Vernacular Architecture of Asia

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Vernacular Architecture of Asia by Mind Map: Vernacular Architecture of Asia


1.1. relevant to the preservervation / conservation( an act of faith wich keeps together

1.2. sustainabale to be a culture that is understood and propageted by both current and upcoming generations the concept of sustainability means to meet the needs of the present generation to meet their needs

1.3. Vernacular environment : arhitectural tradition that belongs to the ordinarypeople a process of transmission of knowledge, it comprises single dwellings or groups of buildings

1.4. vernacular architecture implies a distinct local expression in the built-forms, and raises questions about peope's identities

1.5. WHAT IS ASIAN TRADITION tradition vs modernity living tradition

1.6. No society calls itself "traditional" before the first few century. The idea for tradition untilthe rise of medernism. until then there is no distinction If you live in a traditional worlds you dont say you live in tradition

1.7. Modernisation as an experience

1.8. We mus look vernacular

1.9. VA is a living heritage taht adapts to the environmental and societal changes

1.10. Va is also vulnerable and face degradation or extinction ( natural disasters or human neglecte


1.12. Charles Correa

1.12.1. 'We must understand our past well enough to value it and yet also well enough to know why and how it must be changed'

1.12.2. indian architect - modern architecture in post-independence India who was sensitive to the nedds of urban poors. He used traditional materials and methods.

1.12.3. Good exemple of how to use the vernacular nowadays Kanchanjunga Apartments - the VA properties translated into a high rise building ; natural ventilation, shading you see the things that have worked, and you can move this knowledge to the 21st century

1.12.4. Talks about the Courtyard and the advantages of the inside and outside relation

1.13. Tradition is relative to modernity. no one designate itself as traditional


2.1. VA : distinctive and identifiable form of cultural tradityion that belongs to a group of people and it is an entirely man-made environment which captures how peole live, build, work on it. It attracts people and the heritage shoew the world's cultural diversity

2.2. the survival of VA is threatened by rapid urbanization, uncontrolled popullation growth, degradation of the environment, natural disasters, economic pressure, homogenization of culture, war, ignorance...

2.3. Sustainability: " While we wish to meet the needs of the present generation, we don't want to compromize or jeopardize the ability of the future generations to meet their needs and aspirations"


2.3.2. maintaning the vernacular architecture is maintanning a community in place -- puttings money into these buildings as important as education or other

2.4. conservation and preservation only for the "big buildings" ( monuments...) --> difficult to destroy buildings in the public realm but the Vernacular cannot last long

2.4.1. How to make these ordinary built forms sustainable in a modern world ? Preservation : keep safe from harm and frozen in time --> sterile, negative process Conservation : preservation + keeping the social activities and practitioners to collaborate in the preservation " Conservation is a process that concerns the care and continuing development of a place" - James Kerr Biggest challenge : adapt the modern standard of human comfort --> find a good balance between the traditional building and the new way of life Vernacular heritage sites in Asia in the UNESCO World Heritage List : Only 6 " Breathing" heritage --> dealing with people's daily lives aned activities. "Outstanding universal value" - the value of the heritage transcend national bounderies No replica is allowd and need to be protected within a large physical context evaluation process for each sites and violation of the inscriptions result of warnings What are the values of conservation processes ? Architectural and aesthetic value - intellectual / emotional impact of a place, demonstration of a design, high level of craftsmanship historical value - relevance to the course of human history, may have important physical fabric, evidence of the past, personne, act social value - focus of spiritual, political, national and cultural activities scientific and research value - capacity of a place to provide significant knowledge of value For people's awareness and trigger memory Who is doing the valuing , how to make a commun value Diffrent levels of values - idividual value -family value -community value -provincial value - national value - world heritage " measure of the relative worth, relative importance of a good or service" it is SUBJECTIVE

2.4.2. Conservation begins with a story of a place based on solid factws with a clear understanding of meaning tells us what is important aboout a place and its cultural significance

2.4.3. ASIA CONSERVED - UNESCO Bangkok cultural office in 2007 --> awar winning asian heritage places


2.5.1. Nepal NGO that raises money for the restoration of temples --. wooden strats to be restored small shelters along the streetsused for community gathering --> non commercial, non domestic Value of community and can be supported by physical structures


