by Sherif Issa
I am sure you’ll get a lot of answers to the very same question. Some will be driven by personal opinion, some by an objective, scientific view; and some driven by sheer patriotism. Why so? How so? .. Because there is always a talented architect in every country and every culture. Think of these examples…
The US? — You have Frank Lloyd Wright [of course] with his Guggenheim museum
Brazil — I loved Lúcio Costa’s persona as well as his work…
India?—- Bangladesh and Pakistan? There are so many of them
Iraq?—- Zaha Hadid with her super eccentric designs.
Italy and France? —- these countries wrote the book on art and architecture.
How about Egypt? — Yes sir, we have the multi-talented good man who had sustainability in his mind long, long before it was a buzzword... Mr. Hassan Fathy with his concept of “Architecture for the poor”
Fathy has developed systems of natural ventilation and air conditioning in his buildings that were almost as good as our modern HVAC but more efficient and planet-friendly since they consumed no energy at all.
He is considered by some as one of the greatest contemporary architects we have. Some people go far enough to consider him an owner of a “thought school’, not just a good architect.
So, there you have it. Your “mirror on the wall, greatest architect of them all” answer.