BAYET AL SUHAIMY

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We have 7000 years of heritage, this is what makes us different. This project simply attaches our forgotten legacy to our future generations. It is all about transferring values both social and environmental from the past to the future.

This House is a contemporary version of the Iconic Islamic house (Bayet Al Suhaimy), that was built in Cairo in middle ages. This design was developed using cutting edge environmental simulation software, to balance eco-friendly design and contemporary living aspirations with a more culturally specific understanding of the Egyptian culture.

This house was awarded several awards as Egyptian Prototype house:

1.Hassan Fathy award 2011, Egypt

2. Medibat scientific forum, (First Prize) Self Sufficient Islamic House 2013, Tunisia

3.Top Egyptian Architects award by Egypt Building Show 2015 (Selected as one of the best Egyptian Architectural practices), Egypt

4. Selected to be showcased in Marseille, France in Medcop21 2015 Conference, (Agence des Ville et Territoires Méditerranéens Durables (AViTeM)) June 2015, France

5. Presented in World Sustainable Built Environment 2017 conference, Hong Kong

Source of Inspiration:

The original Bayt Al-Suhaymi ("House of Suhaymi") is an old Ottoman-era house museum in Cairo, Egypt. It was originally built in 1648 by Abdel Wahab El Tablawy along the Darb Al-Asfar, a very prestigious part of Medieval Cairo.

In 1796 it was purchased by Sheikh Ahmed as-Suhaymi whose family held it for several subsequent generations.

The original house is built around a court in the center of which there is a small garden with plants and palm trees. From here several of the fine mashrabiyya windows in the house can be seen. Nowadays Bayt el Suhaymi, especially after its restoration process, is the best example of a private house dating to seventeenth century Egypt. The house also demonstrates a lot about the art of the period and how people used to live in the Ottoman period.

The design of this house is an ongoing open project that started in January 2011 and it still under development depending on the 3 following approaches:

The first approach (Social Approach): After a lot of interviews and meeting with various social classes in Egyptian society to reach to a design manifesto for An Egyptian contemporary model that reflects the contemporary lifestyle and the Egyptian family aspirations as well in a perfect square house of total footprint 400 square meters.

The second approach (Environmental approach): It was designed using the latest technologies for self-sufficiency and renewable energy resources appropriate for our climate developed from the ancient passive techniques.

The project was to build a first Zero-Energy and Zero-Carbon prototype that could be adapted according to needs of different families and climatic settings while preserving the main guidelines of Egyptian lifestyle to work off-grid anywhere in Sahara desert without waiting for governmental infrastructure.

The third approach (History): A thorough study of the Egyptian house development across history in a trial to revive some of the values eroded by time with the special focus of middle-aged houses (Al Suhaymi House). The spatial elements of the architectural program are hierarchal in privacy although all spaces have views.