3.1. Illegal rooftops in Hong Kong

3.1.1. The illegal rooftops came because of the shortage of land + people not aledgeble for the public housing

3.1.2. Normally built by the owner on the top floor of the building (sells it or rents it)

3.1.3. Most of the families are elders that moved there a long time ago as immigrants

3.1.4. Safety problems - the rain and typhoons, the drug addicts that squatt there

3.1.5. water and electricity - people can apply for it

3.1.6. Ambiguity between informal and formal

3.2. Definition : illegal, slums... outskirts of cities , not planned in advande,, on land that can be private or public but do not belong to the ones who live there.

3.3. happends because of social, econo;ical, political reasons

3.4. Part of the natural process from the rural to the urban

3.5. have funding of non governmental organisation to improve

3.6. micro economieresult of urbanization that are pulling people to cities for economic reasons --> transition place and best alternative

3.7. Types of informal settlements

3.7.1. Regular grids

3.7.2. organic configurations

3.7.3. Dharavi, mumbai


3.8.1. Dharavi, Mumbai

3.9. finding old material ? NO

3.9.1. Small market, micro economiy within these informal places --. material suplliers and builders

3.10. Built with commonly understood patterns and materials ( left overs, temporary) Built in a piecemeal fashion Built with comple culture material and expertise

3.11. Difficult conditions - floods - lack of running water - difficulty of electricity - very croweded - not safe

3.12. Non- governemental organisations in slums


4.1. urbanization -> result of one of the most significant transformations in human history. Due to migrations -> transformation of the cities

4.1.1. begining : 2-3 stories walk up after : according the rules of law and finance

4.1.2. Most people living in cities ( 64% of the Asian population in 2050 according to United Nations) live in vernacular buildings

4.2. in Asia, through colonisation by Dutsh, Frenc..., cities started to grow economicaly and allowed cultural layering

4.3. Vernacular traditions do not cease to be valid because they use materials that are not wholly

4.4. What building constitue the urban vernacular?

4.4.1. higher density, places of consumption, people living together, high concentration of activities ( shopping, restaurants, movies) BUT why do people gather in cities ? be part of the activities for economic opportunities and support themselves better than in rural places ability to interchange with people you do not know

4.4.2. people of different ethnic, relion, cultural origins --> Melting pots

4.5. How does the character of a city depend on its vernacular buildings?

4.5.1. Wide assotment of kinds of buildings depending on the different activities --. Hybrid buildings lije shops and religious functions.

4.5.2. IOn cities in India, people bring their chairs and beds to appropriate the public space --> melting pot of activities in the cities

4.6. How do urban vernacular buildings and landscapes support daily life of the cities?

4.7. Cities have an order that comes out from social economic structure --> culture, geopgraphy


4.8.1. Tokyo Center of the city --> where the king was --> Business district ( marunouchi) COSMIC CENTER subcenters --> Shibuya, Shinjuku, ueno Hieerarchy in different aspects : reliogionm social, economic

4.8.2. Kyoto Grid layout of the city : - Commercial buildings on the principal streets - residentials buildings on a smaller grid

4.8.3. japanese urban MachiyaTownhouse House two walls shared either side - houses seem all the same but different in the details and process of construction --> variation in the a particuliar part - wooden floor with tatami mats - flexible rooms in their use - front door can be used as a shop Type of dwellings and human activity emerge together

4.8.4. South Asian Bungalow house urban or suburban detached houses refering to a western vernacular style origines in bengal indina vernacular - large hall, open floor plan, high ceiling, north/south facing, louvers for natural ventilation

4.8.5. Asian shop House found in Singapore, Japna, Korea, hong Kong... hybrid of chinese style and western influence activity on the ground floor and familiy live upstairs with acces from the back 2 to 4 stories , 1 courtyard

4.9. Building the urban Vernacular

4.9.1. The urban vernacular evolves with time - economy that change -the materials have changed -skills less shared in the cities

