Page C1.1 . 07 August 2002                     
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    Zambian Vernacular

    by Jon Sojkowski

    Since Zambia gained independence from Britain in 1964, the country has experienced a continuing shift toward urbanization that is reflected in its architecture. As in other parts of Africa, Zambia's rich architectural legacy is gradually giving way to Western-style constructions.

    Zambian vernacular architecture is organic, beautiful, and most importantly, comfortably integrated with the local climate, culture, and harvest cycles. Yet this building culture is not being passed on to younger generations.

    As a result of my experience in Zambia in the Peace Corps and subsequent research, I am inspired to document, analyze, and promote Zambian architecture to help preserve its traditions.

    Architecture Rooted in the Zambian Culture

    Zambian vernacular architecture is integrated with nature in an agricultural society of subsistence farming. The villages of homesteads are laid out in differing ways depending on a tribe's culture. A typical homestead includes a main house with several related structures for various functions. The warm climate makes outdoor spaces usable year-round.   >>>



    ArchWeek Image

    Zambian women beautify and strengthen their homes with plaster.
    Photo: Jon Sojkowski

    ArchWeek Image

    A thatch screen wall shielding a shy child.
    Photo: Jon Sojkowski


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