Hassan Fat'hy is the first Egyptian Architect
in the 20th century who did not import Architectural Ideologies from the west. On contrary, he exported new Ideologies,
and represented to the world a whole new architecture after re-discovering the marvels of our heritage, and re-weaving
the strings together to generate this new Architecture.
Whether we accept the Architecture of Hassan Fat'hy or not, this does not change the fact
that he have a major fingerprint stamped on our architectural thinking.
This coverage of Hassan Fat'hy and his works is not intended to defend nor to attack his
ideas, but to supply information about him and his work on the first place.
So, everybody can build his own view and idea, and to open a free discussion about his work
and ideas, to give us all a chance to understand his experience better, and get the lessons out of it to enlighten
our way in our long journey towards our own new Egyptian Architecture.
Hassan Fat'hy was born in 23
March 1900, in Alexandria,
He went to Cairo, when he was 8 years old, and lived in Helwan with his family.
Hassan Fat'hy liked Painting, drawings, but he didn't
have any specific ambitions.
He wished to be an agriculture engineer, but he couldn't.
Hassan Fat'hy joined the faculty of Engineering to study Architecture as part of Civil engineering. He graduated
from the Faculty of Engineering in 1926.
In the beginning of his life, he worked in the department
of school buildings in the local authority.
The first project he designed was a school in Talkha city.
He found the houses in this city were very ugly and it was not suitable for living in.
He tried to build his own house but he didn't like the style of it.
Then he found the beauty of the Nubian architecture.
Because it has its own character.
The first building he designed in his life was a house
for old people in Menia.
He left his job in the local authority in 1930 then he went back to Cairo.
He worked as a professor of Fine Arts , at the University
of Cairo (1946).
He couldn't teach his architecture in the college, because the classic architecture was the main subject in all
He established a private practice in Cairo, he put all
his practice in el-Gourna village which was the most important project in his life, it was in 1946.
At the end of his life, he worked in Ministry of Education
, in educational building department in (1949 - 1952).
Then he returned to work as a Head of the Architectural department in Fine Arts College in (1953 - 1957).
He worked in Dexsas Company in Grease, (1959 - 1961).
He worked with Ministry of Scientific Research , United Nations, Aghakhan organization, and in his own office in
his house, (1963).
From this moment he was the point of attraction of the whole architects in the world.
Hassan Fat'hy utilized ancient design methods and materials.
He integrated knowledge of the rural Egyptian economic situation with a wide knowledge of ancient architectural
and town design techniques. He trained local inhabitants to make their own materials and build their own buildings.