Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet

Nick Myall
Friday 10 Nov 2017

A new book traces the changing face of locally influenced architecture across the globe and considers how it can contribute to a sustainable future

Habitat, is a beautifully produced book edited by Sandra Piesik, which considers how builders across the planet adapt to local conditions to produce a unique style of vernacular architecture influenced by their surroundings.

The book illustrates how indigenous people and communities have learnt lessons over time and adapted to their environment while making the most of the materials at hand. This results in constantly changing styles of architecture which shift seamlessly as the locations change. This is all displayed with over 1,000 illustrations and a huge array of detailed maps, diagrams and essays as well as a detailed reference section. 

The book is organised into five climate zones; polar, temperate, tropical, desert and continental which brings together some surprising combinations of countries in far flung corners of the globe. 

As climate change continues to be a threat to the future of the planet finding methods of construction that suit local conditions will be more important than ever. For a truly sustainable future we must learn from the lessons of the past and preserve local skills and craftsmanship. This book illustrates how different regions across the planet have done just that and in the process they have created their own specific styles of architecture that work for them and characterise their local region.

Habitat: Vernacular Architecture for a Changing Planet, edited by Sandra Piesik, is published by Thames & Hudson 

Price: £98.00 hardback www.thamesandhudson.com

Nick Myall

News editor

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