Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular by Paul Oliver

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By Paul Oliver

The learn of vernacular structure explores the features of household constructions particularly areas or localities, and the numerous social and cultural elements that experience contributed to their evolution. during this publication, vernacular structure expert Paul Oliver brings jointly a wealth of data that spans over twenty years, and the full globe. a few formerly unpublished papers, in addition to these basically to be had in not easy to discover convention complaints, are introduced jointly in a single quantity to shape a desirable reference for college kids architects, in addition to all these concerned with making plans housing schemes of their domestic nations and abroad. * attracts jointly a desirable choice of elusive essays from a number one writer on vernacular structure* contains study and case experiences from all continents* Covers quite a lot of concerns with regards to vernacular structure together with economies, applied sciences, inherited abilities, social and family members constructions, actual wishes, trust structures and symbolism

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Every language indicates the existence of a distinct culture, and there are in excess of 6500 known languages in use today. But some languages embrace many cultures – think of the cultural groups that speak Spanish in Central and South America; does each one have a distinct vernacular tradition? We do not know how many vernacular building traditions there are in the world, or even what defines one as distinct from another. As I mentioned earlier, most contributors to EVAW were specialists and there were over 750 of them.

Underlying the inclusion of these studies in an architectural course is the belief that the knowledge gained is of fundamental value. Bearing in mind that, as I have explained already, the design process of the architect is very different from the means whereby a building in the vernacular gets built, what are the lessons that can WHY STUDY VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE? 8 The diversity and clarity of built forms in a village street. Pelekas, Kerkira (Corfu), Greece. be learned? It seems that most people who are attracted to vernacular architecture, have admired examples on aesthetic grounds, responding to the simplicity of line and purity of form that is to be found in, for instance, the dwellings in the small towns of the Greek islands, or the incorporation of sculptured relief on the compounds of the Hausa in northern Nigeria.

It is also applied to ‘main street’ architecture – stores, supermarket chains, fast food outlets, even filling stations, though these are clearly not indigenous. Such buildings constitute what is referred to by some British writers as ‘popular architecture’, designed and built for the people, but not native to them. In California and the west generally, however, the term is often applied to buildings designed by architects, who respond to the local tradition, or use local materials. It follows that a phrase like ‘vernacular architecture heritage’ will have different meanings, according to the culture to which you belong or the language that you speak.

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