TRANSFORMATION OF BUILT FORMS IN KWALE . A case of the Duruma

ABSTRACT
Vernacular architecture of any settlement is characterised by construction methods developed by the wisdom of the
local builders, often the inhabitants themselves, to provide thermal comfort to users in extreme outdoor climatic
conditions. It is usually achieved by using locally available building materials and by adopting construction technology
which both are more responsive to their climatic condition.
In African traditional architecture, culture is a key determinant of form and spatial organization of buildings, and is
perceived as a dynamic and ever transforming aspect of life. Consequently, the forms and spatial organization of
buildings are inevitably subject to transforming over time.
The vernacular architecture of the Duruma people has evolved over time due to various internal and external
influences. These influences include population growth, availability of new building materials and technology, formal
education, land demarcation and fragmentation.
The study is limited to Kwale district of the former Coast province, a region that experiences a warm-humid climate.
This research will simultaneously explore the vernacular and contemporary built forms of the Duruma people (A
Mijikenda sub-tribe) in a bid to ensure a harmonious connect between the old and the new without discarding the
present needs. The plan of individual houses, the cluster of houses and the overall settlement will be explored and
analysed. The thesis will also attempt to bring out the adaptive interactions between the various activities of inhabitants
and their spatial environment, as a response to the local climatic conditions, from a physical survey in Kwale.

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