Articles with tag: travelling concepts

07/31/2018 _Perspective

Building New Concepts

Concepts in Indigenous Architecture as an Interdisciplinary Enhancement Factor?

1_Introduction: On Accordance and Discordance between Architecture, Intention, and Translation In order to discuss ‘travelling concepts’ in indigenous architecture, the latter’s characteristics will be introduced with an overview of indigenous building traditions in Central America, focusing on the eight remaining indigenous peoples of Costa Rica: Ngöbe, Bribri, Cabécar, Boruca, Térraba, Huetar, Maleku, and Chorotega. An in-depth comparative investigation into architectural cultures in Central America reveals various independent and unique building types and traditions, as well as similarities in basic principles and symbolism. The analyzed architectural traditions show the independent development of ground floor shapes, structures, materiality, ceremonies, and symbolism, articulated in different basic shapes, deriving from round, oval, and rectangular ground plots with various roof constructions and three-dimensional projections (see fig. 1). Fig. 1: Basic shapes with three-dimensional projections of different Costa Rican indigenous architectural traditions. [1]The selection of typology varies significantly from culture to culture. Despite their territorial proximity, the architecture traditions in Central America and Costa Rica differ greatly and show different architectural solutions (see fig. 2–6), notwithstanding proven relations between some of them. [2] Fig. 2: Round Bribri building in Talamanca, Costa Rica. [3]  Fig. 3: Ovoid house in Chirripó, Costa Rica. [4]Fig. 4: Building Ushavtév of the Boruca people, Costa Rica. [5]Fig. 5: Round granary in Mexico. [6]Fig. 6: Rectangular roof house in Mexico. [7]In addition to similarities in the buildings’ surroundings, nature, and materiality, which are typical for indigenous cultures, [8] various local, independent architectural expressions between and within the indigenous cultures were found. While, in some cultures, one type of building serves all functions, as it does, for instance, for the Maleku in Costa Rica (see fig. 15), other traditions use different types of buildings for particular activities, some with a very specific purpose, like a birthing or sepulture house. The sensitive translation of symbolism into built expressions differs greatly and can be seen, for example, in a comparison of different types of round buildings. The most important buildings of three ethnic groups in Costa Rica, the Ù sulë́ [9] of the Bribri (see fig. 2), the Jutsinín of the Cabécar, and the Ju Dogwabti of the Ngöbe, for instance, differ in important principles and are expressed through different three-dimensional figures and details. While all three buildings focus on the representation of the center, this symbolism is realized differently in each tradition: a conical space without a supporting structure in the center and a…