Gourna: A Tale of Two Villages by Hassan Fathy - Free PDF Download
Gourna: A Tale of Two Villages is a classic work of architecture and social engineering by the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy. The book tells the story of how Fathy designed and built a new village for the inhabitants of Gourna, an ancient settlement near Luxor that was threatened by the rising waters of the Nile.
Fathy's vision was to create a village that would preserve the traditional culture and craftsmanship of the Gournis, while also providing them with modern amenities and improved living conditions. He used local materials and techniques, such as mud bricks and domed roofs, to construct houses that were affordable, durable, and environmentally friendly. He also involved the villagers in the planning and construction process, empowering them to shape their own destiny.
Gourna: A Tale of Two Villages is not only a fascinating account of a pioneering project, but also a reflection on the role of architecture in social change and human development. Fathy's insights and principles are still relevant today, as they offer a sustainable and humane alternative to the mass-produced and alienating urban environments that dominate the modern world.
If you want to learn more about Fathy's work and philosophy, you can download a free PDF copy of Gourna: A Tale of Two Villages from this link. You will also find other books by Fathy and related topics on this website.
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The Legacy of Hassan Fathy and Gourna
Gourna: A Tale of Two Villages was first published in 1969, and it has since become a classic in the field of architecture and social development. The book has been translated into several languages and has inspired generations of architects, planners, and activists who share Fathy's vision of a human-centered and ecological approach to design.
Unfortunately, Fathy's project in Gourna was not fully realized, as he faced many obstacles and challenges from the authorities, the contractors, and even some of the villagers. The new village was never completed, and some of the houses were demolished or abandoned. The old village of Gourna was also partially submerged by the Nile, and many of its historical monuments were relocated or destroyed.
However, Fathy's legacy lives on in the surviving buildings and the memories of the people who lived in them. Many of the villagers still appreciate Fathy's efforts and regard him as a friend and a benefactor. Some of them have continued to maintain and improve their houses, while others have moved to other places and adapted Fathy's ideas to their new contexts.
Fathy's work in Gourna also influenced other projects and movements around the world, such as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Barefoot College in India, and the Hassan Fathy Institute in Egypt. His books and writings have been widely studied and discussed, and his designs have been exhibited and replicated in various countries. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, and a pioneer of sustainable and vernacular architecture. aa16f39245