AUTHOR: Dalila Ghodbane
CONTEXT: Presentation at the doctoral seminar "Work in Progress," Academy of Architecture, Mendrisio, 19.05.2016
KEYWORDS: Cairo, thermal knowledge, heritage, city climate, pollution, heat
The stake of this doctoral research is to identify knowledge and practices linked to climate in order to rethink passive architecture and thermal control expertise. To do so, I chose to work on Cairo, in Egypt, a city with an extreme climate that became problematic, as urban activities get more and more intense. More specifically, I will focus on old building, often celebrated for their heritage and thermal original qualities, but used as living places and modified by residents through time.
This shows that climatic and energetic performance, which is the basis of sustainable architecture, needs to be balanced with the idea of thermal comfort, which in return depends on many other dimensions of life.
To understand how different forms of practical, technical and scientific thermal knowledge exist in the urban environment and compete with other imperatives in the urban space setting, I developed a methodology that combines fieldwork in a part of Islamic/Medieval Cairo, extensive ethnographic survey using our (architecture) technics (drawing and climate data), and the study of a specific bibliographic corpus, that will be later exposed.