Namibia’s vernacular architecture: insights towards the sustainable development of local communities

  • Rui Maio
  • Elao Martin
  • Jon Sojkowski
  • Tiago Miguel Ferreira
Palabras clave: African vernacular architecture, Namibia homesteads, Owambo tribe, multi-hazard risk mitigation, architectural and morphological characterization, sustainable development


Vernacular architecture is commonly recognized as the fundamental expression of the world’s cultural diversity. Natural disasters, the lack of knowledge and awareness of local communities, the desire for modernization and the well-known globalization phenomenon are some of the most frequent evoked issues responsible for endangering the survival of vernacular heritage in Africa. Hence, this paper aims to address some of these issues by providing a detailed architectural and morphological characterization of the “Owambo” tribe, the largest cultural area of Namibia. With this case study, the authors aim to highlight the outstanding universal value of vernacular architectural heritage in Namibia and to raise awareness to the increasing need, not only the protection of these structures’ integrity but also for the preservation of such ancient and sustainable building techniques as a living heritage.


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Biografía del autor/a

Rui Maio

PhD Candidade at the Departament of Civil Engineering of the University of Aveiro and  RISCO - Aveiro Research Centre of Risks and Sustainability in Construction

Elao Martin

Department of Architecture and Spatial Planning of the Namibia University of Science And Technology

Tiago Miguel Ferreira

Postdoctoral researcher at the Historical and Masonry Structures group of the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Minho and ISISE - Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering

Cómo citar
Maio, R., Martin, E., Sojkowski, J., & Ferreira, T. M. (2017). Namibia’s vernacular architecture: insights towards the sustainable development of local communities. Ge-Conservacion, 11, 63-70.