Vernacular and Modern
Modern Vernacular? _ Jaap Dawson
If we are architects, we are modern architects. We have been trained not only in the modern tradition of composition and construction and details. We have also been trained to regard our designs as modern or not, as belonging to a particular time.
Did architects and builders in other ages and other cultures share our modern attitude? Can architects and builders now discover an attitude and a way of building different from the modern attitude? Can we combine modern insights with timeless, vernacular insights?
Recent designs reveal how difficult it is. Vernacular building, it turns out, is more than techniques and materials and forms. Vernacular building is an attitude. It is an attitude that lets us see ourselves in what we build. Without thinking about it, we recognize ourselves in spaces that make space for our body, not alone space for our concepts. They make space for our body through their measures, their scale, the composition of their boundaries.
If we build in order to make space for our body, then we make space for our whole being. Our goal is not to prove we’re contemporary, not to show we’re innovative. Our goal is to make space for our whole being.
Vernacular Fiction _ Maurizio Scarciglia
Nowadays many countries (even those with very poor economy growth) keep investing into a “restyling” process, in order to attract more tourists and improve their GDPs.
They do that by appealing on the innate need of escapism that characterizes our society, always more consumerist and stressed by the pressing rhythms of contemporary life. These resorts often transport the tourist into a fake dream, where the perception of luxury and a classical touch try to give him the feeling of being spoiled and protected by his daily duties.
After decades of this continuous trend of massive landscape exploitations and abuse of vernacular references to historical architecture, the tourism market is finally witnessing a new responsible approach to design and planning.
Today’s “Rural houses”, “Albergo Diffuso” and Boutique Hotels are re-questioning the true meaning of the word, ‘vernacular’. These tourism topologies, while preserving their intention to provide escapism for their guests, do it by means of fictional experience. They try to transport the tourist into a sort of original state, where he can live the primary essence of the place without the distractions and commodities of everyday life. They become then anthropological rather than architectural projects.
These examples show a renovated awareness of the true value of nature, when dealing with the Vernacular, and they do that by finding materials and technologies on site, adding exclusively what’s necessary for its activation.
Some could say that this might be as well the recreation of a theme park, but ultimately, isn’t it better than franchised resorts with fast food and all inclusive formulas?