Luxor News - Jane Akshar: Which one is the Carter House?
I hope my photo makes it clear. The one at the very top of the hill is
the Stopplaere House and below is an excellent description. Also on this
website you can find many photos.
Stopplaere House, which dates from the year after New Gourna was
completed, was designed as both a guest house for the Department of
Antiquities and the headquarters and apartment of Dr. Alexander
Stopplaere who was the chief restorer of the Department at that time.
The architect's drawings of the house, which went through several
revisions, all convey the difficulty of combining these two diverse
entities into one, showing how the architect was struggling with the
duality of functions involved.
The first scheme he attempted uses a
square plan to group both sectors around two perfectly balanced parallel
courtyards that are divided by a bisecting wall. The demands of a
ridge-like, linear site, however, which is strategically located at the
summit of a step ridge overlooking the main entrance into the Valley of
the Kings and Queens at Luxor, eventually forced the opening up of the
plan into an elongated rectangle. A skylit gallery, of a kind that first
appeared in the Hamid Said house, is used to join both sides of the
residence, and the bisecting wall of the original concept finally
emerges as a fully expressed buttress in the finished building,
effectively separating the main entrance and its garden from the private
quarters of Dr. Stopplaere.
In spite of the fact that no "as-built"
drawings for this project exist, the small collection of initial
sketches that have survived provide a rare insight into the creative
thought processes of the architect, and show how actual site conditions
began to inform a beginning design idea. The photographs of the actual
building are equally important in that they include interior views of
both the rooms and the courtyards. As is the case with so many of
Fathy's surviving works today, access into the Stopplaere house is now
very restricted, which gives these interior views added significance."
house in the grove of tree at the bottom is the Carter House, so called
Castle Carter 2. He had previously had a house at Medinet Habu called
Castle Carter 1. According to TGH James in the winter of 1910/11
“Carter. Many years later after the discovery and clearance of the tomb it would be described
had by them been working for Carnarvon for two seasons and it must have
become clear to both that there was to be a future in their
association….A gesture in the direction of putting down roots in Thebes,
presumably with an eye to future work, was the building by Carter of
Castle Carter II. It was designed by himself along vernacular line –
solid, roomy, four square, with a central hall with a dome…. In no time
he would be receiving guests, there was much to be admired ‘Carter has
built himself a delightful house at the north end of the necropolis and
moves in soon’ (Weigall): ‘Theo and I had a charming afternoon with Mr
Carter in his new house – so well built and arranged and pretty – it
looked like the abode of an artist and scholar (Mrs Andrews); By noon we
had reached the new house that Carter had built for himself… and it
being very warm, we determined to call upon Carter and take drinks off
him. I was glad to have an opportunity of looking over his house, which
is delightful, simple mud walls, not rendered conspicuous by any
plaster, very little furniture but what there is artistic (Gardiner).”
“ very comfortable, a house much above the standard of field bases and of frequent champagne”also taken from James’s excellent biography of Carter.