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Hassan Fathy and Continuity in Islamic Arts and
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Ahmad Hamid

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774163418

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774163418.001.0001

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Hassan Fathy: A Condenser of an Older Intelligence

Hassan Fathy: A Condenser of an Older Intelligence

(p.45) 3 Hassan Fathy: A Condenser of an Older Intelligence
Hassan Fathy and Continuity in Islamic Arts and Architecture

Ahmad Hamid

American University in Cairo Press

Hassan Fathy strove to understand the constructs that informed Islamic architecture at its origin. He was greatly inspired by the glorious edifices of the past. Out of this reverence for former civilizations, he integrated ancient Egyptian architecture into his own. Fathy regarded the Greek and Roman civilizations as extensions of the pharaonic body of knowledge, all of which were part of a syncretized Mediterranean culture. Fathy's conviction that the concepts and paradigms within Islamic architecture could be contemporaneous was original at the time. The gradual development of his theory and practice shows varying degrees of success and trial and error, but he finally activated a tradition that had been dormant. The basic components of Fathy's theory and practice are expressed in his regard for spatiality, artistry, constructability, and the new sciences.

Keywords:   Hassan Fathy, origin, Islamic architecture, tradition, Fathy's theory

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