Projet scientifique
Axe 1 : Fabrications de l’urbain (2016-2024)

Vernacular aesthetics in self-built housing in Tunis and Cairo

Date de parution : 2015
Revue en ligne : CIDADES, Comunidades e Territórios, n°31
Pages : 99-115
ISSN : 2182-3030


Exterior house aesthetics are generally considered as the task of professional architects and urban planners. However, in Maghreb countries, and in other developing countries as well, self-made non-professional inhabitant builders assure the city growth. My research – as an architect - aims to acknowledge and understand the meaning of vernacular contemporary aesthetics that are free from academic models and urban regulation policies. The research draws on the observation of individuals and mass housing in various popular neighborhoods of Tunis and Cairo, using photography, graphical analyses and interviews. My main hypothesis is the recognition of the inhabitants’ competence to produce their own aesthetics that are visible through the front buildings. This paper will discuss how the inhabitants perceive the outside aspects of the house, the façade as a minor step in the housing project, and the way it affects its external appearance.