Vernacular Architecture in Zambia has been vanishing in recent years.
In Zambia, as well as the rest of Africa, western materials and construction techniques are rapidly replacing traditional ones. This is true even in the most remote areas
Modern methods are seen as "civilized" and a reflection of affluence. Traditional materials and construction techniques have implications of being substandard or "primitive". As a result, these techniques are not being passed on to future generations. In just a few generations, this part of Zambian culture could be only a memory.
Documenting these structures and techniques and understanding why these traditional architectural relations work is the goal of this project. A second goal is to demonstrate that traditional materials have the strength, comfort and beauty of modern applications. A change in perception has the potential of supporting a vernacular architecture.

Cross Roads of Culture:

Zambia from the 1600's to the 1900's was a gathering area after major tribal movements from the South, Southeast and the the North.

73 tribes exist peacefully in Zambia today, resulting in a tremendous mixing of cultures,which include architectural styles.


Theses areas share common:

Indigenous materials: Why is this important?
By using materials which are native to the area, it will reduce the use of more expensive imported materials. More importantly, vernacular materials are part of cultural manifestations. The question is raised: if a system works well enough, why should it be changed by outside influences which may not be fully understood?
The development of towns introduced modern materials. These materials and construction techniques have slowly made their way even in the most remote villages.
The trend
Reverse the trend
Possible Solutions
People must be convinced that these structures are safe, structurally sound, beautiful and less expensive. Only then will people build in the vernacular.
Goals of the Project
An unique style of Zambian Architecture already exists. This should be documented and integrated into all levels of Zambian architecture- even the urban ones. The use of traditional techniques and materials should be encouraged not discouraged..
Zambia can be broken into 4 major geo-cultural areas.




































Traditional technique should be promoted in village setting, and demonstrations of appropriateness in urban settings should be encouraged.