The Architecture of Home in Cairo: Socio-Spatial Practice of the Hawari's Everyday Life

The Architecture of Home in Cairo: Socio-Spatial Practice of the Hawari's Everyday Life

By: Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem (author)Hardback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


The hawari of Cairo - narrow non-straight alleyways - are the basic urban units that have formed the medieval city since its foundation back in 969 AD. Until early in the C20th, they made up the primary urban divisions of the city and were residential in nature. Contemporary hawari, by contrast, are increasingly dominated by commercial and industrial activity. This medieval urban maze of extremely short, broken, zigzag streets and dead ends are defensible territories, powerful institutions, and important social systems. While the hawari have been studied as an exemplar for urban structure of medieval Islamic urbanism, and as individual building typologies, this book is the first to examine in detail the socio-spatial practice of the architecture of home in the city. It investigates how people live, communicate and relate to each other within their houses or shared spaces of the alleys, and in doing so, to uncover several new socio-spatial dimensions and meanings in this architectural form. In an attempt to re-establish the link between architecture past and present, and to understand the changing social needs of communities, this book uncovers the notion of home as central to understand architecture in such a city with long history as Cairo. It firstly describes the historical development of the domestic spaces (indoor and outdoor), and provides an inclusive analysis of spaces of everyday activities in the hawari of old Cairo. It then broadens its analysis to other parts of the city, highlighting different customs and representations of home in the city at large. Cairo, in the context of this book, is represented as the most sophisticated urban centre in the Middle East with different and sometimes contrasting approaches to the architecture of home, as a practice and spatial system. In order to analyse the complexity and interconnectedness of the components and elements of the hawari as a 'collective home', it layers its narratives of architectural and social developments as a domestic environment over the past two hundred years, and in doing so, explores the in-depth social meaning and performance of spaces, both private and public.

About Author

Dr Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem, Lecturer in Architecture, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom.


Contents: Introduction. Part I On Home and Architecture: Homes: a history of a human practice; The idea of home between social reality and cultural production; Architecting homes: a practice in question; Making homes in Cairo: constructing the socio-spatial architecture of home. Part II Homes of Old Cairo between Two Centuries: Cairo and the Cairene a,[yen]arah: structural and contextual consideration; The a,[yen]arah and the embodiment of home; Medieval homes of Cairo in 1800AD; The changing city 1880s-1930s; Contested territories of modernity; Narratives of spatial transformation in Cairo. Part III Modernity and the Architecture of Home in Cairo: Why architects fail in Cairo?; Architecture of home: from theory to practice; Architecture and the construction of memory; Closing the loop: gender, education and sustainable homes in Cairo. Afterwards: towards a progressive practice; References and bibliographies; Index.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781409445371
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 368
  • ID: 9781409445371
  • weight: 940
  • ISBN10: 1409445372

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly