Hassan Fatty, Egypt

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HASSAN FATTY, Vernacular Architecture , EGYPT


During the beginning of modern architecture, when Le Corbusier proclaims that the use of materials such as plate glass, steel and reinforced concrete as well as the image of industrial age, were the basis of all revolutionary change that he proposed. For HASSAN FATTY the space that could created by using such technological advancement had social corrective potential, and honestly of expression in the use of technology was considered to be an essential prerequisite to a brighter future.

Rather then believing in this, Fathy felt that human being, nature and architecture should coexist in harmonious balance.

For him, architecture was a communal art, that should reflect the personal habits and traditions of a community rather than reforming them.

He felt that technology should be subservient to social values, and appropriate to popular needs.


Built in the year 1925 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the Clock Tower is a heritage building. Originally known as the Band House, it was built for band practices of the British Army. The Clock Tower is located in Schedule B of the Presidentโ€™s Estate and is now the reception for the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC). Previously, it was used as the Post Office of Rashtrapati Bhavan and also as residential quarters.

One of the central and major landmarks of the Estate, the Clock Tower is 23 metres high. A square structure with chamfered corners, it has arched alcoves with stone basin and lion head water sprouts for fountains. Projected porches with two circular pillars at the centre of each side serve as main entrances to the building.

Staircase inside clock tower

The clock system installed in the tower was manufactured by the famous J.B. Joyce & Company of England which has its installations on many important buildings around the world including the Eastgate Clock in Chester and the Shanghai Customs House amongst others. The Clock Tower at Rashtrapati Bhavan has โ€œJ.B. Joyce & Co. Ltd, Whitchurch 1924โ€ inscribed on it. The work of restoration of this clock was undertaken by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi in 2015 while the restoration of the building was handled by the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Delhi. Special care was taken to preserve the original fixtures of the building. As of now, all fire places, conical obelisks and wood work have been preserved and restored to their original design and finish. Even the original plaster of the building has been preserved.

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