Sekem, Egypt, from 1984

farm with school buildings

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Portus-Bau , Germany

Sekem came into being on the initiative of the Egyptian doctor Ibrahim Abouleish. With the help of a few Bedouins and Fellahin he began in 1977 to cultivate 70 ha of desert east of Cairo. The farm now lies as a green oasis amidst a largely desert like landscape.

Apart from the original bio-dynamically run farm, a number of other initiatives arose, processing foodstuffs and medicinal herbs, as well as producing medicines and ecologically manufactured textiles. Furthermore a children’s day-care centre, a school, a vocational training centre, flats and a cultural as well as health care centre. The underlying thought is the mutual support of economic, social and cultural life.

Architecturally the task was to find an answer that responded to the formative forces of the desert landscape, the climate and Arabic culture. It represents an attempt to help strengthen the  self image of a developing initiative through architecture.

Winfried Reindl und Stefan Schwarz


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