The design for Siwa House derived from the desire of a young couple based in Egypt to construct a home using local materials and craftsmen on a smallholding in the Berber oasis of Siwa, located 300km from the Mediterranean and 50 km from the Libyan border
The L-shape plan form has public and guest areas at ground floor with private bedroom and terrace above linked by a two storey mulqaf or wind tower which directs the desert breeze through the living areas.
The harsh temperatures are mediated through traditional thick kashif walls combining salt blocks with mud mortar. Roof and floors are constructed from palm trunks. Water is obtained from nearby hot and cold springs and toilets use sawdust composting techniques.
Siwan masons, carpenters, decorators and metalworkers completed the house as finances permitted – the elegant metal stair was designed by locally based architect, Fiona McKenzie.
- Begun: 2010
- Completed: 2012
- Floor area: 107m2
- Sector: House
- Total cost: £25,000
- Address: Siwa House, Siwa Oasis, Egypt, Egypt