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Vernacular Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

Aquatio Cave Luxury Hotel & SPA / Simone Micheli

© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim© Jürgen Eheim+ 71

  • Architects: Simone Micheli
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  5000
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Aquaspecial, Daikin, Adrenalina, AveChile, Ecofibras Curiti, +1

The Contemporary Transformation of Traditional Chinese Architecture

The American architect, designer, and futurist Buckminster Fuller once defined the Dymaxion principle as “constructing ever more with ever less weight, time, and ergs per each given level of functional performance.”

Carl Pruscha, an Architect Investigating Overlooked Territories

Carl Pruscha, an Austrian architect who mainly dedicated his professional career to investigate and work closely in the field of regional architecture in the eastern world, a territory that was being overlooked at a time when the modern movement in architecture and in the rest of the world was booming. Through an overview of his life, we will highlight some of his most relevant works in Nepal and Sri Lanka and understand how Pruscha managed to stamp his unique visions of architecture and cities into his built projects.

CEDA Building . Image Courtesy of Carl PruschaCEDA Building . Image Courtesy of Carl PruschaTaragaon Museum. Image © Nipun Prabhakar"One World Foundation" Sri Lanka Bungalows. Image © Eva Schlegel+ 13

Why The New Do-It-Together Architecture Has Radical Potential

Around the world, a new generation of architects are challenging “business-as-usual” and bringing change to populations who had formerly no access to their professional services. This article is the first in a series to introduce this new practice that brings transactional client relations into more profound, trust-based collaborations. We call it Do-It-Together architecture.

Umah Hati Villa / Studio Jencquel

© Tommaso Riva© Tommaso Riva© Tommaso Riva© Tommaso Riva+ 30

  • Architects: Studio Jencquel
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  450
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018

Hartland Estate / Studio Jencquel

© Djuna Ivereigh© Djuna Ivereigh© Djuna Ivereigh© Djuna Ivereigh+ 20

  • Architects: Studio Jencquel
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  600
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2013

What is Vernacular Architecture?

Vernacular architecture can be defined as a type of local or regional construction, using traditional materials and resources from the area where the building is located. Consequently, this architecture is closely related to its context and is aware of the specific geographic features and cultural aspects of its surroundings, being strongly influenced by them. For this reason, they are unique to different places in the world, becoming even a means of reaffirming an identity.

Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali. Image © Wikimedia user Ruud Zwart licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 NLWarka Village, Cameroon. © WarkaWater, via CicloVivoTulou Dwellings, China. © Flickr user Slices of Light licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0Rwanda - Building Interior. Image © Larsen Payá+ 9

The Hutong Renovation in Beijing: Reimagining Tiny Spaces in a Historic Neighbourhood

For centuries, Hutongs have been recognized as one of the most treasured types of vernacular housing in China. Witnessing the cultural and historical transformation in Beijing ever since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368), the name Hutong is derived from a Mongolian word that means ‘water well’. In fact, this term was given to small streets that originated during the Yuan Dynasty when the emperor attempted to organize the urban fabric in a grid-like pattern in order to manage properly property ownership and to form an efficient transit system.

The Pursuit of an Identity for Angolan Architecture: Interview with Grupo BANGA

Investing in virtual projects has probably never been more timely, after all, we have been partially deprived of contact with the concrete world. Exploring the singularities of the present moment and the power of online engagement, a group of architects from Angola started an ambitious work: pursuing a new identity for Angolan architecture.

Formed by Yolana Lemos, Kátia Mendes, Mamona Duca, Elsimar de Freitas, and Gilson Menses, Grupo BANGA is responsible for the project Cabana de Arte (Art Hut), which combines the efforts of young architects and artists from Angola in virtual works that seek to bring visibility to emerging professionals and bring architecture closer to people's daily lives.

Projeto arquitetônico virtual para a exposição "Tchitundu-Hulu, a história resgatada". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAPlanta do projeto para a exposição "Mfwanana, Dialetos da Terra". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAProjeto arquitetônico virtual para a exposição "Eu sou o sol - as marcas perpetuadas em mim". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAProjeto investigativo "O Soba tem algo para dizer / O Soba vai à comunidade". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGA+ 8

A Look into Vietnamese Vernacular Construction: 1+1>2 Architect’s Rural Community Houses

© Hoang Thuc Hao© Hoang Thuc Hao, Nguyen Duy Thanh© Hoang Thuc Hao, Vu Xuan Son, Pham Duy Tung© Vu Xuan Son+ 17

This year the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has been looking at tourism as a way to create jobs and opportunities in rural areas under the banner of Tourism and Rural Development.

Rural based Architecture and traditional edifices play an important role in showcasing local heritage building and craftsmanship. It can also offer jobs and prospects outside of big cities particularly for the communities that might otherwise be left behind. 

