Architecture in Zambia has been vanishing in recent
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
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.
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.
tribes exist peacefully in Zambia today, resulting in a tremendous mixing of
cultures,which include architectural styles.
Theses areas share common:
materials: Why is this important?
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?
development of towns introduced modern materials. These materials and construction
techniques have slowly made their way even in the most remote villages.
must be convinced that these structures are safe, structurally sound, beautiful
and less expensive. Only then will people build in the vernacular.
of the Project
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..
can be broken into 4 major geo-cultural areas.
courtesy of BP Zambia
technique should be promoted in village setting, and demonstrations of appropriateness
in urban settings should be encouraged.