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Free Content From Japanese to Cairene Houses: A Contribution to the Design of Socially Responsible Housing in Egypt

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This article represents a contribution to social and spatial problems of low-income housing units in Egypt. It is an illustrated product of work previously accomplished in several separate studies. In this article, I attempt to offer more tangible solutions and architectural drawings inspired by ideas from traditional Cairene homes and traditional small-scale urban Japanese residences (to which I was exposed during my research in Japan) in light of surveys conducted among housing-unit residents in Egypt. The article first takes a brief look at the history of the emergence of apartments and housing units in Egypt. Second, it explores examples of small-scale apartments and housing units attempting to incorporate traditional patterns and elements into their design. Third, it proposes a 70m 2 unit plan showing architectural and structural modules, a suggested combination of four units, and proposed spatial organizations and architectural solutions for unit interiors: entrance zone, guestroom, living and sleeping zones, prayer area, washing and ablution area, kitchen, bathroom and guest toilet, and doors and partitions, while incorporating a suggested latticework device that has been proposed and discussed in detail in my previous studies.
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Keywords: Cairene houses; Egypt; Japanese residences; low-income housing; mashrabiyya; socially responsible

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MSA University (October University for Modern Sciences and Arts)

Publication date: March 1, 2014

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) is intended for those interested in urban design and planning, architecture, and landscape design in the historic Islamic world, encompassing the Middle East and parts of Africa and Asia, but also the more recent geographies of Islam in its global dimensions. The main emphasis is on detailed analysis of the practical, historical and theoretical aspects of architecture, with a focus on both design and its reception. The journal is also specifically interested in contemporary architecture and urban design in relation to social and cultural history, geography, politics, aesthetics, technology, and conservation. Spanning across cultures and disciplines, IJIA seeks to analyze and explain issues related to the built environment throughout the regions covered. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary nature of this journal will significantly contribute to the knowledge in this field.

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