Advancing Local Traditions for
Local Sustainability


'Back to Roots'
Amr Abdou Eldessouky Basal
Al-Warraq Island, Egypt

Cairo is one of the ten largest cities in the world, with a high population density of approximately 22 million people over 3 thousand square kilometers.

The reason for choosing this particular site, “Al-Warraq Island”, was the government’s recent announcement to establish a new hub in this area. The proposed development plans focused on economic regeneration, and the building of skyscrapers, far removed from the methods of building in the traditional style that Egyptians still use in rural areas. I felt this was a missed opportunity.

ArchitectsAmr Abdou Eldessouky Basal
LocationAl-Warraq Island, Egypt

The design is based on contemporary local experiences and seeks to involve the local community, particularly those living in rural areas with the skills to build with earth.

Waste management networks are incorporated into the design, and can be combined with each other to form a water network capable of irrigating crops on their agricultural lands to produce crops from them.

The design has several social dimensions. Many elements of community interaction have been developed and factored into the design in order for the house to be a social space for community events. The courtyard space is also useful in this regard, providing shade from the heat in the middle of the day.