4.9.2. vernacular buildings not built by the people who will live there but by developers that will build identical buildings at the same time BUT STILL VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE ( particular time, particular place)

4.9.3. Street connection to the house - for high rise building is not connected : new big challenge HOW CAN ONE MAINTAIN THOSE ESSENTIAL PATTERNS OF LIFE


5.1. from nomadic structures to more permanent strucures - with locally available materials : clay, timber, mud,stones, animal products. - manufactured materials : cement, glass, bricks, rooftiles metal metal sheets

5.2. connection tyo who we are and where we have came from

5.3. the economic changes and rapid urbanization challenges to redifinning asian identity

5.4. how to reconcile the rural and urban aspect in termes of tradition

5.5. whats is urban vernacular adn the different aspect

5.5.1. "most rudimentary types of isolated single houses / cluster of houses " ? including school and places of worship setting : place where people are embedded, not permanantly without it you cannot understand the nature of the village in the rural, the setting is obvious with large hinterland and non-house based cannot understand the nature of the village without the setting allows the village to be sustainable : sugarcan base plantation, fishing, riceland,.... settlement : place where people establish a community direclty related to the forms of production rituals in worshiping the ancestors to propagete culture from one generation to an other is not just an assamblage of house but a MICROCOSM of society - hierarchy of the people with a leader

5.5.2. rural social, economic and cultural systems as foundation : animal farming, fishing

5.5.3. How the vernacular environment is connected with the spiritual and cosmic realm ? People more connected to the earth often more connected to the natural phenomena -> sacred activities in relation to their activities

5.5.4. building vernacular environments as un-self-conscious processes : following traditional ways without asking any question ?

5.5.5. physical representation of the social, econo;ic and cultural system in a village

5.5.6. CASE STUDY Kaiping village UNESCO World Heritage site western influence in the infrastructure Siyi subcultural ethnic group and is a paddy rice farming region but because of economic instability, people went to america and came back --. western motivs in the new buildings : DIALOU Ping Sang ancestral worshiping -> special place

5.5.7. involves ones activity as a mean of economic support


6.1. The asian continent

6.1.1. Asian landmarks, with the most pupuls continent, with 8   diverse climatic variance.

6.1.2. 8 major climatic belts in Asia Subtropical Moonsoon Tropical

6.2. HOUSE FORM AND CULTURE 1969 "cultural factors were the primary determinant of the house form and NOT the functional climatic reasons" people are building their environment for them and not for environment traditional beliefs and traditional ways of buildings are hand in hand( heaven and eath together --> fenshuy, ciosmology)


6.3.1. The Malay House Design : Built on stilts/ Have stairs/ Partitioned rooms/ High pitch roof/ Adorned with decoration Built on Stilts --> We see a direct correlation with the climate, as it allows natural ventilation BUT cultural reasons first --> the ground seen as negative, "for the ghosts and animals"

6.3.2. The Japanese House How do people live in paper walls houses in a region with cold winters ? --> Heating system that is localised : They heat the bodies NOT the houses SImilar exemple in the Region of Kashimir, where people have a heating system under their robes allowing them to move and still be warm Why do they use paper walls in cold climates ? Has cultural reasons NOT climatic: - paper is thin, so better communication with the outside, the light can go trough, the soundsof nature are sharper - paper is a natural material, easily renewable, correlation with nature and spring where life comes back

6.3.3. Hong Kong Evolution of Architectural typologies in Hong Kong 1900 : English regulations -balconies as new rooms after the war to welcome refugees -height & width ratio 1930 : density is rising -last storeys are pushed back to avoid shading the streets 1980 : cruciform buildings 1990 : Big towers with Slabs Now : -more exposure to the sunlight - bow windows to passby the construction and price laws Nowdays, The everyday architecture of Hong Kong is neglecting the climate ( does not considerate winters, nor summers)

6.4. think about the uture, we cannot sustain indifinatly on fuesl, we need to come back to the basis , with a more sustainable way of living


6.5.1. Paul Oliver, "no environmental factor plays a greater part in the development of human life than cliimate,


7.1. VA: -how people live - how they build their environment -how they work on it ( choice of matrials + desires)

7.2. Amos Raporpors ( Polish Architect) => one of the founders of Environment-built studies

7.3. What messages are sent to the community / to the outsiders

7.4. WHAT is culture . 1982 UNESCO WOrld COnference on CUltural Policies "Culture embodies the complexity of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes nt only arts and lettres, but also modes of lifes, fundamental rights of people, their value systems, traditions and beliefs"

7.5. VA distincive form of culture by people, on how people live, choice of the building materials, hat are their desires, adaptive housing over time. community share rressources and knowledeg.

