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Dissertations / Theses on the topic 'Vernacular architecture'

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Tang, Fan-ju Susan. "Vertical Vernacular." Thesis, University of Waterloo, 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/2848.

Cemal, Havar. "Reinterpreting traditional weave : Revisiting vernacular architecture." Thesis, KTH, Arkitektur, 2014. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-146103.

Gillick, Ambrose. "Synthetic vernacular : the coproduction of architecture." Thesis, University of Manchester, 2013. https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/theses/synthetic-vernacular--the-coproduction-of-architecture(a01413a1-3d60-4ab1-9e8b-ce8f48deb3c8).html.

Gautam, Avinash. "Climate responsive vernacular architecture : Jharkhand, India." Thesis, Manhattan, Kan. : Kansas State University, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/2097/990.

Hallauer, Edith. "Du vernaculaire à la déprise d'oeuvre : Urbanisme, architecture, design." Thesis, Paris Est, 2017. http://www.theses.fr/2017PESC1233/document.

Ying, Li. "Renovation of vernacular architecture in rural China." Doctoral thesis, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/10803/406043.

ROUHANI, OMID. "VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE AND ITS REUSE: "THE BASTAKIA"." The University of Arizona, 1992. http://hdl.handle.net/10150/555415.

Min, Shu. "Evolving Vernacular Architecture: Case Studies in Sichuan, China, 18th-20th Century." Thesis, The University of Sydney, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/2123/15474.

Huang, Yinwu. "The logic of vernacular materials the relationship of the vernacular materials of wood, earth, stone and lime in Shaxi's vernacular construction system /." Click to view the E-thesis via HKUTO, 2006. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record/B42182979.

Chattopadhyay, Basundhara. "Towards an understanding of vernacular domestic habitation /." This resource online, 1992. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-04122010-083440/.

Chandler, Aleta Nadine. "Vernacular Whimsy." Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University, 2008. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1994.

黃印武 and Yinwu Huang. "The logic of vernacular materials: the relationship of the vernacular materials of wood, earth, stone andlime in Shaxi's vernacular construction system." Thesis, The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong), 2006. http://hub.hku.hk/bib/B42182979.

Prabhu, Chaya. "Soul nurturing in the vernacular architecture of Japan." Thesis, This resource online, 1994. http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-02162010-020637/.

Khidir, Omeima M. O. "Bridging between the Contemporary and the Vernacular architecture." Thesis, Virginia Tech, 1998. http://hdl.handle.net/10919/32246.

Gomez, Leonardo. "Reconsidering Vernacular Japanese Architecture for Sustainable Ecological Design." Kyoto University, 2004. http://hdl.handle.net/2433/147721.

Aysan, Yasemin Fatma. "An understanding of the 'vernacular discourse'." Thesis, Oxford Brookes University, 1988. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.330290.

Milod, M. "Vernacular architecture in Libya : a case study of vernacular dwellings in the Nafusa mountain region." Thesis, University of Salford, 2019. http://usir.salford.ac.uk/49656/.

Pinijvarasin, Wandee. "Experiences of well being in Thai vernacular houses /." Connect to thesis, 2004. http://eprints.unimelb.edu.au/archive/00000496.

Kaya, Can Ergül Emre. "Architecture of societies in multicultural region: The case of vernacular architecture at Datça peninsula/." [s.l.]: [s.n.], 2005. http://library.iyte.edu.tr/tezler/master/mimarlik/T000400.pdf.

Aslam, Emrah. "Historical references in architectural design with special emphasis on Anatolian vernacular architecture : a study in Turkish tourism architecture." Thesis, University of Salford, 2011. http://usir.salford.ac.uk/26554/.

Yallop, Rosemary. "Villa rustica, villa suburbana : Vernacular Italianate architecture in Britain, 1800-1860." Thesis, University of Oxford, 2017. https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:d391fc9b-a7c8-4d57-9f7d-751b869cecaf.

Gribble, John. "Verlorenvlei vernacular : a structuralist analysis of Sandveld folk architecture." Master's thesis, University of Cape Town, 1990. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21820.

Quintino, Guilherme. "Vernacular architecture in south-western Portugal : a contribution towards sustainable architecture and conservation." Thesis, Open University, 2002. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.247046.

Gray, Nicholas. "Gastronomical InterventionFood as Vernacular Catalyst." University of Cincinnati / OhioLINK, 2014. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1397467059.

Zographaki, Stephania G. "Neo-vernacular trends towards the recent past in Greece." Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986. http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78950.

Ha, Man-tuen Angela. "Vernacular landscape design in Lung Yuek Tau." Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong, 2001. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record.jsp?B25951622.

Kong, Tak-chun Andy. "Cultural landscape architecture Fanling Wai (Walled village)." Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong, 1999. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record.jsp?B25951038.

Alsaqobi, Abdulaziz. "Reading Tradition: A Hermeneutics of Vernacular Kuwaiti Dwellings." University of Cincinnati / OhioLINK, 2014. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1407410403.

Lee, Chung-ming Eric. "The vanishing watchtower farmhouse discovering the cultural significance of a historical vernacular landscape in Mui Wo, Lantau Island /." Click to view the E-thesis via HKUTO, 2005. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record/B42181148.

Ko, Wing-hong Nigel. "Hidden Street in disregarded village the cultural significance of "Wai Chai", Pokfulam Village /." Click to view the E-thesis via HKUTO, 2007. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record/B4218860X.

Darley, Rhea Shannon. "A new regionalism." Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1993. http://hdl.handle.net/1853/24174.

Osiri, Navanath. "Space and rituals in the vernacular architecture of northern Thailand." Thesis, SOAS, University of London, 2001. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.251657.

Ngwira, Lumbani. "Earth in Architecture: An Exploration of Malawian Vernacular and Healing." Thesis, Virginia Tech, 2017. http://hdl.handle.net/10919/79697.

Burghardt, Laura. "The Vernacular Architecture of Homesteads in Cebolla Canyon, New Mexico." Thesis, The University of Arizona, 2014. http://hdl.handle.net/10150/321597.

Kumble, Peter Andrew 1957. "The vernacular landscape of the southwestern guest ranch." Thesis, The University of Arizona, 1992. http://hdl.handle.net/10150/291844.

McKinney, Karen J. S. "Louisiana Coastal Vernacular| Grand Isle, 1780-1931." Thesis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2019. http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10814689.

Wang, Haofeng. "Architectural intent and its vernacular process a morphological study of the spatial planning concept in traditional settlements and courtyard houses in Huizhou, China /." Click to view the E-thesis via HKUTO, 2006. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record/B37232149.

Roy, Avik. "Interpreting a contemporary urban vernacular for cities : --the case of Delhi." Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1988. http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/78984.

Lee, Ho-yin, and 李浩然. "The kampong house : architecture and culture of the Malay vernacular in Peninsular Malaysia." Thesis, The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong), 1998. http://hdl.handle.net/10722/207573.

Lee, Ho-yin. "The kampong house : architecture and culture of the Malay vernacular in Peninsular Malaysia /." Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong, 1998. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record.jsp?B19472626.

Lewis, J. Stuart. "Continuity and progress in a strongly traditional environment : reworking the Samarkand competition." Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1995. http://hdl.handle.net/1853/24119.

Naude, M. "A legacy of rondavels and rondavel houses in the northern interior of South Africa." South African Journal of Art History, 2007. http://encore.tut.ac.za/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1000810.

Raath, Johannes Jacobus. "Oorsprong en manifestasie van die suid-Afrikaanse hartbees- of dakhuis 'n kultuurhistoriese studie /." Pretoria : [S.n.], 2005. http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-12212005-150916.

Singh, Ashna. "The Changing Domestic Architecture of Kathmandu Valley." University of Cincinnati / OhioLINK, 2019. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1553516667916301.

Teixeira, Josemar Alberto da Silva dos Santos. "Arquitectura vernacular da Cidade Velha - Casos de estudo." Master's thesis, Universidade de Évora, 2019. http://hdl.handle.net/10174/27839.

Krisprantono. "The study of vernacular building to inform the education for contemporary design concepts with special reference to Central Java." Thesis, University of York, 1999. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.301023.

Fourie, Morne. "Mêmes in amaNdzundza architecture." Thesis, McGill University, 1999. http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=30129.

Larson, Julia. "Understanding a Historic Downtown as a “New” Vernacular Form: Immigrant Influence in Woodburn, Oregon." Thesis, University of Oregon, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/1794/19297.

Edmonds, Betsy L. "Designing in context : domestic vernacular architecture of the eastern shore of Virginia." Thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1990. http://hdl.handle.net/1853/24136.

Duan, Zhongcheng. "The environmental performance of vernacular skywell dwellings in south-eastern China." Thesis, University of Nottingham, 2012. http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/13909/.

