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Ramsis Wissa Wassif





Ramses Wissa Wassef was an Egyptian architect and educator.
He earned his BA degree from the Ecole Des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1935.
His graduation project "A potter's house in Old Cairo " received the first prize by the examination board. Upon returning to Cairo, in 1938, he was nominated as a professor of art and history of architecture in the college of Fine Arts in Cairo.




Ramses Wissa Wassef was born in 1911, he finished his educations in Lessah el Horria School.
Wessa was growing in a wonderful patriotic life. His Father was one of the most important leaders in 1919 revolution, he was encouraging the artists.

Ramses Wissa Wassef believed that "Architecture is an Art contains the whole life" especially in the Egyptian villages details.

He felt in it with harmoniousness and perfection, that the building observed with whole fancy-free with unprompted and involuntary.

Sculpting was his favorite hobby, and Mahmoud Mokhtar was his
In 1929 he got into Al Bozar collage in France. Then he returned back to teach in Fine Art collage Design and History of Architecture, he put the main curriculum of the Architecture department of the collage.

His visiting to Upper Egypt in the Forties, effected to his personality and his philosophy of teaching.
His philosophy was "Human being borne with overflow of Arts, and the real teaching push us to not put our nose in this continues of overflow, and it must flow".

In 1924 he began to work with the technicians of building and built a school in old Egypt,
There was a very good relation between him and the engineers and the technicians, this relation encourage him to develop their products and teach them new ways in style of buildings especially in Glass and gypsum works.

In 1945 - 1974 he started to build his Institute of education in Harranaya.
The years coming after were the most fertile years in his life.

Harranaya was an architectural project that was following up from the real Egyptian village; it built from the cheapest founded materials and way of buildings.
Harranaya is an artist school to renewing the "fabric art, carpets art and the ceramic art".
In 1961 he won the National Speculative Reward on this project.
In 1983 he won the Aghakhan prize on the same project. [After nine years from his death].

The Architectural approach of Remises Wessa Wassef

Ramses Wessa Wassef was believing of endless Freedom, he says that anyone whoever he is in any age can create, and he must leave his creation to reach the perfection of arts, as long as we leave to him the fullness free of observing without any constrains or directives that could damage his ideas or creativeness.

He was believed that any child whatever his social level or his educating level, he can fly over with his imagination and gave us his wonderful creative aesthetics, as long as he is far away from the influent directives that push him in a specific direction.

He was afraid from the artificial life on the Human Creativity] [He felt importance of Mechanics and Technology on the Human creativity], like Alexander Nil, he saw that the repetition ends the hobby.

Ramses Wessa Wassef was feeling the aesthetics of the involuntary and simplicity in formation of the Egyptian village.
He saw that the modern city is like a storehouse of the prefabricated buildings that placed with cool feelings and repetition mechanics features.
And it doesn't give the free of thinking to the habitants and doesn't help its environment to do the free flying creativity.

Ramses Wessa Wassef was believed that:
Architecture is the Artist of Life,
It is the dialogue between:
The Architect and the Habitant.
The Architect and the construction elements, construction materials and the technician that will build the building.

All this happened in a wonderful atmosphere that full of friendship, simplicity and creativity, that created by a conversation between all those people whom we need in the artist present in its final form, even though this present is Architecture, Sculpture, Carpets, Ceramic or Glass.

Ramses Wessa Wassef has the capability to form the material of the architecture with a romantic dialogue, and passed the era of the period that it built in.
He didn't search for a specific style but he follow his feelings and these thoughts to reach the wonderful form of feelings and sense between the building and its environment that could be a religion building, habitat, museum or fabric. And this is the quality of the creative Artist.

Ramses Wessa Wassef had created new material in the finishing of external elevation, it is external Malat, it contains (cement and sand with calcic soltany water). It's a new material in the Mud.

He used this material as a bearing wall in the construction.
He used with this material rocks or red break and mud, depending on the characteristic of the construction material and the loads it faced or the capability of the isolation of the groundwater or oozing.

He was useing the wall with buttress to carry the domes and cellars or tunnels with their inclined pressures.
He was useing continues vaults, the crossing vaults, Bezantic domes and the complex domes.

Ramses Wessa Wassef created new break (sand, mud, and Gibson) 25 x 12 x 6 cm the Gibson increased its tolerance, and helping it to be more regular and decrease the trashes of it.

Ramses Wessa Wassef was a professor in Fine Art collage, the education there was in Studio system, and he was a pioneer in one of these Studios.
His assistant was Dr. Ahmed el Hussany
This system let the students learn directly from him, and to far extent he has an effect on them with his Personality and Morals.
He helped a lot of them to solve their social problems.
He had the capability with his humbling to get through in their hearts, then they could taken off from his flow of science, deepness of his ideology, ampleness horizon, his wide vision and his multiplicative culture, all this let them being the best creators of Architecture and the professors of it.

Some of his students:
Architect Dr. Ahmed Abdou.
Architect Dr. Sami abd el Azeez.
Architect Dr. Shady Abd el Salam (Allah yerhamouh).
Architect Dr. Atef Faheem Abd el Azeez (National Cultivating Reward for designing a house in Dahshour in the same way of Wessa architecture)
Architect Dr. Farouk Fares.
Architect Dr. Shawky Affify.
Architect Dr. Essam Safai el din. And more.

El Harranaya School for the Arts and public handicrafts.

Ramses Wessa Wassef was affected from the traditional Nubian Arts in Upper Egypt; because of this he depended on the Nubian building teachers to help him in his projects in Cairo.
In that time there was an argumentativeness of the identity of the Egyptian Architecture, because of using back Domes and Vaults specially these forms were existed in the dynasties of the Pharaohs, Gothic and Islamic Architecture.

Ramses Wessa Wassef had no trust on the modern architecture and its capability to transfer or saving the aesthetic of the traditional handcrafts arts.

Because of all these reasons, our Professor
Ramses Wessa Wassef had decided to build a tissue school, he built the first house and workshop in this school by depending on the Nubian building teachers.
The kids who was studying in this school had a wonderful wide imagination, all the products they did, impressed the whole Egyptian and European people.
Then he made a lot of exhibitions to create their production.

This experiment encourages our professor to continue the same approach in the Ceramic, Colored Glass in Gibson plates and Carpets.

The real experiment started when the kids learn how to prepare the Mud brick and how to build their houses by themselves without using any other new materials.

Chicken hangers were the first thing they built, then they built the other parts of the school, workshops, show rooms, museum, and houses of Seires Wessa Wassef, Moneir Sobhi and the tissue workers houses.

Ramses Wessa Wassef found that there are seven tissue workers have no houses, then he decided to buy a land and let every one build his own house.
This test was very useful, because the workers discuss with each other the common needs, which were [court, living room in a side, kitchen and bathroom in the other side, (plus) adding of this the chicken hangers and the oven bread in the court, storehouse and bedrooms in the upper floor].

Ramses Wessa Wassef gave the whole free to the workers to decided the way of planning of their houses, then he connected these seven houses with the Harranaya village by a path with a fence specially for these houses.

Harranaya village was the real scientific area that he did his architectural artistic creativity.
Harranaya School is a civilization center to activate the artist of Egyptian buildings.
In Harranaya, Ramses Wessa Wassef depended on the initial materials in his constructing specially mud as a main material because it is founded in the land of the village.
He created new break (sand, mud, and Gibson) 25 x 12 x 6 cm the Gibson increased its tolerance, and helping it to be more regular and decrease the trashes of it.

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