EMBU TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE: Built form space and order

Since Bernard Rudolfsky’s mind-opening display at the Museum of Modern Art in New
York, which he titled "Architecture without Architects, what was then referred to as "folk"
or "traditional" architecture has become a significant topic of interest for many architects
and non-architects for many reasons. Neo vernacular architects seek to emulate some of
the estimable qualities of design of traditional built forms without necessarily imitating
them. Others see in these buildings a sense of identity with their past, whereas there are
others who seek out sustainability cues and other desirable qualities of space, form,
material, detailing and proportions, for the application of the same principles in solving
modern day societal problems through architecture.
Studies in vernacular architecture also help in addressing some emergent social problems
in modern society such as those pertaining to the problem of low income housing, urban
sprawl; and also in improving the acceptability of the built form to the respective culture.
Studies in traditional architecture have in turn evoked further interest in the study of the
demographic context of the built form so as to gain a deeper insight into the nature of
the relationship between man and his built environment
This thesis recognizes the need for architects to study man in the context of the
environment he abides, how he has been manipulating the environment to his advantage
and how the nature of this dynamic relationship has been transforming over time. This is
in cognition of the fact that many contemporary buildings, in pursuit for technological
efficiency have lost sight of the human and environmental aspects of the built form and
this results in buildings which have adverse effects on both the users and the
environment, some of which have to be mitigated through some expensive interventions.
(Figure 1.1)
In order to reestablish this contact of the built environment with the human and
environmental context then it is important for the architects of these contemporary
buildings to increase their understanding of the relationship between man and his spatial
context.
 

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