How Vernacular Architecture Affects the Global: Lessons from Bangladesh
Vernacular architecture is a very adaptable and reasonable way to address human needs, which seems to be largely forgotten in contemporary architecture.1 For thousands of years, vernacular architecture has been experiencing limitations that are emotionally associated with its aesthetic variety, self regulating construction, and invention and the adaptation to its surroundings. Moreover, vernacular’s authenticity describes the shared culture of people in a specific geographic region, including their language, heritage, religion, and customs to show the importance of its identity and existence in historical context. Despite experiencing negative challenges, the adaptation of building forms obtained from vernacular architecture have gained interest among the contemporary designers as they have been proven to be energy efficient and highly sustainable. Furthermore, due to the increasing pressure of recent global environmental problems, this trend has shifted logically in another way. Over the time, how many vernacular buildings have been lost from a community or a place? In addition, how does vernacular architecture respond to particular conditions in this contemporary era that affect people and places of all regions? To answer these questions, this paper explores the current conditions of vernacular buildings in Bangladesh and observes their existing role in the society and community. It studies the theories and practices of contemporary vernacular that are shaping and examining the community critically, which is also intensely related to its landscape. In the era of rapid technological advancement and massive construction, there is still much to learn from the cumulative knowledge embedded in traditional structures. Additionally, there is a need to expand and discover more about this neglected part of architecture and to the world about its creation and ethnicity. To understand the recognition across cultures worldwide of vernacular architecture and why the need for the contemporary building practices to learn from the vernacular is needed, this study surveys comprehensively Bangladeshi heritage studies and its regional vernacular practices. Working at multiple scale, the thesis will critically examine the low-tech methods of built forms used in vernacular architecture that can be used to create buildings and environments well-suited to local climate and culture and which need intervention. In this way, the project will put together different contemporary development strategies into the design, which will not only increase the quality of life for the community but also significantly enhance the cultural values in the global platform.