Preserve Beautiful Yemen
A tribute to the identity and culture of the Yemeni people through their architecture.
Not architects, but ancient and wise craftsmanship! Yemen is the land of master builders (Usta), craftsmen and artisans who created sophisticated and impressive architecture. In every region the particular vernacular architecture survived the modern development and the ancient houses are still inhabited.
The ustas kept through oral transmission the traditional building techniques intact, unaltered for centuries, and still practise them today. Their techniques are moreover adapted to the climate and ecological sound. Through the use of local natural building materials, the colour and sometimes the shape of an urban fabric perfectly integrate with the natural environment thus creating an indivisible unity. Stone, shale or mud formed into oven-baked or sun-dried bricks are used to construct tower houses made up of sometimes 11 floors.
The master builder designs the layout of the house taking into account social/cultural norms. He directs the execution of the work and then decorates the house with precious artistic patterns.
Since March 2015 Yemen is facing an extremely serious conflict which is having dramatic humanitarian consequences and is also causing the destruction of different archaeological and architectural heritage sites. This is a terrible loss for humanity and directly affects the identity and dignity of the Yemeni people as well as the world’s heritage.
Hopefully the war comes soon to an end. Yemen has then to decide on the direction of reconstruction: Will it be modern technology and materials, or traditional techniques adapted to the changing needs of the society? The latter option will strengthen the enhancement of the Yemeni society as a whole: architecture is a living tradition engendering social and economic wealth. In this way the authenticity and the charm of the urban fabric will be preserved.