Located on the archaeological site of Amheida, Egypt, the Excavation House is an undergraduate field school and excavation quarters for the International Dakhleh Oasis Project of the Classic Department of Columbia University.
The organization of the building takes advantage of the topographic conditions of the site, leaning towards the northern oasis. Programmatically, private and communal spaces are located in sequence such that the enclosed bedroom suites slip into communal courtyards. The resulting programmatic axis creates continuity between the interconnected system of courtyards, terraces, and indoor spaces.
The mud plaster finish not only provides weath¬er protection from the harsh climate but also creates continuous surfaces of light and shadow throughout the building. Inside, the light is controlled through light wells and small windows.