The Dilemma of rural architecture

Published by: Thomas Schultze-Westrum

Under construction!

Part I – Introduction/general:

Village architecture was strictly traditional like all forms of life on the small community level. Much older than urban architecture, but now totally dominated by that. Urbanized people now design rural “traditional” buildings pseudo and suburban rather than rural in their genuine communal context.

Cf. three more articles/examples: New Guinea (Melanesia) – part II; Greece – part III and Bavaria – part IV

Valid legislation and convention do not match the specific aspects/requirements of preservation on the village level. They rather extend urban concepts into the countryside ( as in nature conservation as well!). And in focus is not the high quality wellness in traditional village housing, but rather the formal design, a somehow rustic appearance – no matter what is behind the fassades and what materials are used in construction.

Architectural conservation has to consider to a much greater extent the inner qualities of tradional buildings. Like in nature conservation, where entire ecosystems now are the main concern: „Ganzheitliches Konzept“! Firstly, also conservationists in architectural heritage got to understand what “traditional”actually means. And accordingsly, as a consequence of this evaluation and awareness of the internal values, architectural design rather has to widen the criteria, the objectives of preservation and return to, rather activate or include those valuable features and actually promote what is not protected by any law yet. Architects should become forerunners of re-discovering these qualities (cf. listing below) and in such way can influence the public directly. The EU should focus on support of such approaches. Research of the principles dominating traditions in housing have to run alongside. Not for instance ” The Rural Taste of Europa” should be promoted and financed but rather the the underlying values, the deep inside essence. Otherwise the Rural Taste will remain an empty phrase. That makes rich a few but does not achieve any substantial goats; its a waste of taxpayers money!

Zement –Stahlbetonbauweise kann/darf niemals akzeptiert werden, selbst wenn eine Fassade “traditionell“ausseht. Weil andere Wohnqualitäten! Ist nicht nur pseudo vom Aussehen sondern in innerer Qualität des Wohnkomforts, des Wohlbefindens, ja der seelisch-körperlichen Gesundheit! No adequate and truly imperative attention is being directed towards a maintenance of the „eco“ aspects of old rural architecture: natural materials, no chemistry whatsoever, aimals (?) and generally nature close and integrated. Insulation from natural materials and simple structural devices (wind owners in Arabia): Clay is a perfect example: experience here, but equally the cool room climate. No aircon necessary. aircon and climatic installations run by electricity cause discomfort and health hazards. They consume much energy and require ugly installations, also they produce noise. Wood is another: old selected wood does not rot that easily as new wood (a different quality alrogethet!). No wood preseratives are necessary. Beispiel Xylamon Massing. Doppelt unsinnig.

Pseudo aspects include cement: a grey amorphic substance that has no other qualities rather than in the process of building (re-enforcement, easy application: ist „dead“ gray colour hurts the eye. Human eyes are attracted by the ugly vision first: so even single ugly buildings in an otherwise traditional setting spoil all the ensemble’s appearance. The dead gray colour of cement is some times blended by application of colours. Even 1.000 years of these monasteries have been ruined in their outer wall that way, by ignorant architects irresponsible in giving the job any Albanian workman without supervision (example the oldest large monastery on Mt. Athos I.M Megisti Lavra!). Much money has been swallowed that could have been used very effectively.

Day light in rooms used to be guided (directed), not just large fronts of glass ( no “cosiness, no true inside aspects; an undefined mixture of in and outside.

Rural guest houses are forerunners in giving villages (again) a “traditional” appearance. In all three regions. Here again, the focus is on patters rather than substance; an almost Disney Land instant style architecture (Wagenrad universal symbol even in Indonesia, not Papua because they had no such thing).

The concept of rustic or countryside “traditional“ guest-houses has to be widened by the dimenions of living quality as it is ONLY available in traditional=old buildings and not at all in those fake rustic guest-houses. Name them. The annual vacation is the most valuable period in which maximum recreation=regenerations and regaining of physic balance should happen. ONLY those old buildings that also have preserved inside the character and the insignia of tradition, traces of the generations that lived there before, the room arrangement, niches for every individual, the cosiness of natural illumination not overexposure by (too) much brightness of light, the beams the solidness and long lasting gediegene construction, the simple aesthetics and admirable craftsmanship of how the wood of the visible heavy beams was shaped by the axe. Nisches Also for belongings, the holy shrine with the icons and the candles or oil lamps. The huge open fire place as a focus of warmth ebven when not in use. But functional. Nothing just decoration. Nothing only to create artificially a country side atmosphere that is not supported by still revolving traditional meaning and function.

In our project on Thassos we intend to integrate all accessible and retainable qualities of old buildings and their rural environment. Catalogue…. So that the guests will feel these traditions as recreational values, health giving and inneres Erlebnis – with lasting effects.

Weitere Stoffsammlung:

Tradition has the inbuilt working mechanisms (deeply rooted in the biological dispositions of mankind:”communalisation”) to adopt over generations selectively the most suitable patterns. And to forward these to the next generation, as a progressive dynamic process. THAT IS WHY IT HAS CONTNUNG UNIVERAL QUALITIES. It is the essence of the experiences and knowlegde of uncounted generation in adaptation to both the human requirements and the local physical conditions as shaped in a specific historical framework. See also reference in SIEGEL. That is the most important part of defining “tradition”.

Der Erbhof, to patrikò, Generationsfolge, Gebundenheit an das Land mit dem Wohnhaus als Zentrum (Nest bei Petaurus).

Auch in der traditionellen städtischen Umwelt, dem Quartier, nicht nur Nachbarschaften, sondern Dimension Zeit dazu. Der Vorfahren die hier lebten. Altbauten erhalten Verbundenheit auch Geborgenheit: damit wirken sie gegen Aggressionen die aus der Exoniertheit rühren. Anonyme Housing Estates fördern crime und besonders Gewalt. So auch Hochhäuser. In alten Häusern lebt eine Atmosphäre der Verbundenheit mit den früher hier Lebenden, deren Freunden, deren Schicksal: Leid, Geburt und Tod. Häuser mit Vergangenheit fördern Solidarität, die Behausung wird zum Pol für alle Emotionen. In anonymen Neubauvierteln herrschen Unverbindlichkeit und Zerrissenheit.

Alte Häuser auf dem Land sind ganz aus Naturbaustoffen gefertigt. Auch Stroh, Röhricht als Putzträger. Moos in Holzbauten in Bayern.Wieso weniger gut als moderne Materialien? Kalk heute ist nichts im Vergleich zu abgelagertem Kalk früherer Generationen. Korasan!

Da Holz früher besser und dauerhafter war, keine giftigen Anstiche nötig. Lauge anstelle von Xylamon. Beispiel Massing.

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This entry was posted on Juni 23, 2010 at 12:43 and is filed under Bavarian Farmhouses and Furniture, Kazavition, Melanesian Architecture.

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