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High Altitude Houses: Vernacular Architecture of Ladakh

by Edoardo Paolo Ferrari

High Altitude Houses is a first comprehensive study on the domestic architecture of Ladakh which analyses its many and varied aspects. The monograph is based on the master thesis: “A Fading Legacy: Ladakh’s Vernacular Architecture” and a 8 months mission in Ladakh over two years. The research starts from an overview of the environmental, socio-cultural and historical factors which has influenced life in this Himalayan region. Settlements and buildings were accordingly shaped and evolved in this cross-cultural area through the centuries. The house is a multifunctional artefact, which materializes people’s needs and which has been in a process of transformation. The house is therefore examined not only in relation to the past, but according to the many changes, particularly hastened in the last three to four decades. The domestic spaces are investigated according to their functions, different usages and location. The house as a whole is also read through its symbolical meanings. A large section of the research is dedicated to the study of the construction techniques and materials, to the structural elements and building components supported by a corpus of interviews carried out in several Ladakhi villages with local masons and on building sites.

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2014, Art and Architecture in Ladakh. Cross-cultural Transmissions in the Himalayas and Karakoram

Art and Architecture in Ladakh. List of Contents and Introduction

Maanana Atrey

2019, Masters Thesis

The cultural diversity of Asia has always attracted attention and curiosity towards the continent. Within this geographic region, India has been especially recognised for its variety of religions, languages and traditions, both historically and today. One of the lesser explored and recognised of these traditions exists in the mountainous region of the Western Himalayas, a culture with a distinct identity and architectural style. The Western Himalayas are broadly divided over three states: Uttrakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The Kinnaur valley is one of the most isolated regions of Himachal Pradesh that has fostered and respected its traditions and identity. Historically, Kinnaur had the second largest forest cover in India and its vernacular architecture revolves around the extensive use of wood. This particular building tradition is called Kath-Khuni. Today, one of the primary building materials used in Kath-Khuni construction, Deodar wood, is not easily available due to restrictions on timber procurement by the Forest Department. This combined with the easy availability of factory-made materials like cement and steel has impacted older building techniques. The research notes the patterns of change, resilience and adaptation of building traditions. Through an increased understanding of the components which contribute most effectively to the endurance of building traditions, the desired balance between tradition and modernity can be fostered. This is particularly pertinent for countries such as India, which sits at a threshold of increasing global influence. This dissertation encourages one to think about the future of such traditions in contemporary built environments. Key Words: Kath-Khuni, building traditions, resilience, change, adaptation, endurance, vernacular architecture, traditions.

Himalayan Dwellings: Assessing the future of traditional vernacular practices in Kinnaur

Pratyush Shankar

Change in vernacular architecture of the Himalayas needs to be deconstructed and understood in a comprehensive manner, to be able to evolve a holistic view on the issue of change and continuity in this region. Case study of village Mukhba in Uttarkashi district of Uttaranchal state has been taken up to understand the issues of change in vernacular building traditions in the area

Understanding change in Himalayan vernacular houses

Rishiraj Das

Standing Firm: Traditional Aseismic Architecture in the Western-Central Himalayas1

Dr:Hikmat A.Hamad Alhusieny

The Influence of the Landscape on the Typology of Traditional House in Kurdistan Mountainous Villages

Ankush Bharti

This is a digital offfprint for restricted use only | © 2014 Koninklijke Brill NV

Art and Architecture in Ladakh

Hubert Feiglstorfer

Examining earthen building methods at the Nyarma monastery in Ladakh

Utsavi Singh

The objective of the present study was to understand the historical context of the making of sacred sites in the village of Alchi in Ladakh, with a special focus on the monasteries of Alchi and Tsatsapuri, supplemented by other sacred structures like chortens, lhathos and lubangs. The study was conducted with the understanding that structures, though built to serve a specific function, do not perform their intended functions in isolation, but are influenced by a large number of factors, starting with regional peculiarities, cultural and social circumstances, and temporal changes in the social, cultural, political and spatial domains. Another set of factors influencing our understanding of physical structures is the history of their use—intended and actual, as well as the condition of our own times, which we use as a lens to understand our pasts. The study thus, attempted to understand one region of the vast and diverse history of Ladakh by looking at a small village tucked away in Lower Ladakh. Alchi might have represented only a fraction of the diverse practices and traditions prevalent in Ladakh around the tenth till the fifteenth centuries CE, but it was one which probably exercised immense influence and served as a vital point of exchange and interaction between different communities during this time. The study was conducted keeping in mind the history of the use of structures in Alchi, and not merely the history of the construction of these structures as independent entities that only shaped the landscape or were shaped by the landscape. Alchi is a region in the Shams that probably saw continuous change, and how this change was reflected in and impacted the physical structure and the people that used these structures was an important aspect looked into in this study. The study was also conducted so as to indicate a sample of the range of potential questions that a study of material culture can generate in the region, to push the need for an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of the Ladakh region. The study of Ladakh has been for a long time dominated by an art historical approach, and a certain tendency toward looking at the history of different religions to get more information about the region, for comprehensible reasons. However, there is a need, especially now, in the light of the growth of inter-disciplinary approaches in the social sciences, to broaden our range


Priyanshu Mehta

The Vernacular architecture of Himachal Pradesh is a great example of how man has been shaping his lifestyle in accordance with his surrounding conditions and how the practice of architecture is being used as a tool for bridging the gap between Anthropology and Ecology. However, this sustainable form of architecture is losing its identity and is slowly being replaced by the concrete constructions in the name of modernity. The trending built-environment in the district of Kangra is the one which has been enforced upon by the “Western culture” and is completely out of sync with the natural environment. This changing scenario is painting a heart-breaking picture of bio-climatic change and fading traditions and therefore, need to be analyzed carefully. This Dissertation scrutinizes in detail the traditional style of Earthen Architecture as a product of various ecological, materialistic, social and cultural components altogether and aims at interpreting the whole concept of sustainable housing and how the indigenous architecture plays a significant role in shaping an improved and a better-built environment for the present as well as for the future population.

Sustainable Architecture for the Hills: An Anthropological Approach to the Fading Vernacular Architecture of Western Himalayas with Special Emphasis on Rakkar Village of District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

Neelima Yadav

Journal of Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism

Munsiyari is a region located at an altitude of 2,200 meters in the hilly state of Uttarakhand, India. The eponymous town is surrounded by twenty-two villages mostly inhabited by Bhotiya tribes, who once formed a community that traded with those crossing from India to Tibet, though this trade came to an abrupt end with the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Owing to the region’s prosperity, the villages exhibit a very interesting typology of hill architecture. This architectural identity is also a manifestation of a geographical and cultural response to a difficult terrain. Our study was carried out as part of the preparation of a dossier for inventorying the Kailash sacred landscape with the aim of documenting the present state of the traditional vernacular heritage of the selected indigenous community for the UNESCO nomination of the wider region. That thorough documentation process was used as a means of analyzing local vernacular heritage and its current situation, and with a view to offsett...

Traditional Vernacular Architecture of Kumaon: The Case of the Hill Towns of Munsiyari, Uttarakhand

Hossein Medi

2021, Space Ontology International Journal

Many scientific sources agree that indigenous architecture, in terms of shape and function, is best suited to its environment. In this architecture, climatic conditions, access to materials, culture and beliefs of residents play an important role in the formation of the outer wall, the arrangement of ancillary spaces and decorative features. This architecture has a unique feature in the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan in the face of wildlife, different cultures and harsh climatic conditions. The approach of the two Wakhi and Kyrgyz immigrant communities in the region is quite different in their adherence to traditions. However, in the Wakhan Valley, the transfer of experiences between farmers and herding nomads has created a new kind of architecture that is still introverted. To study the formation of this architecture, descriptive-analytical method has been studied on library resources, maps, statistical data, reports and field images. This study showed that indigenous architecture,...

Distinctive Aspects of Vernacular Architecture of Wakhan Valley in Afghanistan; Influencing the Crossing Cultures and Adapting to the Harsh Climate

Journal of Art and Civilization of Orient (JACO)

2019, journal of art & civilization of the orient

Vernacular architecture is one of the most representative of each culture. The current study canonizes the architecture of a part of simple but magnificent Iranian architecture in the Zagros (Hawraman region) slopes. It has special attributes with a hidden identity in the field of rural structure and architecture, erected as a product of human, culture and nature intersection. The current study applies a descriptive-analytical research method based on library research and field studies. The findings of the study show that Hawraman architecture was formed in the light of its culture and in harmony with nature. The villages are located on narrowvalley hillsides with a high slope. The dominant typology of buildings are as double-story buildings standing against the mountain slopes. The village has centers equal to the number of neighborhoods, structurally. Settlements are built where lands had the least usability for the other means. The lack of dead ends alleys in the physical structure of residential areas results in the minimization of natural and human hazards. The integration of stone, soil, and wood, applicationof Dimak and Marôła for jointing the structure parts and preventing drift, use of thick stone walls to prevent heat exchange, canopy and rain collector around all walls are unique characteristics that have substantial difference with inwardly oriented buildings in central Iran. Understanding the accumulated experiences of such a style provides us a great knowledge ofthe construction of buildings by preserving its original texture and identity, keeping the organic structure of nature.

