Architect for the poor
Byline: Mimi Mann
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
SO SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER (SFEX)
LP KEYWORD_HIT. CAIRO - Architect Hassan Fathy, who turned mud bricks into architectural masterpieces he hoped would one day house the world's poor, died Thursday. He was 89.
TX Nawal Hassan, a friend and adviser, said Mr. Fathy had developed a fever Wednesday and collapsed early Thursday as he returned to his bed. Mr. Fathy spent most of his life trying to convince the world that the answer to housing its 800 million poor people lay in providing natural materials they could use to build for themselves. He advocated mud brick instead of concrete and steel, preferred quiet inner courtyards over highrise apartments and had as his ideal human hands, simple tools and traditional methods instead of highly paid contractors and imported technology. Mr. Fathy's 1969 work "Architecture for the Poor" became a standard text in architectural classrooms, inspiring a generation of builders trying to solve acute housing shortages and exploding populations of the Third World. In 1980, Mr. Fathy received the first Chairman's Award of the * Aga Khan Foundation, an international group that recognizes excellence in Islamic architecture.
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