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Modern Thebes by Dimitris Argyros and Alleen Siu
Start Date 20/10/2008
End Date 20/11/2008
Location dreamspace gallery, 1-3 Dufferin Street, London, EC1Y 8NA 
Country United Kingdom 
Description A year after the widely commended exhibition, ‘Saraben’, two more rising stars from the Bartlett School of Architecture 2007, Dimitris Argyros and Alleen Siu, will present distinct projects based on sustainability in ‘Modern Thebes’ at London’s dreamspace gallery. Thebes, the prominent city in Ancient Egypt, was the world’s cultural capital some 4,000 years ago. Its archaeological legacy is great with numerous treasures, some of a gargantuan scale, located on the east and west banks of the Nile as the river flows North towards to Egypt's current capital city, Cairo. Overwhelmed by tourism, the city is struggling to cope with the consequences of its hospitality and there are some evident environmental and socio-economical problems. The public transport system is inadequate, environmental pollution is on the rise and many residents of Luxor have yet to benefit from the improvements designed primarily to serve the tourist rather than local populations. Dimitris and Alleen have tried to address some of these issues and whilst studying Diploma at the Bartlett, developed two distinct propositions, each with a specific interpretation of the concept of sustainability and sustainable development in Luxor, through an architecture typology that blends technological innovation with a celebration of the vernacular environment. Alleen’s ‘Beyond the Veil’ is a community and social centre situated on the periphery of Luxor that derives its concept from Unicef’s 'Change for Good' on-flight fund-raising programme. The architecture encourages a formal and informal exchange of culture, education and knowledge between the air-stewardesses and the local women and children in an environment of comfort and privacy. Dimitris’ ‘Luxor by Horse’ proposition posits the creation of an eco-friendly public-transport scheme using horse and carriage - designed to revolutionise transport in downtown Luxor Central. A new suburban terminal located on the periphery of Luxor for the horses, drivers and carriages, takes on the form of a sustainable landmark for Egypt encouraging participation both by the tourists and locals in the construction and maintenance of the system. The exhibition is open Monday to Friday,9.30am to 5.30pm. Free admission. 
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