Special Characteristics of Hawraman Architecture, Delving into Cultural and Local Attributes

Journal of Research in Ecology

Indigenous houses in accordance with ancient patterns, especially Balochistan tribal houses, considering their history, forming and changing through hundreds of years, have maximum compatibility with the environmental conditions and ecological area. The mentioned patterns have been orally transferred till now and are in danger of extinction and oblivion versing the period of development of contemporary architecture. Therefore, this review article is designed to examine a variety of Balochistan houses to introduce the addressed indigenous housing, and study their structural types and provide constructional analysis, to achieve a deeper understanding of these ancient structures.

Tribal housing structures analysis in Balochistan of Iran

Praduman Bajaj


India is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of cultural diversity, and the largest concentration lies in North-Eastern part of India. The rich heritage therein is exemplified throughout from the ethnicity, tradition, livelihood, and also by the architectural typologies. Several distinct architectural features are seen in tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, which differ by climate, geological condition, and deep-rooted traditions. They evolved in course of time and were majorly built by the inhabitants themselves, without any formal training in construction. These houses, built with locally available materials, were sensitive to the existing environment and took into consideration the constraints imposed by the climate. There are 26 tribes out of those, Monpa, Adi, and Apatani are renowned for their peculiar lifestyle which has resulted in a sustainable built envelope and spatial organization. The paper will analyze and study the architectural pattern in these tribes through their case studies. The study is an effort undertaken to understand the relationship between the geographical and architectural pattern of these tribes through various factors.


Gauri Bharat

Santals are one of the many Adivasi (indigenous) communities in eastern India and are particularly renowned for precision and craftsmanship in their domestic architecture. The visually stunning dwellings and settlements fascinated me as an undergraduate architecture student, and now, in this doctoral research project, I take this forward as a critical enquiry into the production, use and transformation of Santal built environments. There are two important concerns in the study. First, I examine Santal dwellings and settlements as both sites and processes, i.e., I analyse built forms, everyday life, domestic art practices, and people’s perceptions of important aspects of their surroundings in order to understand Santal senses of space and place. Second, I attempt to correlate architectural shifts to wider changes in the Santal and other Adivasi communities and the Singhbhum region in order that the architectural analysis may be brought to bear upon a wider understanding of Adivasi pa...

An interdisciplinary approach to Santal architectural history

Adnan Anwar , Aurangzeb Khan

2019, Earthen Heritage, New Technology Management, Turkey

Neelum valley, located in the eastern part of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Traditional wooden / wood log houses are successful examples of buildings for extreme cold climate. These buildings are successful in such severe climate because the design and style is derived from old traditions and use of local available building material and being practiced in the valley and adjutant valleys of similar climate from centuries. The regionally developed architecture is more climate responsive. This study is about architectural elements and properties of traditional houses of Neelum valley, layout, plan, traditional architectural features and uses of various spaces in the house, and effect of these traditional elements, spaces and materials on the daily life activities or pattern of the local community. Today in the era of development and world as global village, technological advancement, techniques and materials new buildings are being built, but the climate design factor is not being considered. As a result these buildings are not supporting traditional practices and patterns, resulting in discomfort, discomfort in sense of spaces and thermal as well. The change in design and layout resulted in change of traditional pattern and practices, which is not being accepted by the local community. The aim of the study is to emphasize the use of traditional architectural elements and layout as being practiced for centuries in the valley and make them more energy efficient resulting in more appropriate buildings for the climate and environment and not adopting an alien design with foreign materials in such harsh climate.

Tradational wooden houses as a container of life patterns: A detailed study of Architectural spaces and elements of houses of Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan

IAEME Publication

Traditional architecture takes into account the styles that were popular to a region or area. The characteristics of traditional architecture used by architects and builders includes a commitment to maintaining a link to the past styles of building, reuse of materials or designing homes and building to stay consistent with the overall building design of the area. This creates a sense of continuity and connection to the past, which helps the area maintains its traditional look and feel for the residents of the community. In the traditional architecture, buildings were designed to achieve human comfort by using locally available building materials and construction technology which were more responsive to their climatic and geographic condition. This paper will try to bring out the wisdom of the local masons and builders, often the inhabitants themselves, about their way of living, and shaping their built environment, indoor and outdoor spaces, as a response to the local climatic conditions, from the findings of a field study at a hilly settlement in Spiti.



The term “Vernacular Architecture” stands for the art of constructing building and shelters which is spontaneous, environment – oriented, community- based; it acknowledges no architect or treaty and reflects the technology and culture of the indigenous society and environment [1]. This paper is chronicle of observation of typologies prevalent in traditional vernacular houses in a small village of Lonsawali, which lies in Vidharbha region of Maharashtra state, India. The settlement has different types of house forms. There are around 135 numbers of dwellings in this village, 40 percent of which need repairing, renovation and maintenance. The objective of the study is to find the reasons for variation in house typologies and different maintenance issues faced by the residents. Photographic documentation, surveying, mapping and measured drawings are used to analyze the settlement pattern. This analysis is also supported by various interviews that were done with the villagers. In this study, an investigation of Social, Cultural, physical and economic background of the village has also been done and settlement is analyzed on various parameters of vernacular architecture. The result focuses on strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the village. This study concludes by putting forward the measures related to construction techniques which the residents can inculcate easily and revitalizing recommendations to establish the conservation and continuity of village.

Analytical Study of Parameters Influencing Extinction of Vernacular Traditional Architecture in Vidharbha Region

Smriti Saraswat , Gautam Mayuresh

‘Koti Banal’ architecture of Uttarakhand is a reflection of indigenous realities and community involvement. It demonstrates a profound knowledge of local materials and native sensibilities. Investigations suggest that this is an earthquake-safe construction style done in timber and stone, which evolved as early as 1000 years ago. This paper is an attempt to study the Koti Banal architecture of Uttarakhand and understand the craft nurtured by the indigenous communities using locally available materials in response to earthquakes. In fact, the Koti Banal architecture is much like the framed construction of modern times. The structural design suggests that these buildings responded well to the forces likely to act upon them during an earthquake. The paper further investigates what are the modifications that have happened in this style of architecture with respect to morphology and materials, through three case studies done in the Garhwal region. This is primarily a descriptive research based on a case study (field study) approach, which focuses on traditional knowledge systems; indigenous building materials; community involvement; and, craft skills of Uttarakhand. Keywords Koti Banal Architecture; Uttarakhand; Indigenous; Craft; Materials; Community; India

Koti Banal Architecture of Uttarakhand: Indigenous Realities and Community Involvement

Achirava Raha

This research primarily looks into the architecture of rural Arunachal Pradesh. It primarily talks about the detailed housing of two major tribes of the state - Galo and Singpho. It focuses on the major aspects related including factors like materials, methodology whilst also looking at the modern approach adopted by the tribes. This paper also looks at the major geographical factors of the state and how these subsequently affect the housing of residents living in the highlands. Finally, this paper concludes with a glance at the sustainable aspect of the research. Suitable diagrams and photographs have been attached to support the research.

Nature : The Ethos of Arunachal Pradesh Architecture

Gaurab K.C.

WHY PEOPLE BUILD THE WAY THEY BUILD : Study of Houses in Daanchi, Kathmandu.

Arghya Santra , Amit Kisku Faculty, Anthropology

We discuss in this paper how the architecture of the houses of Santals helps to understand the distinct identity of the community. Santals are one of the largest tribal communities of India and expanse over the eastern Indian states such as Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal. They mainly live in villages in the hill-forest regions of these states and subsist on practicing agriculture. They build their houses employing traditional methods and with locally available resources instead of industrial built hard materials. The community is renowned for the craftsmanship, plastering, decorating, and precision in their built. They learn the craftsmanship through direct experiences and without any textual training. This totality of the architecture of their houses is distinct from that of other communities and thus become the markers of their distinct identity: such a technique, with which Santals build their houses, in recent years has come to be known as 'vernaculararchitecture' in the language of architectural research.

Understanding Santal Identity through their Architecture

Mahdiar Nezam , Laleh Ramezani

In 2021Hawraman region was Inscripted as a unique cultural landscape in the west of Iran in the UNESCO World Center. This area has a history of 3000 years of habitation. The villages of this region are formed in steep valleys and have a unique architecture in harmony with nature. The lack of land in this mountainous region has led to the formation of very creative staircase architecture. This thousand of years old house is one of the unique houses in this area selected for the study. The age of this house is unknown, and it was only renovated during thousands of years. This house is built with stone without mortar and a combination of wood on three floors. The spaces and the plan created in harmony with the slope of the valley and the rocks are one of the values of this house, which has survived many years against natural disasters and erosion. In some spaces of this house, the mountain rock is a part of the space of a room that has been preserved in this way, and no interference has been placed.

