Archaeological Expedition House in Old Dongola, Sudan

A design-and-build commission for an archaeological expedition’s house in Old Dongola in the Sudan for the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw. The design had to take into account extreme weather conditions of the location, with very high temperatures and huge daily and yearly temperature variations, and strong, dust-carrying winds, as well as offer protection against termites and swarming blackflies. The design uses traditional local materials and draws inspiration from two, often convergent, sources: the traditional vernacular architecture of Northern Sudan, and the architectural tradition of mediaeval Nubia, of which Old Dongola was the capital, and which is being explored by the Polish expedition.

Twelve bedrooms, a kitchen and a dining room, storerooms, workrooms and outdoor working areas, and service rooms are grouped around two courtyards. Most spaces are covered with domes and barrel vaults, following the ancient Nubian tradition.

Designing started in December 2017.
Construction: November 2018 – November 2019

Lead Designer: Agnieszka Dobrowolska

Design team: 
Eslam Bin al-Na’eb,  Karim al-Didi, Ahmad ‘Abdel ‘Aziz

Location: Old Dongola (al-Ghaddar), Northern Province, Sudan