TRADITIONAL TUGEN ARCHITECTURE

ABSTRACT
The key to maintaining independent identity is preservation of unique traditions and cultural norms. This is
however being threatened by inundation of modern ideas and technology evidenced by the changing ways of
life amongst many societies. The Tugen society had a unique way of life; which had influence on their built
forms. Today, Tugen society has been altered by global culture. The traditional architecture; spatial organization,
building materials, construction and technology, too has undergone transformation, however not methodically
but by superimposition. It is in this respect that the research seeks to document various aspects including their
settlement patterns, homestead layout, its functionality and general organizational principles, unity of purpose
with an aim of finding their constants and how they have been influenced by their traditional culture. In order to
understand the aforementioned aspects the author delves into literature on the socio-cultural organization of the
Tugen which is one of the determinant of form as outlined by Rapoport A. (1979) House, form and Culture looking
at the political, social ,economic and religious organization. Additionally, it identifies the features of traditional
Tugen houses from the point of view of space, function, construction materials, the cultural and symbolic
meaning .Cultural and architectural constants are derived from literature review. These include hierarchy, privacy
gradients, egalitarian leadership, dualism, zoning, regionalism, simplicity, defensible spaces, spine settlement
patterns, zoning, centrality, and orientation of forms of culture. The study employed the case study method where
observations and interviews were the main tools of data collection. Free hand sketches, measured drawings and
photographs were used in the analysis and presentation of the data.
The research finally examines how the characteristics of these aspects and the constants of the Tugen society
derived from the literature review and the field research that can be incorporated into the modern architecture
with respect to the cultural values and norms .This forms the basis of the conclusions and recommendations of
this research

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