Adaptive reuse of the historic rural house (turn into Ecotourism accommodation), Hawraman, Iran

Subhankar Nag

Architecture of North East India: Vernacular Typologies

Peter Herrle

2018, Built Heritage

Tibetan architecture is largely associated with the impressive monastic buildings scattered over the Tibetan Plateau and the adjoining mountain ranges. While these buildings have long attracted the interest from travellers and researches, the rural vernacular architecture has been grossly neglected. Accounting for more than 90 percent of the cultural heritage vernacular farmhouses incorporate an immeasurable wealth of traditional knowledge and local craftsmanship that is increasingly threatened by the impacts of modernisation. The article draws on a research project on vernacular architecture in the Tibetan cultural region and presents four examples of rural houses in former Kham, that is nowadays spread across Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan provinces and the Xizang (Tibet) Autonomous Region. The examples show a surprising diversity in terms of style, size, layout, building materials and structural systems that are perfectly adapted to local climatic and topographic conditions as well as ...

Documenting Heritage at Risk: Vernacular Farm Houses in the Eastern Tibetan Cultural Region

Ar. Tania Bera

Glimpses of Indian Traditional Architecture Ar

Nupur Kothari

—The Traditional Architecture of Himachal Pradesh is the outcome of the prevailing topography, extremes of the climate and other natural forces. Indigenous architectural solutions have responded well to these natural forces. Moreover the vernacular architecture merges well with the hills at the backdrop. The Traditional Architecture forms the back bone of social and cultural set up of the place. It is essential for this architecture to retain its integrity. So the Traditional Architecture should not be disturbed, rather the contemporary architecture should be integrated well with the traditional architecture. This Traditional Architecture has stood till today. It commands deep interest and respect as it represents and reveals the many faceted realities of the people living there. In the traditional architecture, buildings were designed to achieve human comfort by using locally available building materials and construction technology which were more responsive to their climatic and geographic conditions. Learning from traditional wisdom of previous generations through the lessons of traditional buildings can be a very powerful tool for improving the buildings of the future.

Vernacular architecture

Dr. Uday Dokras

2021, Indo Nordic Author's Collective

At the beginning of the 19th century, a wide variety of indigenous house types existed in India, varying in layout and articulation in response to socio-culture and geo-climatic locales. British colonial rule affected India's social and institutional structure. Its impact included attitudes towards housing design and settlement patterns of which the emergence of the bungalow type was important. The new concept of the bungalow arrived as an alien house form in this setting. Its roots lie in the early attempts by the indeginous rulers and clergy to design a model that suited the hot weather and also srved as an elegant dwelling. In detail this has been discussed in our Paper dokras Wada. The material and structural elements of the wada are approximately described below borrowing an article from a British University .

Vernacular Architectiure of Maharashtra- BUTY PROPERTY IN DHANTOLI,NAGPUR,INDIA

Dr. Monika Gupta

Climate Responsive Vernacular Architecture of Kutch

Sanjukta De

2023, ESHANA 2

The names Khumbu, Sherpa and Mount Everest have been entered in the minds of adventurous people and all-mountain lover people. Sherpa people are generally recognised as ‘high altitude porter’ for their courage in mountain climbing. Apart from that, they also play various other roles like farmers and traders as well. Khumbu Valley, known as the Homeland of this brave community, is a sub-region in Solu Khumbu located on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest. This region is not only famous for the loyalty and friendliness of its inhabitants (Sherpas) but also for its spectacular mountain peaks and unique architectures which carry a very distinctive character. In Khumbu valley, all Sherpa buildings can be divided into two groups. One is Secular especially residential buildings and another one is buildings that have been used for religious purposes. There are also three subcategories in their houses. Basic part are the same but a couple of architectural details and execution methods are different. In the case of religious architecture, Chorten and Gompa both of them are very important Structures. These two particular architectural forms play a vital role in the religious life of the Sherpa community. In one word, the Buddhist religion inspired making these architectural wonders. Building material is also an important factor to understand the Constructional process of architecture in Khumbu valley. Wood and stone, both are heavily used but the purpose is different. Wood is used to build the inner framework or supporting structure of pillars and beams.But the stone is used to make the thick outer walls. The fascinating thing is Sherpas, a people of Tibetan origin and culture, after settling in Khumbu valley, have preserved their traditional building methods, adapting them to the new environment wherever and whenever necessary. To understand their Architectural details, one should explore all these factors.

Curious World of Architectures of Sherpa Community: A Detailed Study

David C . Andolfatto

2020, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research

This review essay presents three publications on central Himalayan arts and architecture. Published over the past decade, they constitute the most recent works on the subject.

Recent publications on central Himalayan arts and architecture: a review essay

Karna Maharjan

This article attempts to give a brief scenario of the changing trend of traditional architecture of Newari houses of Kathmandu valley over the centuries, from Medieval period to post 1934 earthquake.

Traditional Newari House - journey through centuries

IRJET Journal

2020, IRJET

This paper narrates an essay on the major distinctive styles of traditional architecture of India from its different regions which has acquired a lot of fame in the worldwide over decades. It's a matter of pride to all the Indians for getting such an opportunity to experience varieties of traditional architecture spread throughout their motherland as it has a huge asset of heritage and antiquity. A range of architectural varieties have developed in the parts of the country due to its diversified socio-cultural, traditional and religious background as well as most importantly climatic variations. Among all the aspects, the religious diversity has played a vital role in the development of distinctive architectural styles chronologically. It is the result of above-mentioned aspects which contributed towards the formation of a set of architectural assets within a single piece of land. There may be a lot of research works done in the field of traditional Indian architecture; still my study attempts partially to contribute in the existing body of literature through a documentation of major traditional architectural styles found across the different regions of India.

IRJET- Glimpses of Indian Traditional Architecture

Dr. Karteek Guturu

Galore International Journal of Applied Sciences and Humanities

Indian traditions have a significant share in the cultural diversity of India which are now becoming extinct. In the name of progress, we are ignoring and making us unaware of its importance. In the mistaken belief that we are transposing a “HIGHER CULTURE”, we are succeeding to destroy the indigenous culture of tribes. “Each country has its own heritage; this heritage should not be seen in the form only of monuments, but as a living thing – a thread of continuity maintained by living lives in a manner which come naturally to people. It is for designers to exercise their ingenuity in enriching, without changing violently, the pattern of life.” In this context, a study of a particular tribal settlement and shelter, in regard to multiple forces which ultimately decide the form of both, is not only valuable and fruitful but also urgent. Revitalization of the slowly degenerating tribal community is an important aspect in this present-day context. The study was undertaken in 2003 in a tr...

Revitalization of a Vernacular Settlement, A Case of Araku Valley

2022, IRJET

Jammu and Kashmir is the northern extreme of India bordered by China and Pakistan. Kashmir valley is known for it's cultural diversity and unparalleled beauty. The culture of Kashmir is a concoction of various ethnicities with a great influence from South and Central Asia. Kashmiris are considered amongst the brightest minds of the world and are very innovative, be it their dressing, cuisine or architecture. Kashmiri architecture has been an epitome of aesthetics and beauty. The cultural diversity of the valley is reflected in the various architectural structures. A walk through the lanes of Old Srinagar tingles the senses of all architecture lovers. This paper sheds light on the vernacular architecture of Kashmir and it's relevance in the present day architectural scenario of the valley.

Vernacular Architecture of Kashmir and it's relevance in the present day construction scenario of the valley

Manjusha Misra

2016, International Journal of Environmental Studies

South Asian vernacular architecture

laina hilma sari

Aceh International Journal of Science and Technology

The existence of traditional houses in Banda Aceh has been extinguished in modern times. With globalization's impact, the traditional house connotates as ‘old house style,’ and thus, the house style is not up to date. A large number of house owners demolish them and reconstruct them with new modern houses. Despite that, it is approved that the traditional houses of Aceh were survived the earthquake that frequently hit the region. As Banda Aceh is one of the regions resided on Sumatran's segment, the region has a large number of earthquakes. This paper, which is part of the previous study on the thermal comfort of traditional and modern houses in Aceh, explores a historical architectural example that reveals local experiences that involve local wisdom and expertise. This paper focuses on a traditional house located in a modern housing neighborhood in Banda Aceh city. In doing this, the paper identifies how Acehnese ancestors, through their local knowledge, have constructed a...

Traditional Acehnese House: Constructing Architecture by Responding to the Power of Nature in Relation to the Local Wisdom Values

arulmalar Ramaraj

Space and Culture, India

Globalisation, urbanisation, human neglect, socio-economic conditions, discontinuity, weather and climate have been identified from literature studies as the root causes hindering the vernacular architecture. The objective of this article is to explore such causes and impacts on vernacular architecture. For this purpose, ‘Kavunji’a village near Kodaikanal, Tamilnadu is identified. Due to the geographical location and the landform, the vernacular architecture in this village is recently undergoing modifications and extensions. To comprehend the salient characteristics of vernacular architecture, six typologies were identified. The thrust of this paper is to explore the reasons that contributed to modifications and additions in dwelling units and effects on the people’s attitude towards the maintenance of the built environment and form at regular intervals is declining rapidly as it requires tremendous efforts, fiscal resources, energy, and time. As a result, people are utilising mode...

