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Preservation & Enhancement: Vision for a Yemeni Mountain Settlement

Part 2 Project 2020
Daniel Tihanyi
University of Strathclyde | UK
Located on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen stands as one of the final bastions of indigenous Arabian architecture. For millennia, the close relationship between communities and the landscape allowed for a broad range of vernacular architecture to emerge, suited to harsh climatic conditions of the region. With ongoing conflicts rendering field-work in Yemen impossible, the project took a ficto-critical approach: based on a study of publications, interviews, video material and archival photographs, a hypothetical mountain village was drawn up and modelled.

Anticipating a proposal that included a medical clinic, learning centre, community space and a village market, all designed with traditional construction techniques in mind, the study eventually blurred the boundaries between investigation and projection, forming an autonomous architectural imaginary in its own right. In this imaginary, the medical facility, for example, emerges as a dynamic and integral component of the village. With a precedented medical drone delivery system assisting the local healthcare, the settlement can also use drones to export its own products, such as honey, to further communities.

If such imaginary brings some attention to the extraordinary tectonic, spatial, and social organisation of Yemen’s settlements, its role will have been fulfilled.

Daniel Tihanyi

Piotr Lesniak
Gordon Murray
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