Traditional Architecture vs Modern Architecture
Architects should be designing structures by incorporating vernacular styles into new technologies. Let us briefly look into the meaning of Architecture- according to Vitruvius, a Roman Architect, Architecture is a multi disciplinary field, including within its fold Mathematics, Science, Art, Technology, Social Sciences, Politics, History, Philosophy and so on. Now that we know what Architecture is, what are its main purposes? It has two main purposes which are to fulfill human’s needs, sensory, delight and to capture the greatest achievement of man at a time as evidence for future generations. (Joseph and john, 1860) Moving on to Traditional Architecture alternatively known as Vernacular Architecture is a term used to categorize a method of construction which uses immediately available resources to address immediate needs. The term is derived from the latin word “vernaculus” which means native therefore, refers to all Architecture which is indigenous to a specific place i.e not imported or copied from somewhere else. This represents the majority of historical construction and much continuing practice in developing countries characterized by inexpensive materials and straight forwardly utilitarian design, may though be adopted into culturally accepted solutions and through repetition becomes traditional. These buildings were built without the intervention of any professional Architects; it is always referred to as “anonymous architecture” or “Architecture without Architects” and even “non – pedigree” architecture. Why is vernacular or traditional architecture so important? This is because it has a lot of advantages; Regional design adapts a house to perform well and endure in its particular location by designing for climate, microclimate, considering regional Vernacular Architecture, planning to withstand extreme events e.g storm, earthquakes etc. It must also conform to local building codes.
Typically, traditional architecture means building houses for their specific regions, designing a house for its region is important, yet often overlooked aspect of design to gain sustainability. Designing for a region on the other hand which is one of the main concepts of vernacular, means suiting a house’s form and materials to the daily climate and conditions of its location and it also involves consideration of severe weather events and natural disasters that are apt to strike a particular site and also designing homes specifically for their regions helps homes to be energy-efficient, durable, and comfortable for their occupants.
However, suiting a house to its climate involves many aspects of the design process, ranging from how the house is oriented on the site, to the room layout, to the choice of windows, insulation, and roofing material. A house must be suited to the terrain (land), soils, and orientation of its particular site. All of these considerations affect the house’s suitability for renewable energy systems, its thermal efficiency, and the eventual comfort and expense the occupants will experience in operating the house. Withstanding extreme events; the durability of a house as a whole, and the materials used in its construction, also is determined largely by how well the home is designed for its region, different materials are appropriate for homes that are exposed to extreme moisture than for homes built in the desert. Similarly, design, materials, and installation procedures can help enhance the longevity of houses built in hurricane zones, flood plain, or areas subject to wild fire. (Dr. Mervat. 2010 ) Over time, different regions of the country have developed some distinctive housing styles, often these styles evolved from the materials that were available locally, and in response to regional climatic designs. As mechanical heating and cooling systems became more efficient, the need to use specific design elements to provide building comfort...
References: 1. Joseph Gwilt and John Weale. 1860. Architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio in Ten Books
2. Kreiss, Keithleen. 1990. “The Sick Building Syndrome: Where is the Epidemiologic Basis?” American Journal of Public Health: 80:1172-73
3. Dr. Mervat El-Shafie. 2010. Sustainability versus Mega Urban Developments Projects. http://www.ijens.org/101904-8585%20IJCEE-IJENS.pdf (Accessed on November 2nd 2011)
4. CalRecycle. 2010. Green Building Materials. http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/greenbuilding/materials/ (accessed on November 2nd 2011)
5. Javier Cenicacelaya and José Baganha. 2004Traditional Architecture and Sustainability. http://www.jbaganha.com/pdf/en/0201.pdf (accessed on November 2nd 2011)
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