9 in stock
(2012) A new design resource from an unusual and distinctive tradition
In the Nile Valley and desert oases south of Cairo—Upper Egypt—surviving domestic buildings from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries demonstrate a unique and varied strand of traditional decoration. Intricate patterns in wood, iron, or plaster adorn doorways, balconies, windows, and rooflines in towns and villages throughout the region. One of the most distinctive cultural features of these traditional homes is the decorated wooden balcony-screen—with jigsaw-cut patterns often based on creative repetitions, inversions, and mirrorings of the Arabic letter waw—which was designed to veil the residents from public view while allowing them to take the air and watch the outside world go by. Here, Ahmed Abdel-Gawad presents a wide range of these exuberant and largely unknown designs, in both photographs and detailed architectural drawings, for the use and appreciation of designers, decorators, artists, and lovers of vernacular architecture.