15. Syrian house
The traditional Syrian housing structure is the courtyard house, which dates back to 3000 BC. The idea is that the house is built around an area of the central courtyard that can be reached from various rooms in the house. This concept was first used by nomads, who placed their tents in a circular shape, leaving a sheltered space in the middle that provided shelter for the animals. Permanent courtyard homes typically consist of 3 floors: a basement level that provides comfortable temperatures in extreme weather conditions, a ground level that makes up the main dwelling, and a second level that houses the private rooms.
14. Cape Dutch Architecture – South Africa
Cape Dutch Architecture describes the unique style of construction found mostly in the Western Cape of South Africa. These Cape Dutch-style houses were built to resemble Amsterdam’s Dutch-style houses and feature intricate rounded gables above the entrance and on the sides. Another unique feature of this architectural style is that the house has 1 main area and 2 perpendicular fins, which create a kind of garden or patio on side 3 in the back. Typically, Cape Dutch homes are finished in whitewash and have thatched roofs.
13. Rock-cut architecture – Ancient Egypt
12. Mar del Plata – Argentina
The architectural style of the Mar del Plata began in the city of the same name, Mar del Plata, in Argentina. In this country, these homes are also called Californian style, given their resemblance to mission revival architecture that was common during the late 1800s in the United States. Both styles are reminiscent of the Spanish missions built in California. Mar del Plata houses were in high demand between 1935 and 1950 and can also be found in the similar coastal towns of Necochea and Miramar. Some of the common features of this architectural style include the use of stone exteriors and decorative cornices. Additionally, these houses are known to have triangular gables, mission tile roofs, chimneys and flower beds in front.
11. Hanok – Korea
Hanok-style homes are traditional throughout the Korean Peninsula and notable for their use of locally sourced natural materials. One of the most distinguishing features of these houses is the slightly curved roofline which typically runs lengthwise when looking towards the entrance. In addition, the flooring inside these houses is built in the Ondol style, which allows the floors to be heated by the smoke. Hanok house architects pay particular attention to its placement within the natural environment. For example, a hanok should always be built with a mountain in the back and a river in the front.
10. Room – Russia
The most traditional type of accommodation that can be found in all rural areas of Russia is the izba. These logs are typically cut and shaped using hand tools so that the wood fits perfectly. The spaces between the logs are filled with clay found in a nearby river. This particular design was used in order to avoid the use of nails or other metal pieces due to the expense. The roof of an izba has two sloping sides with a series of windows under the gable. These windows are just openings in the wall, covered with wooden shutters or hanging animal skins to prevent rain or cold. Today, izbas built during the 19th century can be seen in open-air museums. Older izbas are characterized by a thatched roof and a horse’s head,
9. Adobe home – Regions of North America
Adobe homes are found in some regions of North America, such as Mexico and the southwestern region of the United States, where the climate is hot and dry. Adobe refers to any type of brick or mound of building material that has been made of sun-dried earth (like clay, for example). This practice dates back to 4,000 years. Adobe structures are very durable and thick walls help keep the interior of the house cool during hot summers. Indigenous groups were the first to use this structural design in North America, piling clay and wet earth in mounds to dry in the sun. When the Spanish colonists arrived, they introduced a method of making bricks.
8. Stone Cottage – Ireland
The most common traditional house in Ireland is the stone cottage, which dates back to the 18th century. Historians believe these stone cottages were initially built as a means of replicating the larger homes of the wealthiest families. Locally sourced stones were used to build these houses, brought from a 5-mile radius by pack animals. The floors in these cottages were either made of packed earth or more stone, depending on the availability of materials. The stone interiors are similar in that a large fireplace, or hearth, is located in the center of the house. This positioning made it possible to place a bedroom behind the fireplace to exploit the heat source.
7. Long Home – Regions of North America
Longhouses are traditional homes that have traditionally been built by the Iroquois Native American peoples in North America. Long houses were considered long-term dwellings and built with a polar structure covered with elm bark. These structures could measure as much as 200 feet in length, 20 feet in width, and 20 feet in height. This size would be large enough to accommodate an entire clan or multi-generational family. Straw mats were often hung indoors to create separate spaces, and platforms were built on raised poles to take advantage of the high ceilings as lofts. Historians believe that as many as 60 people could live within a single long house.
6. Thatched Cottage – England
The thatched cottages of England feature unique roofs made of thatch, palm fronds, reeds or other dried plant materials. This material is deposited together so that rain and moisture detach from the outer layer, keeping the inside of the house dry. Also, this design helps to insulate the house. Thatched-roof cottages were popular in rural England through the 19th century due to a lack of other roofing materials. This type of roof was once considered an indicator of poverty, however it has returned to growing in popularity over the past 3 decades and is now a sign of wealth.
5. Peat houses – Iceland
Iceland is known for its unique peat houses, which can be found all over the country. These structures have evolved over the past 1,000 years and have become popular due to a lack of other building materials. Turf houses consist of a stone foundation and a wooden frame. The frame is filled with blocks of grass, which is grass and root-retained dirt (also known as sod). The only exposed wood found in a peat house is the front door, which is often presented in a sophisticated design. Earlier styles of turf houses had a central fire in the middle of the long hall and had bathrooms within the same building. Floors can be laid with stones, wood or packed earth.
4. Log house – Northern Europe
Log houses, also known as log cabins, originated from Northern Europe to Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia, where forests and timber were abundant. These houses are characterized by the exterior, which is made of logs arranged horizontally and mounted in the corners by a careful notch in the wood. The practice of building log houses dates back to the Viking and medieval periods. In the early 17th century, Swedish settlers introduced this homely style to North America, where it was copied by other Native American settlers and tribes.
3. Jim Thompson House – Thailand
Jim Thompson was an architect and business investor, living in Thailand both as a member of the US military and as a civilian soon after the end of World War II. He has designed a large house to showcase his vast collection of Asian art which he acquired with the profits of his he silk trading business. Today this house is a museum and continues to hold his art collection. It was designed by combining 6 traditional Thai houses which were brought down by the river from Ayutthaya and Bangkrua. Some of these houses were placed on raised platforms and all were connected by a staircase located in the center of the house. One of the houses became the central sitting room of Jim Thompson’s house. When Jim Thompson mysteriously disappeared in 1967,
2. Siheyuan House – China
Siheyuan style houses consist of four buildings, which are arranged in a rectangular shape with a courtyard or garden in the center. Two of these buildings are located in a north-south direction and are considered part of the main house, while the other two are along an east-west axis and are considered the side houses. The entrance is located in the southeastern corner and traditionally guarded by two lion statues on either side. The courtyard layout was designed with natural elements in mind. The northern building, for example, is in the direction of the water element, which is believed to help protect it from fire. This traditional house is found all over China, particularly in Beijing, and has been in use for over 2,000 years. Effectively,
1. Yurt – Central Asia
Yurts can be found throughout Central Asia. This circular house is generally associated with the nomadic tribes of Mongolia, although today they are also used as permanent structures and within the city limits. Yurts are built using a collapsible wooden frame that is traditionally covered with wool felt or animal skins. Modern yurts can be covered with an extra layer of burlap to protect from the elements. This structure has been used for thousands of years. One of its most notable features is the sloped roof, which has a hole in the center that allows smoke to escape from the house.