Chapter

A Study of the Unintended in Creswell's Photographs: The Architecture of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, and the Continuity of Building Traditions

Seif El Rashidi

in Creswell Photographs Re-examined

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9789774162442
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970115 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774162442.003.0010
A Study of the Unintended in Creswell's Photographs: The Architecture of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, and the Continuity of Building Traditions

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The fact that nineteenth- and twentieth-century residential architecture of the historic quarters of Cairo features only in passing in the margins of Creswell's photographs is hardly surprising. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture in Historic Cairo was, by and large, shaped by the interplay of two factors. Muhammad 'Ali's influence on architecture was clear where he ushered in the so-called Rumi style, which quickly seems to have proliferated. He purportedly banned the use of mashrabiyya, indicating that his visions for the architectural image of the city were clearly defined. The nineteenth- and early twentieth-century architecture of Historic Cairo shows an uneven relationship between traditional building practices and new ones and this is an important lesson for the study of older buildings, where the dearth of such structures makes it extremely difficult to understand them in the context of an evolving building tradition.

Keywords: architecture; historic quarters; Cairo; nineteenth century; twentieth century; Rumi style; mashrabiyya

Chapter.  9614 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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