Precedent “Primitive” Structures

These articles both go into detail on how climate effects construction. Since both of these articles compare places all over the world, I thought it was important to see how other people might deal with the same issues the Turkana people have.

In the Primitive Architecture article, one concept brought up was sheltering due to wind. One particular strategy was developing a system of two walls. An exterior wall made up of dung/clay/stone etc (to shield the wind) and then interior walls that were more porous. This combination could be helpful and useful to us as we try to make a community center with different functions. Other tribes may build fences along their settlements in order to block the wind. Perhaps our Turkana people do the same, so the fences both act as protection/keeping of cattle as well as wind.

Another interesting consideration is the size of the stone– and how different stones can be used for constructing different types of walls.

Remembering that sociological reasons also effect how they construct is important. If our tribe is still somewhat nomadic, then providing a more permanent community center using different building techniques could be useful.

Primitive Architecture

In this Scientific American article, primitive architecture is explored through major environmental considerations: ambient and radiant temperatures, air movement and humidity). For the Turkana, the mud hut wall seems to address the issues of heat during the day, but ventilation is necessary at night, as it does not get cold like in other desert climates. Openings should be on the leeward side, with strong winds present.

Structural use of vegetation fibers, seem to be both important in stand alone structures as well as reinforcement for mud masonry. If we look at the Bauchi huts in Nigeria, they construct double shelled domes for changing seasons. In inner shell is one of mud, surrounded by an outer shell of thatch, with an air space in-between. This allows for the thatching to SHED WATER, air to INSULATE during the hot days and mud conserves heat. While the Turkana people may not need to conserve heat these are still principles worth pursuing.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 11.54.46 AM

Another African tribe, the Natal, in South Africa, uses a light wood frame structure that then woven fiber mats are placed on (see above). This allows during dry weather, air to circulate through the structure, but then during wet weather the mats swell, acting as rain screening as waterproof membranes. Particularly important to these is the ability to move the mats around the structure depending on prevailing winds.



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