Thought Parallels

Contemporary Vernacular Architecture

What is Contemporary Vernacular Architecture ?

Contemporary and Vernacular, one word being quite the opposite of the other, what is the significance of blend of these two in architecture ? Contemporary refers to highly advanced, modern and latest type of architecture. Contemporary architecture is a wide spread architecture style which is based on advanced materials. On the contrary, vernacular refers to traditional architecture with simple and practical techniques which makes it the elementary form of meeting human needs. It is completely based on the use of local raw materials which will vary from region to region.

Origin of vernacular style

The desire for an extensive approach of contemporary architecture hides the achievements of the past or the vernacular style. Vernacular style originated when humankind was necessitated to make use of raw material around him. The urge to provide themselves shelter and comfort which would be responsive to the climate and which would be a shield from other things led to the origin of this traditional architecture. Traditional way of making is a genuine response of an individual person’s or society’s building needs. And this has helped the human beings to construct shelter according to their circumstances.

Importance and need for Contemporary Vernacular approach

As it’s name conveys, vernacular architecture is the most integrated architectural style which is in best harmony with the environment. These methods of making housing which is perfectly adapted to its locale, understand and satisfy the needs of the users exceptionally well. The respect for nature and the perfect communion with the environment are the most significant characteristics of vernacular approach.

Vernacular architecture sticks to principles of energy efficiency and making use of raw materials and resources which are in close proximity to the site. These structures are based on the native ideas of how buildings can be effectively designed as well as how to take advantage of local materials and resources. Even though we are living in a time where materials are available well far off from our area, it is very important to take into account the energy lost in the transportation of these materials to the construction site.

Over the course of its life, the efficacy of climate responsive architecture will be visible through minimized costs of utilities and maintenance. A design in which environmental or vernacular factors are not taken into consideration is ultimately  going to cost the user more than a building designed through vernacular approach. The application of vernacular methods to modern design, will allow a structure to be a self-sufficient building which can ideally achieve net zero energy use.

The application of vernacular architecture has been understood and highly appreciated throughout the large part of history, declined during the modern era, and now making a return. To gain knowledge of the past and use these strategies in balance with contemporary style is a must to progress in the field of making energy efficient sustainable buildings.

Checkout our Traditional Affinity & The Skew Project based on Contemporary Vernacular Architecture.