Document Type



Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor's Name

Nathaniel Belcher

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Camillo Rosales

Third Advisor's Name

Gray Read

Date of Defense



This thesis explores how architecture can adapt local vernacular design principles to contemporary building design in a rural setting. Vernacular buildings in Guyana present a unique and coherent set of design principles developed in response to climatic and cultural conditions. The concept of “habitus” proposed by philosopher Pierre Bourdieu describing the evolving nature of social culture was used to interpret Guyanese local buildings. These principles were then applied to the design of a Women’s Center in the village of Port Mourant on the east coast of Guyana. The design specifically interpreted the “bottom-house” of local Guyanese architecture, an inherently flexible transitional outdoor space beneath raised buildings.

The design of the Women’s Center demonstrates how contemporary architectural design can respond to climatic requirements, local preferences and societal needs to support the local culture.



Included in

Architecture Commons



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