7.6. Culture as a form of tradition

7.6.1. VA reflexion of culture and tradition of a community

7.7. What is culture ? CUlture embodies the complexity of distinctive spiritual, materia, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social group. It includes not only arts and letters, but also modes of life, fundamental rights of people, their value systems, traditions and beliefs" World confrence on cultural policies162 Not about the elite society but the ordinary people and their beliefs.

7.8. VA is the window to understand different cultures and sub cultures and diversity

7.9. expression of poeples desire ? (direct expression)

7.10. What is it, who is using it ? how is it built, why is it built ? what is it made out of ?

7.11. the materials a less important than the meaning that is conveide ?

7.12. tradition coming from the latin tradition "to pass onto an other how the building technologiies and the skils from the pass are persited to the presetn day tradition cannot be inherited, you must optain it by great labor

7.13. People, ideas of use and vernacular architecture not just about how they built, but how they use what their built some have a very big interaction with what they believe in.

7.14. Architecture and theuse of space  rapoporsropos "meanings are communicated when cues are notices and understood


7.15.1. "Intended to communicate something that is not directly expressed." - Wikipedia

7.15.2. VA communicates meaning that guides the bahaviour of the occupants or gives an identity of the occupant for others

7.15.3. 3 levels of Meaning Low Meaning -everyday uses and behaviours (stting arrangements, movements...) Middle Meaning - identity, status, wealth... High Meaning - concerned with the sacred, cosmologies,  philosophies Can we always find the 3 levels of meaning ? - the two first are always present


8.1. 1.Defining vernacular Architecture

8.1.1. Paul Oliver -- encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture " A term most widely used to denot indigenous tribal, folk, peasant, and traditional architecture"

8.1.2. Word from latin "Vernaculus"

8.1.3. Vernacular is the local or regional dialect the common speech of building

8.1.4. ICOMOS : charter for protecting the vernacular.

8.1.5. Local dialect in built form -- identifliable from the community

8.1.6. Temples as the Vernacular ? place for studies and people go there often; part of the lifestyle

8.1.7. buildingind depending on the time and the location -- the one that is most likely to be built

8.1.8. caracetirtic __> share of knowledge, its is "TRADITION" ==> a proceess of transfmition between one generation to an other

8.1.9. building forms, appareance how they are built by the community

8.1.10. VA significant componant of tradition and local culture

8.1.11. Charte of Amsterdam " Architectureal heritage is a capital irreplaceable, spiritual, cultural, social and economic value

8.2. What are the threats in Asia for VA

8.2.1. Economic with mss production, with time efficiency

8.2.2. have to be taken is consideration buy the architecs

8.2.3. problems of obsolescence and intergration

8.2.4. Pressure form competing high value activities impact of the major infrastrcutreure programmes environmental pressure carrying capacity human causes natural causes

8.2.5. Economic Boom in the last decades : -Before, asian societies's economy based on rice production - Emergence of economic powers (China & India)

8.2.6. Globalization of development -Competition for high-value activities -Lost of identity with asian cities influenced by the Western world

8.3. Ways to apprecitate your own environment

8.3.1. nowadays, we all live in the vernacular. We do not live palaces it is our built environment by the professionals because people are now qualified

8.4. why the studiy of it is important

8.5. ICOMOS (International Council of monuments and sites )

8.5.1. Affiliated to UNESCO "professional association that works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places around the world" -Wikipedia

8.5.2. Charter on the buit verncular heritage (1999) - recognise the vernacular - principles of conservation -in practice (research/documentation/siting/restoration ...

