green design, eco design, sustainable design, Thula Fort, Thula, Yemen, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Social Fund for Development, ancient preservation, Abdullah Al-Hadrami

The site of the ancient Thula Fort was recently threatened by the plans for construction of a road, which would disrupt the fragile architecture of the ruins.  The people of Thula reacted, and the preservation project was born. In order to protect their heritage, the project will begin by rebuilding the walls of both the burial grounds and the agricultural terraces, that served the area over two thousand years ago.

The main focus will be on the massive ancient stone architecture, which although has held up over the years, needs to be reinforced for longevity of the site. Historic stone watch towers, paths and waterways wind up and down throughout the hilly region, and with the addition of modern roads and structures, have received more wear and tear in the last century than ever before. Aside from these renovations, the project will also preserve the ancient cistern, that is still in use by the people of Thula today. During the early phases of the preservation, even more ancient Sabaean sites were discovered, including gates and walls.

The project will help to preserve the culture and important artifacts in Yemen, while acting as a model for historic preservation to other projects.

+ Aga Khan Award for Architecture