Friday, April 16, 2010

Documenting a Vernacular house

There are so many ways in which one can document a vernacular house. It is good to observe, to analyse and most importantly, to interact with the people who have built these houses and who live in them. Discussions with old masons and carpenters can bring out interesting revelations. One has to remind oneself to not assume answers to what we observe but to ask many questions as we walk through these houses and streets.
a street in Georgetown in Chennai, India

One can study the following :

1. Forms & Proportions
2. Building materials & their source
3. Techniques of construction
4. Structural concepts
5. Detailing
6. Doors & Windows
7. Spatial hierarchy
8. Building elements – Foundation, Wall, Floor, & Roof
9. Lighting
10.Natural systems of ventilation
11.Storage spaces
12.Rituals related to house construction & sustainability
13.Finishes
14.Hardware
15.House decoration

Its just good to hope that there will be an ever-expanding fraternity that will want to study, document, learn and evolve from within this built-environment heritage. The more we study it, the more we will want not to lose it.

2 comments:

மீனாட்சி சுந்தரம் said...

Very nice guidelines. Keep up the good work.

Meenakshisundaram

Preethi Prabhu said...

I love photographing and learning the history behind the heritage homes that are lost and hidden becoz of the urban grandeur. This list is a good resource to document and elaborate the little research that I do.