8.5.3. " A vernacular building is the traditional and natural way by which communities house themselves"

8.6. architectural tradition that belong to the ordinary poeple

8.7. process of transdmission from one generation to another, the building knowldge


9.1. relationship between buildings and materials and processes types of building materials, contruction methods rituals and ceremonies dimenshioning --> fengshui

9.2. Building materails two types materials or manufactued natural, stnoes, grass, clay, wood, animal product, timber (direct form of VA) manufactured ==> burned clay bricks, clay roofing, lime,iron, metal sheets

9.3. EARTH ram earth adobe brick (unfired and fired bricik) living in eatrth cave

9.4. GLASS 4000 years old

9.5. VA adapt to changes to the need of people ==> bricks economicly available does not demonish the VA values, but can rise the value (prestige, wealth)

9.6. BUIlding methods and construction systhems, workmanshiop exemple, MUD in cave dwellings  two

9.7. Different types of natural materials

9.7.1. 1- Animal products : nomadic and semi-nomadic people 2- Earth and Clay : most accessible ressource for sedentary societies 3- Grasses and Palms : Straw for the roof but not for structural material 4- Rock and Stones : used for stability, needs tools and transformation 5- Timber: needs to be frequently transformed

9.7.2. Argue that locally available materials is a fundamental definning quality of Vernacular architecture

9.8. COmmunication / rairoads in 20th entury changes that factor --> cement and glass available everywhere 21th centry--> plastic (new vernacular forms ? )


9.9.1. Hoigaku (Japanese culture) -relationship between architecture and orientation governed by nature and philosophical -


10.1. The concept of Landscapes

10.1.1. All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal Natural landscape is what we see in the enironment that is not affected by human activities Cultural landscapes are made by humans, where human activites have affected the land

10.2. What is cultural vernacular landscape

10.2.1. monumental environments such as imperial gardens (Taj Mahal...)

10.2.2. The built environment for the common people (markets, landfields) --> vast majority built by common people and NOT professionals

10.2.3. The pattern of property ownership changes more slowly than building themselves The city and streets are part of a larger scale that in harder to transform In London, Mediaval patterns, with organic shapes. After 1666 the city got rebuilt on the same property lands In Hong Kong, we can see the same where 20 storeys high buildings are buit on the same proprety lines than during colonial time (pencil development)

10.3. Different types of vernacular landscape

10.3.1. layers of meaning

10.3.2. private or public

10.3.3. How can we identify vernacular landscape ? is it because of its ordinaryness ?

10.4. Sence of Place

10.4.1. Personal experience : Special place in your memory that was part of your habits (going to market,

10.4.2. form the latin :Genius loci --> evry being has a garden spritit that determines and charactezire a place Element of timelessness and identity within the spirit of place

10.4.3. Sence of well-being wich we want to return to time --> atmosphere and quality It can define the vernacular landscape

10.4.4. "Can we keep the traditional environment and, at the same time, allow the city to grow?"


10.5.1. Mount Merapi people Volcano that erupts evry 4 years, cultural practices (religious or work) that are related to the volcano competing ideas that are inscribed in the ground

10.5.2. Largo de lilau space for the community to hang out, made by the portugese community


10.6.1. "The ordinary, or vernacular landcapes, wich generally evolve unintentionally and represent multiple layers of time and cultural activity, are fundamental to our very existence" - Professor Melnick

10.7. The Vernacular Landscape

10.7.1. 1What is landscape ? --> visible features of an area of land ( aesthetic appeal) --> defined by a sence of place --> Not Imperial gardens

10.7.2. 1) Natural Landscape VS Human Landscape (cultural landscape)

10.7.3. s

10.7.4. Nowdays, How can communal spaces substiane in cities where each sqrmeter is so precious ? "Vast majority of common landscapes are built by common people" Transformations can be done only in the Private space most of the time. The landscape transformation is harder because on a bigger scale and by the governement ( or transformation of a neighborhood)

10.7.5. With archeological finds in cities, sometimes, transforations of neigbohoods are stops and never reconducted. Leading to no transformation of the landscape at all. By transforming the lanscape are we loosing the identy that once was

10.7.6. Buldings transform more quikly than the city pattern