CONTINUITY OF MAASAI VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE IN KENYAN TOURISM FACILITIES

Abstract
Tourism is travel for recreation purpose. Tourists tour places in search of an authentic experience that
meets their need and purpose. Various forms of tourism include; leisure tourism, business and ecotourism.
Ecotourism establishes a rapport between the tourist and the local community. It focuses on the preserved
natural environment, authentic atmosphere, local cuisine, culture and traditions (figure 1.1).
Built forms derive their existence from a living tradition. They evolve from, and as a response to the
way of life in the society. Tourism destinations have facilities that are grounded in the context. Anchoring
built forms requires a response to site forces such as culture, climate and environment.
This research explored tourist facilities in the Mara and Amboseli region of Kenya and the influence
of Maasai vernacular building tradition.
This being a quest for new ideas in the design theory, the findings were obtained through literature
review and fieldwork. The Maasai cultural values, their link to the built forms and interpretation in contemporary
architecture were outlined. The variables from the synthesis of the literature review were tested
in the fieldwork through guided interviews and observations
The cases studied, which were purposefully selected, revealed that tourists experienced a high degree
of privacy and communalism in the facilities.

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