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Study of a Cliff Face

What is a Dutch architect doing in Africa? Herman Haan had travelled across this continent regularly since he was 15 years old. In the ‘primitive’ culture of the African desert he found an alternative for the rational construction in the post-war Netherlands.

In miniature he reconstructed the rock dwellings of the Tellem, an ancient people that builds settlements in the cliff face at a height of hundreds of metres. Haan’s replicas and travel reports from Africa were an inspiration for Dutch architects, who applied novel insights into the relations between spatial, social and community patterns in new housing typologies.

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