School in RudrapurSchool in Rudrapur, Rudrapur, Bangladesh. More
Samir Kassir SquareVladimir Djurovic had to deal with a relatively small plot that slopes down... More
Rehabilitation of the Old CityThe ancient city of Shibam is one of three major urban centres in Wadi Hadh... 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
The impact of Koudougou’s Central Market is twofold: at the urban scale, it reinforces and enhances the fabric of a mid-sized town, providing a monumental civic space for commercial and social exchange. On the level of construction, it introduces simple and easily assimilated improvements to a traditional material - stabilised earth - which allow it to achieve its full aesthetic and environmental potential.
This is a residential high-rise in the tropics - with a difference. Instead of relying on mechanical systems for climate control, it borrows low energy strategies from vernacular housing. The traditional monsoon window, a horizontal opening that lets in the breeze but not the rain, is incorporated into the design of a 28-storey block to address the challenges of a tropical climate. Orientation, internal planning, overhangs, cross-ventilation, shading and perforation are all reapplied here in a contemporary manner.
The mud-brick high-rise buildings of Shibam cluster in a walled mass that exudes the genius of Yemeni architecture. As an urban monument, Shibam is of international architectural significance, yet the motor of this rehabilitation project is not the preservation of buildings but rather the creation of new economic and social structures that will restore the vitality of the city. A joint Yemeni-German initiative, the Shibam Urban Development Project has stemmed depopulation by providing technical and financial support for the renovation of almost half of the housing stock.
Since 1979, a remarkable effort has been made by the representatives of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of Nicosia to regenerate the historic walled city and protect its architectural and urban heritage. This was the first and for some time the only joint project carried out at the local level by both communities and it has been a sustained effort, uninterrupted by the ebb and flow of politics. The programme was initiated under United Nations auspices, and has grown into a major project that enhances the wellbeing of all the inhabitants of the city.
The Amiriya was built at the beginning of the sixteenth century by the last ruler of Yemen’s Tahirid dynasty, Amir Ibn `Abd Al-Wahab. It consists of a highly ornamented and painted prayer hall, a madrasa and the private living quarters of the sultan. At the beginning of the 1980s, the Amiriya was in a precarious condition. Any conventional preservation project would have been a costly undertaking, so the project director developed a well-defined philosophy of restoration which made pragmatic use of traditional methods of construction, using local stone masons, labour and materials.
The Royal Netherlands Embassy complex lies amidst the urban sprawl on the southern outskirts of Addis Ababa, enclosed within a dense eucalyptus grove. The architects’ guiding principle was to preserve and respect the topography of the
surrounding landscape while addressing the functional requirements of a working embassy. They took care to maintain existing contour lines and leave the vegetation and wildlife undisturbed.
A serene and contemplative space in the heart of downtown Beirut, Samir Kassir Square provides welcome relief from the built-up urban fabric and frenetic pace of the central business district. Two historic ficus trees provide shade at the centre of the space, and a reflecting pool with water cascading over its edges marks the border with the street. The pool is flanked by a rectangular timber deck that encircles the two trees, and has at its western side a long bench of solid stone.
Hand-built in four months by architects, local craftsmen, pupils, parents and teachers, this primary school in Rudrapur, a village in north west Bangladesh, uses traditional methods and materials of construction but adapts them in new ways. The architects, Anna Heringer from Austria and Eike Roswag from Germany, made every effort to engage the skills of local craftsmen, helping them refine processes and learn new techniques that they could then use to improve the general standard of rural housing.
Set in hilly and forested terrain 300 km north of Kuala Lumpur, the University of Technology Petronas responds both to the physical landscape and to the weather patterns of the Malay peninsula. In terms of scale, its radial geometry is more consistent with town planning than with conventional building.