearl for your kindness and supportive comments.Appreciate

Exceptional piece! I know that when I click on one of your articles, I in for an awesome treat. Thanks for taking the time to gather facts, information, and images that go to make up your exceptional articles. Voted up!!!

Thanks Donata for your very kind words.appreciate

It sure does look lovely and I like him treating the limestone according to ancient methods.

Very interesting.

ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS