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Unveiling the Enchanting Mashrabiya: A Window to Tradition and Elegance

By: Marwa Abla, MAB Design Studio

The Modern Rustic House is a unique living space that combines modern convenience with the beauty and harmony of nature. The design philosophy focuses on capturing the spiritual energy of the natural world and incorporating it into every aspect of the house. The play of sunlight, color schemes inspired by the sun, and the use of wood and greenery create a seamless connection between indoors and outdoors. The furniture and decor choices further enhance the rustic charm of the dwelling, with warm ochre hues and artisanal touches. The result is a tranquil and connected space that reminds residents of their place in the natural world. The Modern Rustic House offers a sanctuary where the rhythms of nature can be embraced, providing a place to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with oneself.

MashrabiyaStep into the enchanting world of mashrabiya, a timeless vernacular architectural wonder that adorns the second or higher floors of buildings, casting an intricate latticed spell over internal courtyards. Like a delicate balcony or oriel window, the mashrabiya is a small opening that beckons you to a world of beauty and functionality, leaving you awe-inspired at every turn.

Architecturally, these lattice works are marvels of ingenuity, ingeniously serving multiple purposes that go beyond mere aesthetics. One of their foremost functions is to control the flow of air, ensuring a gentle breeze permeates the space within. Beyond that, they are masters at reducing the temperature of the air, creating a cool oasis amidst the scorching sun. But it does not end there – the mashrabiya also plays a role in increasing the humidity of the air, adding an element of comfort to the atmosphere within.

middle east designsA harmonious blend of privacy and openness is yet another captivating aspect of the mashrabiya. The lattice work ranges from simple geometric shapes to breathtakingly ornate patterns, offering glimpses of the outside world while cloaking the interior in a sense of seclusion. Each region boasts its own unique design, be it the mesmerising hexagonal patterns or the elegant Kanaysi or Church balusters, assembled vertically in graceful symmetry.

Ventilation and passive cooling are taken to the next level with the incorporation of a water jar, affectionately known as a qullah, inside the mashrabiya. As the cool water infuses the air, an oasis-like ambiance envelopes the space, transforming it into a sanctuary of respite. The mastery of craftsmanship extends even further as some mashrabiyas are lined with stained glass, creating a mesmerising interplay of light and color. While many remain closed, some offer a delightful surprise by being designed as movable windows, artfully sliding open to reveal their hidden treasures. Not only do they enhance the upper floor rooms by expanding the floor plan, but they also grant you access to an independent balcony, transporting you to a world outside, embraced by scenic wonders like a river, a cliff, or a picturesque farm.

Rhythms of NatureAs you trace your fingers along the lattice, you’ll find the mashrabiya embodies the soul of traditional elegance, a testament to the timeless ingenuity of skilled artisans. Every intricate pattern weaves together a story of heritage and culture, whispering tales of generations past. Welcome to a world where the mashrabiya reigns supreme – a harmonious symphony of design and functionality, where the past meets the present, and the ordinary transcends into the extraordinary. Immerse yourself in the enchanting dance of light and shadow, as the mashrabiya becomes not just a window but a portal to a world of wonder.

Fast Facts

  • Project Name: (Rhythms of Nature)
  • Location: Siwa oasis, Egypt
  • Architect: Marwa Abla
  • Materials used for facade & fenestration: The Modern Rustic style uses wood, rustic materials, and vintage wood for more blend into nature
  • Commencement Date & Completion Date: October 2021 – January 2022

Marwa Abla, MAB Design Studio

Co-Founder & CEO

Marwa Abla is Co-Founder and CEO of MAB Design Studio, with over two decades of experience in architectural projects across various countries. Her remarkable contributions as a member of the Engineering Projects Committee within the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate from 2018 to 2022 have been. Alongside her exceptional team, Marwa has led successful projects in architecture, interior design, and Building Information Modeling (BIM). Now, she is venturing into the metaverse, combining her design expertise and understanding of this digital realm. Marwa aims to redefine virtual spaces, offering her innovative architectural vision to create captivating virtual environments and guide brands through the uncharted territory of the metaverse, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in architecture.

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