Egyptian Places: An Illustrated Travelogue is a rich and multi-faceted account of an architect’s visits to 12 of Ancient Egypt’s most spectacular sites, a journey that transports the reader from the urban metropolis of Cairo and the Great Pyramid of Giza to the remote desert setting of the rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel, with visits to other monumental temples and towering pyramids which line the Nile River.
The book recreates that journey, describing important architectural features of these sacred monuments, their mythic foundations and religious significance. Over 200 color hand drawings and graphic studies capture and interpret the character of each site from the architect’s unique perspective.
Henry David Ayon practices architecture in Richmond, Virginia and is a former adjunct faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University where he taught design and drawing, two life-long devotions. A graduate of the University of Texas School of Architecture, he also holds a Master’s Degree in the Science of Historic Preservation from Columbia University.
Henry Ayon, a talented architect and artist with an astute eye and elegantly succinct sketching ability, has produced a thoroughly enjoyable and readable record of his Egyptian adventures. I expected anything he produced would be impressive but what I am most pleased to find is that his charm and wit come through in his very fine prose and scholarly research. The travelogue structure is the perfect vehicle both to convey his keen sensitivity to his environment and allow the reader to experience Henry’s enthusiasm for the sense and sensibility of an ancient culture. —David R.H. King, FAIA SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CORPORATE DESIGN DIRECTOR SmithGroup / Los Angeles
I’ve known Henry Ayon for years. Egyptian Places reflects his personality, eye for design, and subtle, thoughtful views. It’s attention to detail, presented in clear concise sketches brought me into his tour of Egypt. The expeditions through the bare landscape contrasted with simple, monumental forms come to life through the book and provide a window into a world that is uniquely Egyptian. This is not just an architectural analysis, it’s a unique journey exploring the juxtaposition of modern life alongside ancient temples….it offers striking views of the master architects of sand and stone carving into the vast desert skies. Each sketch brings us closer to the time that created these wonders and invites us in to enjoy this Egyptian voyage. —David Keith, CEO, Design Principal Hanbury Architects
One is inclined to think of Ancient Egypt as a distant and lonely culture, of little relevance to an age of iPhones, jet travel, and the Kardashians. But readers of Egyptian Places will discover that ancient Egypt is indeed relevant to the present. …But above all, this book shows that, the architecture of Ancient Egypt has the power to move us in profound and mysterious ways, no less so now than it did five thousand years ago. —Frank Harmon, FAIA Professor of Practice in Architecture North Carolina State University College of Design