Exploring the Language of Vernacular Architecture in Today’s Context: A Case of ‘Kavunji,’ India

Smriti Saraswat

2023, Space-Making (Building) Crafts of Kumaun Region of Uttarakhand: Investigating Inter-relationships between Craft and Interior Architecture

This is a trans-disciplinary research of qualitative nature, focusing on empirical and longitudinal aspects of craft, in relation to applications in interior architecture (space-making), specifically for the case of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand in India. It majorly concentrates on the space-making attributes of likhai kaam (wood carvings) and aepan (ceremonial paintings) seen in the interior architecture of Kumaun region of Uttarakhand, especially in the traditional residences (at least two hundred years old). In fact, aepan has been classified by the researcher, as a narrative craft rather than art. This is primarily a deductive research and employs a case study based approach. The research is spread across two phases. The reconnaissance and pre-feasibility study constitutes the Phase I of the research, and takes into consideration, case studies from both Garhwal and Kumaun regions (administrative divisions) of Uttarakhand. This phase highlights the potential examples of space-making applications of crafts. Subsequently, the in-depth, main study constitutes the Phase II, which is done in the Kumaun region, focusing on more intricate examples of the identified crafts (Mathpal, 2013; findings of the Phase I). The research aims to investigate inter-relationships between craft and interior architecture, and recommend inter-disciplinary perspectives linking them. A sparse number of researches done to bridge the gap between disciplines like craft and interior architecture, especially in India, make this research stand out for contributing to this discourse. This is one of the earliest researches done in India, linking craft and interior architecture, focusing on Uttarakhand. It emphasises on establishing the importance of documenting and studying the identified crafts, with an emphasis on the quintessential role played by them in space-making - at a surface level; structurally (including furniture); and, as an object of use (both utilitarian and decorative). Moreover, it is not easy to reconcile informal approaches adopted by craft-based studies with formal research training, focusing on interior architecture. The major objectives which are formulated to achieve the aim are – to deduce theoretical inter-relationships between craft and interior architecture; to document and collect data on the crafts and interior architecture of Uttarakhand; to analyse space-making elements (SME) and space-making crafts (SMC) in the interior architecture of Kumaun region, and develop a system of classifying them, based on their roles and applications in interior architecture; and, to recommend inter-disciplinary perspectives linking craft and interior architecture, and propose practical applications of space-making crafts of Uttarakhand in contemporary interior architecture. It is observed that the Kumaun region (especially, Almora) offers a better opportunity for interventions in the craft sector (both utilitarian and space-making). The analysis of the six cases studied during the main study, showcases that the most prominent likhai kaam is seen in the façades, and aepan is mostly seen in the interior spaces. The major findings of this research highlight that likhai kaam, once an integral part of the cultural history of this region, is endangered today (also validated by a recent study done by the Uttarakhand Handloom and Handicraft Development Council (UHHDC) in 2020). The research also showcases that aepan has a low earning potential. But, both these crafts are scalable. The study further offers new information and perspectives on craft, which go beyond cultural boundaries. It brings to light that crafts do not have to be understood in terms of non-economic activities only. They are capable of contributing to a wider economy. Crafts explored within the milieu of interior architecture (space-making) can create opportunities for employment in the craft sector as well as building construction industry. This could ensure continuity and revival of a languishing craft such as likhai, and rekindle a low-earning craft like aepan. The above-mentioned aspects have not been addressed by previous studies, which largely focus on the two identified crafts bereft of space-making attributes. To conclude, the key significance of this research is in terms of the contribution to the global body of literature, emphasising on inter-relationships between craft and interior architecture, which is substantially sparse, let alone focusing on developing countries of the global south. Secondly, complimenting the earlier studies focusing on other parts of India, this research delves into a new dimension of understanding and studying crafts of Uttarakhand, in relation to space-making. Thirdly, the key methodological strengths of this research centre around narrative enquiry; participatory research; and case studies, which can be replicable in other parts of the country. Lastly, the study assists in establishing that Uttarakhand being a Himalayan state, can lead by example, in creating linkages between craft and interior architecture, which could be employed in the contemporary building construction industry, to generate craft-based ecosystems and livelihoods in the mountainous regions. Moreover, the recommendations and perspectives presented, could also be applied on other crafts and craft clusters, across India. This research may be useful to a diverse group of people and open a window towards a more informed enquiry into traditional crafts. Keywords: craft, interior architecture, space-making, Uttarakhand, India


Hosna Varmaghani

Understanding the historical background of societies and the various aspects of life that has evolved over time, affects the architecture of rural housing today. It's an important factor in processing the answer to today's needs. Considering the features of rural architecture and recognizing its features as the origins of the architectural tradition of any land, is one of the necessities. Its preservation is a fundamental principle. Therefore, this research has tried to collect various aspects of life and housing in rural settlements of Mazandaran in a historical survey based on library resources. Using the historical interpretation method, this paper examines the aspects of the relationship between different dimensions of life, shaping and spatial structure of housing with the social, economic, and geographical factors of native societies. According to the findings of this analysis, effective variables can be identified and categorized. The results of the research show that...

Analysis of lifestyle and Types of Rural Housing in the Historical Geography of Mazandaran (19th and 20th centuries)

Ezatullah Khaleqiar

Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ)

A Study on Traditional Houses of Laftan Village in Farah Province, Afghanistan

Quentin Devers

2018, Central Asiatic Journal, 61 (1)

Archaeological Ladakh: Recent Discoveries Redefining the History of a Key Region between the Pamirs and the Himalayas

Jigme Thinley

Bhutan is a small developing nation sandwiched between China to the north and India in the south. Traditional construction techniques range from rammed earth to bulky stone masonry which is in some degree similar to the neighbouring countries such as Tibet, Nepal and northern India. However, Bhutanese vernacular structures are unique and it significantly contributes to the already rich cultural heritage. Epitome of traditional construction in Bhutan can be dated back to the 17th century during which many of the dzongs (Bhutanese administrative buildings) and Lhakhang (temples) were constructed. The traditional construction typology of Bhutan can be classified under rammed earth, stone rubble masonry, adobe block, ekra (wattle and daub), timber houses and bamboo houses. Many of these structures were constructed without pre-prepared drawings. The construction would proceed on site under the vision of a head carpenter/mason. The paper presents the different types of un-engineered house...

The Comparative Study on Vernacular Dwellings in Bhutan

2022, Indo Nordic Author's Collective


Laila Zohrah

2010, Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ)

Characteristics of Traditional High Ridge Houses in Banjarese Kampungs, South Kalimantan, Indonesia

jamshid davtalab

Housing types depend on the relationship between human needs and the environment. They are variable and complex due to humans’ different lifestyles and environmental conditions. What distinguishes them is not the constituent parts; rather, it is the logic of the spatial arrangement of the components, which varies based on the time, place and way of residence and represents the cultural, economic and climatic characteristics of the residence method. Identifying and preserving the heritage of rural architecture help us to preserve national historical assets and apply the long-established principles remaining from the past eras to new physical forms via discovering the mysteries, signs and symbols hidden in these assets. Vernacular housing types, especially in rural areas, are strongly influenced by their surrounding environment. Therefore, discussing the housing typology of each region requires an understanding of the context, location and rural fabric of that region. Developed via fi...

A Typology of Sistan ' s Vernacular Housing in Terms of Open and Closed Space Formation

Study of Vernacular practices implemented in Contemporary Buildings by Oweena Fernandes

Page 1

Study of Vernacular practices implemented in Contemporary buildings: A case of Vietnam and Goa

A project report submitted to the Goa University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of

Bachelor of Architecture


Ar. Tallulah D’silva

Oweena Fernandes

Goa College of Architecture T. B. Cunha Complex, Altinho, Panaji, Goa November, 2019

