Samir Kassir SquareVladimir Djurovic had to deal with a relatively small plot that slopes down... More
School in RudrapurSchool in Rudrapur, Rudrapur, Bangladesh. More
Central MarketOn a construction level, the innovative use of compressed earth blocks was... More
Restoration of the Amiriya ComplexThe plan of the masjid rises about 3 metres above the roof as a rectangular... More
Rehabilitation of the Old CityThe ancient city of Shibam is one of three major urban centres in Wadi Hadh... More
Koudougous central market combines a covered hall with space for 624 stalls with a further 125 buildings containing 1'195 shop units, the vast majority of them small spaces of only 6.20 square metres. By virtue of its size, the project provided an important training ground for local masons. The market buildings are made almost exclusively of a local material - compressed earth blocks - using traditional Nubian techniques of arch and vault construction. Such self-sufficiency was deemed particularly desirable in light of the increasing costs of imported materials.
Most high-rises in the tropics do not exploit the fact that the climate is gentler higher up. This 28-storey apartment block does, redeploying several climatic strategies used in vernacular construction. Cross-ventilation is achieved by the plan, with two apartments per floor. Projecting ledges and perforated metal cladding provide shade and conceal air-conditioning. A monsoon window - a bay window incorporating a sliding aluminium shelf - allows breezes in without rain. The building provides 48 apartments, 2 penthouses, a lap-swimming pool and parking.
The basic strategy of this development project is not one of historic conservation but of developing the economic, social and administrative base to ensure the vitality and continuity of the city within its new regional context. The programme has two main components: technical assistance and financial assistance, allowing owners and residents of the historic city to restore, upgrade and maintain their buildings. The other task of the project is the revitalisation of the local economy. To date, about 100 owners have already renovated their houses.
The aim of the programme is to preserve the cultural and architectural legacy of the now-divided Walled City, provide the impetus for new private investments, enhance the quality of life, attract new residents, strengthen economic activity and, ultimately, re-establish the role of the historic centre in the contemporary city. The project is a European-funded initiative and executed by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Six main projects have been implemanted to date on both sides of the divided city.
A 16th-century Madrasa was restored following centuries of decay. Walls were rebuilt using limestone, baked brick and 'qudad' (a waterproofing mortar). The building was polished, re-plastered and an electrical grid was installed. Carved stucco decorations and tempera wall paintings covering the domes and prayer hall were also repaired. The ground floor has been turned into a museum, to commemorate the restoration work. As the first project of its kind in Yemen, it offered local workers the opportunity to revisit and learn traditional building methods.
A new European embassy in Africa is often an imposed (or at least imported) affair, using materials and human resources brought from outside. The Dutch Embassy in Addis Ababa is different. It was realised entirely by local contractors, using the only widely available local construction material, concrete, coupled with Ethiopian stone and timber for the interior finishes. The brief required new buildings for the ambassador's residence, chancellery and staff housing, and the renovation of the existing deputy ambassadors house.
Square Four Public Garden acts as a gateway to the Central District of Beirut. Its composition revolves around the framing and highlighting of two ancient ficus trees that have withstood the test of time and witnessed all that has passed before them. A raised pool, lined with pebbles of marble, introduces a contemplative element, creating a sense of quiet refuge on a small site surrounded by buildings.
This village school adapts the traditional materials of earth and bamboo to make them more durable. In terms of the earth construction, the most important technical advances were introducing a damp-proof course, adding a brick foundation and mixing straw into the loam. The potential of bamboo construction is demonstrated by the ceiling (a layering of bamboo sticks, bamboo boards and earth) and the first-floor walls and roof (a frame construction consisting of beams - four layers of joined bamboo sticks - and vertical and diagonal poles).
Petronas University of Technology blends academic training with hands-on experience to produce graduates who will contribute to Malaysias industrial development. The design of the campus, akin to a town-planning project, brings together several medium-scale buildings: four-storey blocks for teaching and research, cafes and communal facilities, and a drum-like building containing a library and 3'000-seat multipurpose hall.