TRANSFORMATION OF BUILT FORM IN HOMA BAY

ABSTRACT
Residential houses in Homa Bay have evolved over the past 100 years as a result of the changing internal and external pressures and forces. The determinants
that have influenced the transformation in the early 19th Century are markedly different from the current ones, with Amos Rapoport stating that
these determinants of the metamorphosis of built form include but are not limited to: climate and need for shelter, building materials and technology, site,
socio-cultural issues, defence, as well as religion.
In line with the lack of efforts by conservationists and the local county government to preserve the traditional architecture within the Lake basin, modern
residential homes are constantly being constructed, and modifications being made to the older.
This research thus aims to investigate the transformations that have occurred among the Luo and the Abasuba communities, the factors that influenced
the process, as well as the direction which the current houses are heading. Analysis of the traditional, semi traditional houses on both Homa Bay and
Rusinga Island is subsequently conducted and evaluated, to examine the possible differences between the construction methods and materials and suggestions
then made on how future houses should be built in the future.
Following parameters determined in the Literature Review, the fieldwork is conducted using the Case Study design strategy, favored because of its breadth
and adaptability to the nuances if the subject matter. The author studies Homa Bay Town and Rusinga Island, selecting case studies at a homestead level,
and further selecting a singular housing unit for further analysis. The three levels of transformation identified are at the village, homestead and Unit level,
with traditional, semi traditional and modern stages identified as the key markers of transformation.
The study finds evidence that Luo and Abasuba houses have indeed transformed and will continue to do so in future. Additionally, additional determinants
of transformation have been identified, separate from the ones formerly identified by Amos Rapoport and other scholars.
Since this study only focuses on transformation of built forms in Homa Bay, future studies could also focus on structures in other regions within the Lake
basin, such as Migori, Siaya, Kisumu, Kisii, which are also transforming. Furthermore, studies could also extend into Uganda and Tanzania, with studies in
towns along the lake-front such as Mwanza.

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