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I wish to thank my guide Architect Tallulah D’silva, for spending a good amount of time with me, patiently explaining things I do not understand and attending all juries. I want to thank Professor Quaid Doongerwala (FA UG ’90), visiting Professor under the Charles Correa Chair, who has practically been my co-guide this semester, who constantly pushed me to come to a stronger, clearer research argument. I thank the fifth year dissertation faculty: Year Co-ordinator Professor Dr. Aniruddha Pawar, Arch. Vishwesh Kandolkar, Arch. E.R. Godinho, retd. Town Planner, Dr. Ketan Govekar, Arch. Vishal Signapurkar, Arch. Snehalata Pednekar and Arch. Shriya Korge for being vigilant and regularly scrutinizing details in my work. This study had a lot of theory, so I want to specially mention Arch. Vishwesh Kandolkar and Arch. Noah Fernandes, who fed my thirst for knowledge, gave me reading material, explained complex philosophy and have helped me formulate some of the more complicated parts of my research methodology. I wish to mention Ankit Bellavi (Founder of theHappyllmas) for giving me an opportunity to visit Vietnam and for organizing it so well. I would also wish to thank Arch. Mohor Bose for accompanying the trip to Vietnam and making us understand the architecture of that place. I would like to mention Sagarika Kaushik, Srishti Baid, Megha Sahu, Nimit Patni, Deepali Naidu and the rest who too were part of this Architecture Experience in Vietnam and sharing their views and pictures over this topic. I would also like to thank Ritu Kittur, Rachel Nunes and Saloni Pandit , my work companions for inputs on my presentations and work and always making work fun in this difficult semester. I want to mention my friend who have supported me with this project, Pauras Narvekar for being a helpful third year, and helping me in producing some amazing sketches. I want to thank my family, especially my mother Santos Etelvina Rodrigues e Fernandes for being incredibility supportive throughout this whole eventful semester, to all my travels and late hours and my sister Paloma Fernandes, for proof reading and inputs. I cannot forget the staff at the GCA library. Assistant Librarian Mr. Govinda Mulick, Library Assistant Mrs. Sonia Pereira, as well as Library Attendant Mr. Vishal Vadker. I am also thankful to the GCA office staff for formulating my permissions at short notice. And last ut not the least I would like to thank Vijay Bhai (Ben CAD Works) and his staff for providing an A1 quality of service throughout and for also investing time after working hours. There are others who’s inputs, motivation and assistance made this study possible, whom I might have missed to mention, but I am deeply grateful.

Organicare Showroom, Ho Chi Minh City by Tropical Space; Soucre: Author

Abstract As a result of climate change, by the late 20th century (Andrew Revkin, July 2018), the building industry moved towards constructing sustainable methods of building architecture within which there are two directions in sustainable practices; one where technology has become an overriding factor in making the building sustainable, such buildings are sometimes seen as visually futurist where as others have resorted to adopting local vernacular practices. While the concerns of sustainability driven by countries in Europe and America (RobecoSAM, October 2018), there are many other obscure places such as Vietnam (UNDP Vietnam) which has also taken lead role in showing the world how to move towards sustainability. Therefore, this study will look at the kind of sustainable practices adopted in contemporary buildings of urban Vietnam as well as Goa, whether it is moving towards technology or the local vernacular which is the concern of the study. It is the contemporary practice that is geared towards addressing the issues of sustainability but using vernacular elements in their architecture which is central to this. This paper aims to investigate if sustainability plays a fundamental role or as an add-on to the practice of architecture that complements the study of the environmental qualities and innovation of such buildings through local vernacular approach. The process was carried out step by step, including: climate zoning, climate responsive analysis, in terms of site-sensitive, passive design solutions, materials and appropriate structure to achieve harmony among nature, humans and the built environment. The results of this study indicate that the selected contemporary buildings in Vietnam and Goa is creatively adapted to the local natural conditions and uses various climate responsive strategies. Through this study, the most frequently used strategies were derived. Though some of the buildings use vernacular elements as add-ons, Vietnam and Goa having hot and humid climate, strategies like natural ventilation and lighting were prioritized and to some level played a fundamental role to achieve sustainability.

Keywords: Sustainability, Vernacular, Contemporary Vernacular, Urban, Climate Responsiveness, Tropical, Innovation.

Study of Vernacular Practices implemented in Contemporary buildings: A case of Vietnam and Goa

Goa College of Architecture, 2019

NOTE: All figures otherwise mentioned is sourced by the author

Cam Thanh Community House, Hoi An by 1+1>2 Architects; Source: Author

Naman Retreat, Da Nang by VTN Architects; Source: Author

City of Hue, Author Oweena Fernandes 74

City of Ho Chi Minh; Author

saigonconselling.com Goa College of Architecture, 2019

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Saint Basil's Cathedral

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (Russian: Sobor Vasiliia Blazennogo), commonly known as Saint Basil's Cathedral, Kremlin, is a former church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin on the Moat (Russian: Sobor Pokrova presviatoi Bogorodicy, cto na Rvu) or Pokrovsky Cathedral (Russian: Pokrovskii sobor). It was built from 1555-61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. It has been the hub of the city's growth since the 14th century and was the city's tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600.

The original building, known as Trinity Church and later Trinity Cathedral, contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected in 1588 over the grave of venerated local saint Vasily (Basil). In the 16th and 17th centuries the church, perceived as the earthly symbol of the Heavenly City, as happens to all churches in Byzantine Christianity, was popularly known as the "Jerusalem" and served as an allegory of the Jerusalem Temple in the annual Palm Sunday parade attended by the Patriarch of Moscow and the tsar.

The building is shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, a design that has no analogues in Russian architecture. Dmitry Shvidkovsky, in his book Russian Architecture and the West, states that "it is like no other Russian building. Nothing similar can be found in the entire millennium of Byzantine tradition from the fifth to fifteenth century ... a strangeness that astonishes by its unexpectedness, complexity and dazzling interleaving of the manifold details of its design." The cathedral foreshadowed the climax of Russian national architecture in the 17th century.

As part of the program of state atheism, the church was confiscated from the Russian Orthodox community as part of the Soviet Union's anti-theist campaigns and has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928. It was completely and forcefully secularized in 1929 and remains a federal property of the Russian Federation. The church has been part of the Moscow Kremlin and Red Square UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990. It is often mislabelled as the Kremlin owing to its location on Red Square in immediate proximity of the Kremlin.

Red Square, early 17th century. Fragment from Bleau Atlas. The structure with three roof tents in foreground left is the original detached belfry of the Trinity Church, not drawn to scale. Trinity Church stands behind it, slightly closer to the road starting at St. Frol's (later Saviour's ) Gate of the Kremlin. The horseshoe-shaped object near the road in the foreground is Lobnoye Mesto.

Construction under Ivan IV

The site of the church had been, historically, a busy marketplace between the St. Frol's (later Saviour's) Gate of the Moscow Kremlin and the outlying posad. The centre of the marketplace was marked by the Trinity Church, built of the same white stone as the Kremlin of Dmitry Donskoy (1366-68) and its cathedrals. Tsar Ivan IV marked every victory of the Russo-Kazan War by erecting a wooden memorial church next to the walls of Trinity Church; by the end of his Astrakhan campaign, it was shrouded within a cluster of seven wooden churches. According to the sketchy report in Nikon's Chronicle, in the autumn of 1554 Ivan ordered construction of the wooden Church of Intercession on the same site, "on the moat". One year later, Ivan ordered construction of a new stone cathedral on the site of Trinity Church that would commemorate his campaigns. Dedication of a church to a military victory was "a major innovation" for Muscovy. The placement of the church outside of the Kremlin walls was a political statement in favour of posad commoners and against hereditary boyars.

Chronists clearly identified the new building as Trinity Church, after its easternmost sanctuary; the status of "sobor" (large assembly church) has not been bestowed on it yet:

In the same year, through the will of czar and lord and grand prince Ivan began making the pledged church, as he promised for the capture of Kazan: Trinity and Intercession and seven sanctuaries, also called "on the moat". And the builder was Barma with company.

The identity of the architect is unknown. Tradition held that the church was built by two architects, Barma and Postnik: the official Russian cultural heritage register lists "Barma and Postnik Yakovlev". Researchers proposed that both names refer to the same person, Postnik Yakovlev or, alternatively, Ivan Yakovlevich Barma (Varfolomey). Legend held that Ivan blinded the architect so that he could not re-create the masterpiece elsewhere, although the real Postnik Yakovlev remained active at least throughout the 1560s. There is evidence that construction involved stonemasons from Pskov and German lands.

Architectural style

Because the church has no analogues, in preceding, contemporary, or later architecture of Muscovy and Byzantine cultural tradition in general, the sources that inspired Barma and Postnik are disputed. Eugene Viollet-le-Duc rejected European roots for the cathedral; according to him, its corbel arches were Byzantine, and ultimately Asian. A modern "Asian" hypothesis considers the cathedral a recreation of Qolsharif Mosque, which was destroyed by Russian troops after the siege of Kazan.

Nineteenth-century Russian writers, starting with Ivan Zabelin, emphasized the influence of the vernacular wooden churches of the Russian North; their motifs made their ways into masonry, particularly the votive churches that did not need to house substantial congregations. David Watkin also wrote of a blend of Russian and Byzantine roots, calling the cathedral "the climax" of Russian vernacular wooden architecture.

The church combines the staggered layered design of the earliest (1505-08) part of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, the central tent of the Church of Ascension in Kolomenskoye (1530s), and the cylindric shape of the Church of Beheading of John the Baptist in Dyakovo (1547), but the origin of these unique buildings is equally debated. The Church in Kolomenskoye, according to Sergey Podyapolsky, was built by Italian Petrok Maly, although mainstream history has not yet accepted his opinion. Andrey Batalov revised the year of completion of Dyakovo church from 1547 to the 1560s-70s, and noted that Trinity Church could have had no tangible predecessors at all.

