Traditional Reethaus with thatched roofs on Learning from vernacular pdf Island, Germany. Vernacular architecture is an architectural style that is designed based on local needs, availability of construction materials and reflecting local traditions.
Vernacular architecture can be contrasted against polite architecture which is characterized by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building’s functional requirements. This article also covers the term traditional architecture, which exists somewhere between the two extremes yet still is based upon authentic themes. The word probably derives from an older Etruscan word. The term is borrowed from linguistics, where vernacular refers to language use particular to a time, place or group. The terms vernacular, folk, traditional, and popular architecture are sometimes used synonymously. The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal.
Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally. The vernacular architecture is not to be confused with so-called “traditional” architecture, though there are links between the two. Related to their environmental contexts and available resources they are customarily owner- or community-built, utilizing traditional technologies. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of life of the cultures that produce them.
Architecture designed by professional architects is usually not considered to be vernacular. Indeed, it can be argued that the very process of consciously designing a building makes it not vernacular. Paul Oliver, in his book Dwellings, states: “it is contended that ‘popular architecture’ designed by professional architects or commercial builders for popular use, does not come within the compass of the vernacular”. Oliver also offers the following simple definition of vernacular architecture: “the architecture of the people, and by the people, but not for the people. Frank Lloyd Wright described vernacular architecture as “Folk building growing in response to actual needs, fitted into environment by people who knew no better than to fit them with native feeling”. A post-World War II dwelling at the Big Pasture Plateau, Slovenia, designed by the architect Vlasto Kopač and based on the vernacular architecture of this mountainous area. Since at least the Arts and Crafts Movement, many modern architects have studied vernacular buildings and claimed to draw inspiration from them, including aspects of the vernacular in their designs.
In 1964 the exhibition Architecture Without Architects was put on at the Museum of Modern Art, New York by Bernard Rudofsky. Accompanied by a book of the same title, including black-and-white photography of vernacular buildings around the world, the exhibition was extremely popular. Since the emergence of the term in the 1970s, vernacular considerations have played an increasing part in architectural designs, although individual architects had widely varying opinions of the merits of the vernacular. Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa is considered the pioneer of regional modernism in South Asia. Architects whose work exemplifies the modern take on vernacular architecture would be Samuel Mockbee, Christopher Alexander and Paolo Soleri. As yet there is no clearly defined and specialized discipline for the study of dwellings or the larger compass of vernacular architecture. One of the most significant influences on vernacular architecture is the macro climate of the area in which the building is constructed.
Buildings in cold climates invariably have high thermal mass or significant amounts of insulation. They are usually sealed in order to prevent heat loss, and openings such as windows tend to be small or non-existent. Buildings for a continental climate must be able to cope with significant variations in temperature, and may even be altered by their occupants according to the seasons. Flat roofs are rare in areas with high levels of precipitation. Similarly, areas with high winds will lead to specialised buildings able to cope with them, and buildings will be oriented to present minimal area to the direction of prevailing winds. Climatic influences on vernacular architecture are substantial and can be extremely complex.
The way of life of building occupants, and the way they use their shelters, is of great influence on building forms. The size of family units, who shares which spaces, how food is prepared and eaten, how people interact and many other cultural considerations will affect the layout and size of dwellings. For example, the family units of several East African ethnic communities live in family compounds, surrounded by marked boundaries, in which separate single-roomed dwellings are built to house different members of the family. In polygamous communities there may be separate dwellings for different wives, and more again for sons who are too old to share space with the women of the family. Culture also has a great influence on the appearance of vernacular buildings, as occupants often decorate buildings in accordance with local customs and beliefs. Stilt houses in Cempa, located in the Lingga Islands of Indonesia.
There are many cultures around the world which include some aspect of nomadic life, and they have all developed vernacular solutions for the need for shelter. These all include appropriate responses to climate and customs of their inhabitants, including practicalities of simple construction such as huts, and if necessary, transport such as tents. The development of different solutions in similar circumstances because of cultural influences is typical of vernacular architecture. Many nomadic people use materials common in the local environment to construct temporary dwellings, such as the Punan of Sarawak who use palm fronds, or the Ituri Pygmies who use saplings and mongongo leaves to construct domed huts.
Other cultures reuse materials, transporting them with them as they move. Notable in each case is the significant impact of the availability of materials and the availability of pack animals or other forms of transport on the ultimate form of the shelters. All the shelters are adapted to suit the local climate. Mongolian winters, and include a close-able ventilation hole at the centre and a chimney for a stove. A ger is typically not often relocated, and is therefore sturdy and secure, including wooden front door and several layers of coverings. Tuareg tent during Colonial exhibition in 1907. A tipi of the Nez Perce tribe, circa 1900.
I took a year of elective courses before going to Japan but without actually joining formal classes. I think that for each language, japanese is backwards and half those backwards and half of those are backwards lol. As someone who has little experience in Chinese or Japanese but wants to possibly learn both; i just used regular old Photoshop. Easily the best Computer Vision, my question is, i’ve been tackling this question quite a bit since moving to Japan about a year ago.