The Contemporary Remodelling of Traditional Materials in Chinese Vernacular Architecture

Constrained by a lack of transportation and resources, vernacular architecture has started adapting the distinct strategy of utilizing local materials. By analyzing projects which have successfully incorporated these features into their design, this article gives an overview of how traditional materials, such as tiles, metal, rocks, bamboo, wooden sticks, timber, rammed earth and bricks are being transformed through vernacular architecture in China.

Putucos: What A Indigenous Technique Can Tell Us About Sustainability

As a part of the XV Taller Social Latinoamericano architectural conference that took place in Puno, Peru, we visited the Iruito Tupi zone in Huancané province alongside Francisco Mariscal, Director of the Puno Cultural Center. For the conference, Mariscal gave a presentation on the history of putucos, pre-Columbian houses made with a mixture of earth and grass.

History has the habit of repeating itself; using the same script, just with different names, figures, and places. Some 10,000 years ago, the Altiplano and the Titicaca lake basin, wedged between modern day Peru and Bolivia, became home to hunters and gatherers who subsisted on the herds of llamas and vicuñas as well as the bounty of birds and fish.

Close-up view of champa. Image © Nicolás Valencia© Nicolás Valencia© Nicolás ValenciaAlejo Paricanaza, a native of Iruito Tupi, has lived his entire life in putucos. Image © Nicolás Valencia+ 17

Architecture's Vernacular In A Post-COVID-19 World

As the Great Philosopher, Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.  

The COVID-19 pandemic will deeply impact the world of aesthetics. For the first time since League of Nations was founded, a future of universal aesthetics may cease to be the academically sanctioned Architectural Canon. As Markus Breitschmid defines it, in his article “In Defense of the Validity of the 'Canon' in Architecture,” the Canon in Architecture is a way to divorce architecture from the rest of the world:

Mexico. Photograph courtesy of House + House ArchitectsOklahoma. Photo courtesy of Clay ChapmanTexas © William AbranowiczRhode Island, Estes Twombly Architects, © Warren Jagger+ 11

Online Course Probes Cultural Context of Asian Vernacular Architecture

A new online course offered by the University of Hong Kong (UHK) through knowledge-sharing platform edX will probe the relationship between Asian culture and the continent’s vernacular architecture. Free and open to anyone, the introductory course entitled “Interpreting Vernacular Architecture in Asia” has an inclusive mission: to make the often alienating world of art and architectural history accessible to the general public by removing barriers to entry.

Paradigma Ariadne's Design for House With a Hundred Rooms Stretches into Visual Infinity

Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné
Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné

Hungarian architects Paradigma Ariadné push the concepts of progression and growth to a literal spatial extreme in their proposal for a new sport complex for the MTK Football Academy. Drawing inspiration from the diagram of traditional European peasant houses, the design stretches into a kind of visual infinity, stacking all the rooms in the building along a single horizontal axis.

Courtesy of Paradigma AriadnéCourtesy of Paradigma AriadnéRenders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné Renders by Whitebox Visual. Image Courtesy of Paradigma Ariadné+ 11

25 Examples of Vernacular Housing From Around the World

Where do people live around the world? It seems self-evident that most residential architecture is not as focused on aesthetics as the pristine, minimalist villas that cover the pages of design magazines (and, admittedly, websites like this one). As entertaining as it is to look at those kinds of houses, they’re not representative of what houses look like more generally. Most people live in structures built in the style of their region’s vernacular—that is, the normal, traditional style that has evolved in accordance with that area’s climate or culture. While strict definitions of residential vernacular architecture often exclude buildings built by professional architects, for many people the term has come to encompass any kind of house that is considered average, typical, or characteristic of a region or city. Check out our list below to broaden your lexicon of residential architecture.

© <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Iglu_1999-04-02.jpg'>Creative Commons user Ansgar Walk</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/'>CC BY-SA 2.5</a>© <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/Wohnsiedlung-Wassertorplatz-Bergfriedstr-Berlin-Kreuzberg-Okt-2016.jpg'>Creative Commons user Gunnar Klack</a> licensed under <a href=https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/'>CC BY-SA 4.0</a>© <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Bay-and-gable_2.JPG'>Creative Commons user SimonP</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>© <a href='https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/Swiss_chalet.jpg'>Creative Commons user Cristo Vlahos</a> licensed under <a href=’https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/'>CC BY-SA 3.0</a>+ 26

Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing our planet. There has never been a more important time to understand how to make the best use of local natural resources and to produce buildings that connect to ecosystems and livelihoods and do not rely on stripping the environment or transporting materials across the globe.

The culmination of years of specialist research, Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet, a once-in-a-generation large format publication, gathers together an international team of more than one hundred leading experts across a diverse range of disciplines to examine what the traditions of vernacular architecture and its