Dmitry Shvidkovsky suggested that the "improbable" shapes of the Intercession Church and the Church of Ascension in Kolomenskoye manifested an emerging national renaissance, blending earlier Muscovite elements with the influence of Italian Renaissance. A large group of Italian architects and craftsmen continuously worked in Moscow in 1474-1539, as well as Greek refugees that arrived in the city after the fall of Constantinople. These two groups, according to Shvidkovsky, helped Moscow rulers in forging the doctrine of Third Rome, which in turn promoted assimilation of contemporary Greek and Italian culture. Shvidkovsky noted the resemblance of the cathedral's floorplan to Italian concepts by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and Donato Bramante, but most likely Filarete's Trattato di architettura. Other Russian researchers noted a resemblance to sketches by Leonardo da Vinci, although he could not have been known in Ivan's Moscow. Nikolay Brunov recognized the influence of these prototypes but not their significance; he suggested that in the mid-16th century Moscow already had local architects trained in Italian tradition, architectural drawing and perspective, and that this culture was lost during the Time of Troubles.

Andrey Batalov wrote that, judging by the number of novel elements introduced with Trinity Church, it was most likely built by German craftsmen. Batalov and Shvidkovsky noted that during Ivan's reign, Germans and Englishmen replaced Italians, although German influence peaked later, during the reign of Mikhail Romanov. German influence is indirectly supported by the rusticated pilasters of the central church, a feature more common in contemporary Northern Europe than in Italy.

The 1983 academic edition of Monuments of Architecture in Moscow takes the middle ground: the church is, most likely, a product of the complex interaction of distinct Russian traditions of wooden and stone architecture, with some elements borrowed from the works of Italians in Moscow. Specifically, the style of brickwork in the vaults is Italian.

Instead of following the original ad hoc layout (seven churches around the central core), Ivan's architects opted for a more symmetrical floor plan with eight side churches around the core, producing "a thoroughly coherent, logical plan" despite the erroneous latter "notion of a structure devoid of restraint or reason" influenced by the memory of Ivan's irrational atrocities. The central core and the four larger churches placed on the four major compass points are octagonal; the four diagonally placed smaller churches are cuboid, although their shape is barely visible through later additions. The larger churches stand on massive foundations, while the smaller ones were each placed on a raised platform, as if hovering above ground.

Although the side churches are arranged in perfect symmetry, the cathedral as a whole is not. The larger central church was deliberately offset to the west from the geometric center of the side churches, to accommodate its larger apse on the eastern side. As a result of this subtle calculated[45] asymmetry, viewing from the north and the south presents a complex multi-axial shape, while the western facade, facing the Kremlin, appears properly symmetrical and monolithic. The latter perception is reinforced by the fortress-style machicolation and corbeled cornice of the western Church of Entry into Jerusalem, mirroring the real fortifications of the Kremlin.

Inside the composite church is a labyrinth of narrow vaulted corridors and vertical cylinders of the churches. The largest, central one, the Church of the Intercession, is 46 meters tall internally but has a floor area of only 64 square meters. Nevertheless, it is wider and airier than the church in Kolomenskoye with its exceptionally thick walls. The corridors functioned as internal parvises; the western corridor, adorned with a unique flat caissoned ceiling, doubled as the narthex.

The detached belfry of the original Trinity Church stood southwest or south from the main structure. Late 16th and early 17th century plans depict a simple structure with three roof tents, most likely covered with sheet metal. No buildings of this type survived to date, although it was then common and used in all of the pass-through towers of Skorodom. August von Meyerberg's panorama (1661) presents a different building, with a cluster of small onion domes.

The foundations, as was traditional in medieval Moscow, were built of white stone, while the churches themselves were built of red brick (28×14×8 centimeters), then a relatively new material[21] (the first attested brick building in Moscow, the new Kremlin Wall, was started in 1485). Surveys of the structure show that the basement level is perfectly aligned, indicating use of professional drawing and measurement, but each subsequent level becomes less and less regular. Restorers who replaced parts of the brickwork in 1954-55 discovered that the massive brick walls conceal an internal wooden frame running the entire height of the church. This frame, made of elaborately tied thin studs, was erected as a life-size spatial model of the future cathedral and was then gradually enclosed in solid masonry.

The builders, fascinated by the flexibility of the new technology, used brick as a decorative medium both inside and outside, leaving as much brickwork open as possible; when location required the use of stone walls, it was decorated with a brickwork pattern painted over stucco. A major novelty introduced by the church was the use of strictly "architectural" means of exterior decoration. Sculpture and sacred symbols employed by earlier Russian architecture are completely missing; floral ornaments are a later addition. Instead, the church boasts a diversity of three-dimensional architectural elements executed in brick.

The church acquired its present-day vivid colors in several stages from the 1680s to 1848. Russian attitude towards color in the 17th century changed in favor of bright colors; icon and mural art experienced an explosive growth in the number of available paints, dyes and their combinations. The original color scheme, missing these innovations, was far less challenging. It followed the depiction of the Heavenly City in the Book of Revelation:

"And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold."

The 25 seats from the biblical reference are alluded to in the building's structure, with the addition of eight small onion domes around the central tent, four around the western side church and four elsewhere. This arrangement survived through most of the 17th century.[58] The walls of the church mixed bare red brickwork or painted imitation of bricks with white ornaments, in roughly equal proportion. The domes, covered with tin, were uniformly gilded, creating an overall bright but fairly traditional combination of white, red and golden colors. Moderate use of green and blue ceramic inserts provided a touch of rainbow as prescribed by the Bible.

While historians agree on the color of the 16th-century domes, their shape is disputed. Boris Eding wrote that they most likely were of the same onion shape as the present-day domes. However, both Kolomenskoye and Dyakovo churches have flattened hemispherical domes, and the same type could have been used by Barma and Postnik.


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Vernacular Architecture Research Paper

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The term vernacular architecture applies to structures built based on local traditions and skills passed down through generations, not on the designs of professional architects. Building techniques vary widely depending on function, location, and available materials. Although historians and educators have largely overlooked vernacular architecture, its practice today continues to shape most of the world’s built environment.

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Vernacular architecture is the term now internationally applied to buildings that are constructed according to indigenous traditions rather than a professional design. Most of the world’s buildings fall into this category; people of innumerable cultures have built structures to meet their physical, social, economic, and spiritual needs. Because many cultures have not been literate, or literacy has been confined to the elites, vernacular traditions have often remained unrecorded and their history is difficult to ascertain. Archaeological excavations have frequently concentrated on religious, palatial, and military sites, but at Sumer for example, the ancient Mesopotamian region of southern Iraq, archaeologists have uncovered dwellings dating back to the fifth millennium BCE, revealing plans, structures, and spatial organization that are similar to settlements extant today.

Certain examples of early art, such as tomb paintings of Middle Egypt or Roman mosaics in Carthage, on the gulf of Tunis, depict the materials indigenous peoples used in their buildings, including reed thatch, earthen bricks, and clay tiles. Ancient artifacts may also illustrate vernacular building styles; a third-century-CE bronze mirror from Nara, Japan, bears images of house and granary types that are still built in Southeast Asia. Clay models of houses placed in graves in Greece, Mesopotamia, and China, some including figurines, show their structure and indicate how they were used. While unbroken sequences of the history of buildings have sometimes been hard to establish, dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) and carbon dating have been applied in European vernacular studies to give a record spanning two millennia. In some countries, wills, inventories, and other documents have disclosed details that relate to property. Inevitably however, the history of vernacular building in much of the world is undocumented, and there is much room for research in the field.

Vernacular Architecture: Built to Meet Needs

Building traditions differ widely across the globe, but some requirements are common, mainly the provision of shelter for families. It is not known how many dwellings currently exist in the world; estimates range between 800 million and 1 billion to accommodate the 2009 population of more than 6 billion people. Of these, over three-fourths are vernacular, built by the owners or by skilled members of their communities, whose traditions in building have been passed from generation to generation.

Caves may have provided the earliest dwellings; evidence of cave occupancy in Spain and France dates from Paleolithic times. (In 2009, some 50 million people live in caves, particularly in China, but also in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.) Other peoples who hunted game and gathered fruits lived in the forests where they made temporary shelters of branches and leaves, as the Orang Asli of Malaysia or the East African Hadza still do. Adapting to local conditions, peoples such as the Evenki of Siberia made their huts of wood from the taiga, or in the case of the seal-hunting Inuit of northern Canada, built domes of snow blocks.

Traveling in more arid regions, many tribes camped under tents made from strips of woven goat’s hair; such “black tents” are still used by the Bedouin of Arabia. Desert nomads move with flocks of camels or goats, often by prearranged routes so that the sparse vegetation is not overgrazed and may recover. In more fertile regions such as the grasslands of Central Asia, the Kyrgyz and Mongols live in the yurt or ger, a dome raised on a cylinder of lattices covered with large felts that are tied in place. After a stay of weeks they dismantle the domes and move to new pastures where the women, who make all the components, rapidly re-erect them. As the examples of nomads indicate, the kind of dwelling used by a culture is partly conditioned by the economy in which its makers subsist.

