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Part 1 Project 2012
Adam Mokhtar
Liverpool John Moores University, UK

Society is responsive, not proactive.

In a world that faces 150 million climate refugees by 2050 and the ever increasing mass of the desert, leading to migration and eventual shortage of essential resources such as food and water, the means in which to endure these conditions needs to be investigated.

In the village of Qara, Egypt, some 317 have continually endured.

Here will be the origin of salvation before they themselves are forced to evacuate their homes.

The vernacular, their origin, combined with natural phenomenon will be the inspiration.

In considering this site, a primary concern is its history.

It is the smallest and poorest of the 7 oases of Egypt and populated by the descendants of runaway slaves. Initially the place they created a settlement was on top of the mountain, by fresh water and ideal to escape capture by the Roman Empire.

A fort was constructed with a ritual that, as the son of a family took a wife, the father should build for him a home on the roof of his, accessible by mud steps or ladders. This continued until several storeys high and over time the fort spread over the mountain.

In 1982 a freak storm hit the village and many were killed. They were trapped by the place which had protected them for so long and the traditional mud huts offered no protection. This is why the people of Qara descended to the base of the mountain, away from its summit.

This is why the fort lies as ruin, a memory of a different people, a different life, a different time.

This is why it should be the nucleus of their rescue.

‘Resurgence’ aims to provide this rescue. By introducing life back to that which is lost, a new memory is created, not erasing the previous, but celebrating it. Spaces are designated to innovating new ways in which to live in these climates, while the structure itself requires those visiting to maintain it, and hence learn the traditional methods of construction. It will constantly evolve, taking into consideration those discoveries made within its own walls.

Adam Mokhtar

Ms Gladys Masey-Martinez
• Page Hits: 2807         • Entry Date: 13 September 2012         • Last Update: 13 September 2012