Portuguese architect Fernando Varanda’s reference photographs of 1970s Yemen. Part One.

Sana’a. Tower house, cut. House types and spaces, mountain and Tihama houses, maps and diagrams.
Fernando José de Sá Martins Varanda.

These photographs were taken in 1970s Yemen by a Portuguese architect and urban planner named Professor Fernando José de Sá Martins Varanda. In 1973, Varanda began extensive research specifically on built spaces in Yemen.

Every image is titled with architecture and urban planning in mind. Varanda was interested in how the Yemeni’s construct their buildings, how they utilise them, plan them, live in them. Not in photography as art. His images are simply architectural research documentation. Each image is captioned with reference in mind: cheap stone constructions, constructions in brick and stone, house types and spaces, mountain houses, alabaster windows and facades, elementary shelters, tents, cave dwellings, temporary shelters, thatched houses, etc.

Some fifty years on, Varanda’s images have moved beyond their original purpose and live (in the archives of Lisbon’s Biblioteca de Arte da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian) as mighty fine images of one of the most difficult and dangerous places on earth for us to visit today.

They have aged very well. 

This is part 1. Part 2 is here.

Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Cheap Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Khirab. Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Khirab. Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Khirab. Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Khirab. Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
Khirab. Stone construction, Zabur, Barat.
House types and spaces, mountain houses, Al Tawila.
Al Tawila.
House types and spaces, mountain houses, Al Tawila.
House types and spaces, mountain houses. Al Tawila.
Sa’da.
Sa’da. Construction on land. Zabur, Sa’da.
Sa’da. Construction on land. Zabur, Sa’da.
Sa’da. Construction on land. Zabur, Sa’da.
Dhamar. Construction in brick and stone.
Dhamar. Construction in brick and stone.
Al Baydha. Types and spaces of the house, mountain houses, toilets, kitchens and parapets.
Hodide. House types and spaces, mountain houses and Tihama (coastal strip), Hodeida.
Hodide. House types and spaces, mountain houses and Tihama (coastal strip), Hodeida.
Hodide. House types and spaces, mountain houses and Tihama (coastal strip), Hodeida.
Thula. Doors, wood.
Al Hanaka. Alabaster windows.
Hays. House types and spaces, mountain houses and Tihama (coastal strip), brick houses.
Hays. Brick house. House types and spaces, mountain and Tihama houses, maps and diagrams.
Al Haitaka. Stone building, Libn.
Mithal. Types and spaces of the house, mountain houses, toilets, kitchens and parapets.
Madi Dar. House types and spaces, mountain houses.
Sana’a. Tower house, cut. House types and spaces, mountain and Tihama houses, maps and diagrams.
Sa’da. House types and spaces, mountain houses,
diwan, bedrooms and mafraj.
Sana’a. Types and spaces of the house, mountain houses, vestibule, stairs and landings.
Rada Stone building, Libn.
Sana’a. Construction. Sana’a and city transformation.
Sana’a. Windows and stained glass.

This is part 1. Part 2 is here.

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