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Vernacular Architecture

Atlas for Living throughout the World

Traditional building methods – such as those used in pueblos, timbered houses, or the Japanese minka – exist in fascinating diversity and create the face of a region. However, as a result of globalization they have been marginalized in many places. In the fastest developing countries in particular, a wealth of experience that goes back hundreds of years is being irretrievably lost, even though valuable insights can be gained for modern building.

Using the examples of selected domestic buildings from all continents, 30 international experts demonstrate why we can still learn from vernacular architecture; they analyze the cultural context and the adaptation to topographic/climactic conditions, and focus on the local materials used as well as on the construction, the building process, and the necessary maintenance.

  • A comprehensive reference work covering traditional building methods
  • Numerous examples of vernacular domestic architecture from all five continents
  • More than 1000 impressive color photographs and detailed drawings

Author Information

Christian Schittich, architect, former Editor-in-Chief of Detail (1998–2016), editor of numerous specialist books and manuals.


[...] the further you look in this admirably illustrated compendium, the more admiration you feel for the way in which materials and construction techniques combine to create not just shelters, but homes. Editor Christian Schittich can be proud of his achievement in producing such a comprehensive volume, arranged by geography, New discoveries abound on almost every page.

Paul Finch at the World Architecture Festival, December 2019

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Audience: Architekten, Studierende, kulturgeschichtlich interessierte Laien