Admire the diversity of African vernacular architecture in this growing online database

Many cities in Mali are built out of sun-dried mud, a building material that's been used for centuries. Photo credit: James Dorsey/Courtesy of Jon Sojkowski, via citylab.com

Many cities in Mali are built out of sun-dried mud, a building material that’s been used for centuries. Photo credit: James Dorsey/Courtesy of Jon Sojkowski, via citylab.com

[Jon] Sojkowski worries that these building types, made with materials that are abundant in Africa and sustainable, will soon be lost to history because of a misconception that they are inefficient, outdated and only used by the poor.

At one point during his research, he met a man who told him he wanted a Western-style metal roof. ‘I asked him why, and he said, ‘Because then I would be somebody,’ Sojkowski recalls.CityLab

 

Since architect Jon Sojkowski launched his African vernacular architecture database last year, he has amassed a broad range of photos showcasing the traditional building techniques and materials from 48 countries. Photo submissions are also welcome.

You can also check out video clips from Sojkowski’s YouTube channel.

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