ARCHITECTURE WITHOUT ARCHITECTS
Although natural building today can be understood as a wave of rejection towards conventional architecture and its practice, as a political and social movement, we cannot forget that its use is not limited to that. And of course is nothing new. Natural building is the way animals, including humans, have always built their shelter. Non-captive animals still do it and will always do. Humans, especially the ones from the questionably called developed countries ceased to do it with the industrial revolution. Emphasizing regional and idiosyncratic criteria in historical building decisions we can say there has not only been one way, not a single proper design, not some better materials than others in natural building. Culture and traditions, available resources, climatic and geologic conditions… had led the building process in the different cultures of the world. From a cultural perspective, the existence of two main descriptive characteristics arises: the vernacular and the traditional building. Vernacular building is a really interesting concept that refers to local buildings made by non-professional users with low building qualification. Which is more what we are talking about when referring to natural building nowadays. Below we can see several types of natural constructions in different spots of the world. All of them made with local materials and based on the needs of the people who inhabit them. Also they are adapted to weather conditions in the area. Enjoy!
«Aquí tenemos también un arte, la arquitectura, nacida de un modo de mirar, porque de estas mínimas peculiaridades depende a lo mejor el arte de un pueblo, y sus costumbres, y su política, y hasta su manera de entender el cosmos»
Ortega y Gasset, 1982
1. MUDHIF BUILDING IN FLOATING ISLANDS, IRAQ (MADE OF REED) 2. TREE HOUSE, PAPUA PROVINCE, INDONESIA (MADE OF WOOD AND LEAVES) 3. UROS ISLAND, TITICACA LAKE (MADE OF LOCAL TOTORA REEDS) 4. TURKANA LAKE, KENIA (MADE OF WOOD FROM LOCAL TREES AND THORN BUSHES) 5. KYRYISTAN (YURK TENT, MADE OF LEATHER) 6. ZARIA, NIGERIA (MUD HOUSE) 7. BURKINA FASSO (EARTHEN BUILDING WITH THATCH) 8. MATO GROSSO, BRAZIL (PALM LEAFS AND WOOD STRUCTURE) 9. GUINEA BISSAU (ADOBE AND THATCH HOUSE) 10. NORTHWEST GREENLAND (INUIT IGLOO, MADE OF ICE)
Aquí tenemos también un arte, la arquitectura, nacida de un modo de mirar, porque de estas mínimas peculiaridades depende a lo mejor el arte de un pueblo, y sus costumbres, y su política, y hasta su manera de entender el cosmos
Ortega y Gasset, 1982