Mankind cannot survive without water, and many cultures live close to rivers, often in the valleys or near the sea. Fishing peoples may construct dwellings on stilts or piles over the water, enabling them to protect their fishing grounds. Some, like sea nomads of the Philippines, live on boats as much as on land. The majority of vernacular buildings, however, are built by sedentary peoples who live in one place and who may be engaged in agriculture, livestock-raising, and the marketing of produce, or in craft occupations such as pottery or weaving, that meet material needs.

Although some vernacular buildings, including farmhouses, are found in relative isolation, most are located in hamlets and villages or in small towns and urban neighborhoods. They may house nuclear families of parents and children, common in North America or Western Europe. In much of the world, however, extended families of three generations, or the spouses and children of siblings, all live together. Suitably large houses may be built for them, as in Kashmir or western Anatolia, or several single-cell huts may be enclosed in compounds, as is common in West Africa.

Within the farmyard or compound, economic functions are accommodated in special structures. Among the most frequent are granaries, raised above ground to repel damp and rodents. Stables for horses and barns for draft animals or for wintering cattle are customary, though recently many have been adapted to take mechanical equipment. Among vernacular buildings that functioned until the early twentieth century were blacksmith’s workshops and outdoor baking ovens, while watermills and windmills were widely used in Europe to provide the power for grinding corn or pigments, draining wetlands, and sawing timber. Many of these functional buildings were lost with industrialization, but others, such as potteries and carpenters’ workshops, continue to be productive in many parts of the world.

Numerous vernacular buildings are constructed for social functions that relate to status, power, or belief. A special residence may be constructed by some cultures in honor of a chief, a prince, or a spiritual leader, perhaps as a larger version of the customary dwelling. In some instances, such as the Dyak peoples of Borneo or the indigenous forest cultures of western Amazonia, whole villages are accommodated in single buildings, usually called longhouses, in which all the families occupy spaces beneath one roof. Often the families belong to one clan, and the spaces may be arranged in hierarchical order.

Some buildings may have a ceremonial function, and in settlements the world over prominence is given to buildings that relate to religious beliefs. Temples, mosques, and churches house worshippers, while shrines protect votive objects or mark sacred sites. Priests from such religions may officiate at the selection of a site, bless the stages in the building of a house, and preside at a ceremony to mark its completion. Often the dwelling is itself symbolic, being perceived as having cosmic or anthropomorphic associations, as is the case in Hindu tradition. This serves the important function of reaffirming for the occupants the spiritual values of the culture to which they belong.

The great variety in the size, forms, and construction of houses and related buildings throughout the world is largely due to the diverse nature of specific cultures. Some require communal rooms in which whole families live together, while others have separate entrances to distinct living areas for males and females. The differences are also attributable to respective economies: Chinese hill farmers require accommodation for their livestock and their families, and the structures they build are quite different from the narrow frontages of shophouses—usually two stories high, and built in rows connected by deep courtyards—that are typical of Chinese urban neighborhoods. But whatever the culture and its people’s needs, buildings are strongly conditioned by the environments in which they are situated.

Vernacular Architecture: Responding to the Environment

Vernacular buildings reflect the peculiarities of their locations, from grassland steppes, deserts, and plains to forests, valleys, lakesides, or mountains. Where land is freely available compounds may spread, but where sites are constricted houses of two or three stories may be constructed, some having stepped levels where gradients are steep. While the majority of circular-plan buildings have a conical roof of poles converging at the apex, the roofs of rectangular and square-plan buildings are pitched to a central ridge. With modifications in plan, such as a T, an L, a square, or a rectangle defining a courtyard, the majority of pitched-roof vernacular buildings take forms that are found with many variants worldwide. In tropical Sumatra (in Southeast Asia), for example, upswept roof ridges on the houses of the Minangkabau end in finials or small spires (a symbol of the horns of the sacred water buffalo). These roofs are effective in expelling warm air and keeping the interiors cool.

Climate is an important environmental factor in the design of vernacular buildings, but extremes of climate and natural hazards can do structural damage, with high winds lifting off roof cladding in the Caribbean and flood waters reducing clay walls in Bangladesh. Volcanic eruptions threaten Central America and earthquakes reduce literally thousands of buildings to rubble in Turkey and other seismic regions, though frequently it is the vernacular buildings rather than the concrete ones that enable people to survive a major disaster. In Kashmir and Peru, technologies have been developed that permit buildings to be flexible in earthquakes, but as natural disasters are unpredictable and may not recur, the main concern of most builders is to cope with the vagaries of the seasons and the weather.

In humid tropical climates, houses are constructed so as to encourage air circulation, while those in arid climates may be sited to reduce exposure to the sun; buildings placed around courtyards, for instance, offer continual shade during the day. In temperate and cold regions thick earth walls retain solar heat and warm the interiors; deep layers of insulating thatch are also used. Passive cooling devices such as wind scoops are used in the Middle East, while radiant stoves keep houses warm in the extreme winters of Central Europe. By such means builders have been able to create comfortable internal conditions. Even so, they are dependent on the material resources available to them, and these also exert their influence on the forms of the building.

Perhaps the most widely used material in vernacular building is earth. Whether it is molded to shape, rammed between wooden planked molds, mixed with straw and compressed in adobe blocks, or fired in kilns and made into bricks, earth is ubiquitous and employed in every continent. Factors such as particle size affect its suitability but in some regions, such as Yemen or southern Morocco, multistoried buildings of rammed earth have lasted centuries and are still being constructed. Clay is also used in combination with interwoven panels of willow or hazel wood in the technique, common in Britain, known as wattle-and-daub. Although techniques of molded mud can be used to make vaults, flat roofs on clay buildings are usually constructed with log poles, such as in the pueblos of the southwestern United States. In regions such as Tunisia or Egypt, where there is little wood, palm trunks are used.

Stone is strong and suitable for constructing walls when pieces of manageable size can be found, but it less widely employed than clay. Time-consuming to quarry and heavy to transport, stone has been principally used in elite architecture rather than in the vernacular. Brick is an economic alternative to stone, with standardized sizes and techniques for laying courses, and the use of mortar to ensure stability. Brick building came to England from the Netherlands, and later the British introduced the technique to Africa. Brick and tile traditions were developed independently in China, where the weight of roofs was often borne by internal wood frames rather than by brick walls.

Although a material may be accessible another may take preference over it for economic reasons, or on account of its relative suitability. Finland, for instance, has immense resources of granite but its vernacular buildings were built of wood from the vast forests. Japanese builders constructed their traditional minka houses in timber, even though stone was available; for adherents of the Japanese Shinto religion the choice of a living material was a spiritual matter.

Timber has been extensively used and is renewable over time, though the destruction of the forests makes building wood structures unfeasible in many countries. Log construction, with round or squared timber notched to provide secure and interlocking corner joints, is basic to the vernacular traditions of Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the Alps, from where it was brought by migrants to the United States. An alternative system is timber framing, in which a box-like skeleton is made of jointed wood, the panels being filled with wattle-and-daub, or with bricks laid in patterns as they are in northern Germany.

In some tropical regions timber is less readily obtainable, so bamboo, which is technically a grass, is grown and used for building. Fast growing and flexible, it is employed as a structural material in Southeast Asia and Indonesia, but it is also stripped and made into matting for lightweight walls and roof covering. Palm leaves are often used for wall cladding and for thatching roofs in the Pacific islands, but the principal thatching materials in much of the world are grass or reed. Bundled and secured in overlapping layers, thatch provides a water-resistant cover as effectively for a rectangular plan as for a circular one. Vernacular builders have employed natural materials for centuries, but by replanting and recycling them, and by passing on their practices to succeeding generations, they have been able to remain in the same locations without depleting the resources of their environments.

Vernacular architecture has shaped the buildings of the world’s peoples throughout history, but it has been largely overlooked by architectural historians and educators who may dismiss it as primitive. Though most traditions could benefit from improved servicing with electricity, piped water, and modern sanitation, vernacular architecture still has a major part to play in the development of a built environment that is both responsive and responsible in an era of rapid population growth.


  • Bourdier, J. P., & Al-Sayyad, N. (Eds.). (1989). Dwellings, settlements and tradition: Cross-cultural perspectives. Lanham, MD: United Press of America.
  • Bourgeois, J. L., & Pelos, C. (1996). Spectacular vernacular: The adobe tradition. New York: Aperture Foundation.
  • Fathy, H. (1986). Natural energy and vernacular architecture: Principles and examples with reference to hot arid climates. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Oliver, P. (2002). Dwellings: The vernacular house world-wide. London: Phaidon Press.
  • Oliver, P. (Ed.). (1997). The encyclopedia of vernacular architecture of the world (3 vols.). Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rapoport, A. (1969). House form and culture. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Spence, R., & Cook, D. J. (1983). Building materials in developing countries. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
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