Thatched Roof House Floor Plans Kenya

November 25, 2018 8:50 am by zionstar
Designing house plans in kenya david chola architecthouse home
On a glorious sweep of untouched white sand beach backed by coconut palms pine trees and flowering cactuss the beach house is right on the waterfront
Thatched Roof House Floor Plans Kenya
Combining modern and nation home plans can imply combining rustic supplies corresponding to slate flooring, exposed ceiling beams, and kitchens with up to date stainless steel home equipment , plastic laminated cabinets , glass shelving and butcher block countertops. The final result`s a recent kitchen which is serviceable and has a comfortable , rustic feel. Modern design is about smooth surfaces akin to glass and stainless-steel , and the use of daring colors.

Earlier than we go right down to the actual theme of contemporary house plans, you could know the essential features of a modern household. For starters modern house plan has giant home windows to offer a light-weight and comfortable environment, excessive ceilings, versatile and steady floor plan to accommodate modern furniture and fixtures; and usage of modern materials, corresponding to glass, metal , vinyl, stone, marble, and so on.

House designs are powerful symbols that you need to use to create a statement to the world on who you are. Buildings have a long lifespan and will proceed communicating your assertion to the world lengthy after your departure. House designs are also a mark of self-actualization.

Mid-Century Fashionable house plans are growing in recognition from New York to LA and everywhere in between. These plans embrace historic Eichler designs from the Nineteen Sixties, as well as current home plans inspired by the iconic `Case Research ` modern houses in Los Angeles of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Led by Dwell journal , the mid century aesthetic of open plans, massive windows and minimal detailing is rising as one of the key design developments of the early 21st century.
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Additions such as folding chairs, a fireplace and cabinets are available in the smart flat-pack structures of The Bunkie Co.

Located discreetly behind Katharine Pooley’s family home in Oxfordshire is a thoroughly stylish shepherd’s hut. ‘It’s a great place to come to for inspiration or to relax,’ says the Top 100 designer, who describes her garden room as ‘the epitome of elegant camping’.

The Arab and Amazigh (Berber) architecture of Egypt and North Africa has had an impact on African architecture south of the Sahara. Similarly, the states of the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea have influenced architectural types in Sudan, the Horn of Africa, and the coasts of Kenya and Tanzania, where the Muslim presence has also been strong. These influences are discussed below (see below Influences of Islam and Christianity).

The cow shed has been used for storage, keeping wood dry in a rustic though nonetheless attractive garden ‘room’ of sorts.

What better place to take tea on a warm afternoon than this idyllic lakeside folly?

Sack the window cleaner… this beautiful, bespoke Marston & Langinger conservatory is made from sustainable hardwood with snazzy, self-clean, solar control glass – perfect for beating the heat.

Taken from the October 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Lisa Freedman.

Dwelle director Ric Frankland believes that ‘planners are becoming far more receptive to such highly sustainable and innovative buildings.’ Prices start at £45,000.

A pool house in the garden of a provençal stone beauty in Luberon has the familiar aspects of a sitting room. A sectopnal sofa and lamps make their way outdoors for this garden room with a touch of wit, and a spectaclar view of the pool and the valley beyond.

They come in a range of sizes from £10,000. The smaller version – the 1.94 metres-square model shown here – has room for seating, drawers and a wrap-around work surface. It would not require planning permission in most circumstances.

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This adaptable design is made in Britain and can achieve zero-carbon status. From the Manchester-based company Dwelle, the ‘dwelle.ings’ can qualify as ‘permitted development’ and will not require full planning permission to be built.

In Southern Africa, the Zulu, the Swazi, and, in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa, the Nguni construct frame domes, using concentric hoops. Others make a ring of poles inserted into the ground and brought together in a crest, either as a continuous curve (early Xhosa) or to a point (Sotho). These structures are expertly thatched; the Zulu domes, or indlu, have finely detailed entrances. Some Nguni types have layers of mats beneath for insulation, the covering thatch being brought to a decorative finial and the whole held down with a grass rope net to withstand strong winds.

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Raffia palm is also used by the Bamileke and the neighbouring Bafut and is an important material among the Kongo of Angola and the Bushongo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The most impressive of these structures are the rectangular, pitched-roofed meeting halls of the Mangbetu of Congo; their houses are of the cylinder-and-cone type, mud-plastered and geometrically decorated. Large meeting houses are found in Nigeria among the Yakö and other peoples. On special occasions pole-frame shelters are constructed with monopitch roofs loosely covered with grass or palm fronds. Awnings are also used, and among the Asante immense umbrellas shade dignitaries and members of royal families.

Bring the indoors out. When it comes to mixing and matching accessories in chevrons and bold patterns, the options are endless (let’s just hope the sunshine is too).

The interior of this eco ‘dwelle-ing’ by Dwelle. is flooded with natural light thanks to skylights, glass doors and windows. The effect is intensified by white walls and a neutral colour palette. (For more tips, see our white room ideas and how to use white paint.) Enough space is created on a mezzanine level for a bedroom and workspace, with a kitchen underneath.

A wood-burning stove surrounded by bookshelves heats this writer’s shed. Irregular shelving allows space for a sink, while another ‘compartment’ is a window that provides more natural light.

Dogon architectureDogon cliff village on the Bandiagara escarpment, Mali.Victor EnglebertDogon sacred siteDogon sacred site streaked with millet-porridge offerings.Rene Gardi

Paint can be an incredibly effective tool for refreshing outdoor spaces. Local builder Guy Allemand restored the wooden veranda of this house on Cap Ferret, painting it in a summery nautical palate that is complemented by striped textiles and comfortable wooden furniture.

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After years spent looking for a European holiday home, the Lumb family fell in love with a neglected Fifties house on Ibiza where they set to transforming it into the elegantly cool house it is today. The garden room has a relaxed rustic look that is used for outdoor entertaining. Tolix chairs, with cushions in ‘Colonsay’ from Ralph Lauren, surround an outdoor dining table made by Jonathan Goode.

Closer to the coast of western Africa, some peoples build houses raised on stilts. Most notable are those built in the lakeside village of Ganvié in Benin. The buildings are constructed of mangrove poles, a material also used by coastal Swahili-speaking people in Kenya. In some coastal regions, such as that occupied by the Duala in Cameroon, houses are constructed of bamboo, though they are mud-plastered. Bamboo—which grows to heights of more than 49 feet (15 metres) in Angola, the Republic of the Congo, and parts of Central Africa—is used by many peoples as a building material. Its straight stalks, used as screen walls, are lashed with thin wood strips to produce crisp rectangular houses with peaked thatched roofs, as among the Nyakyusa of Tanzania. Bamboo construction reached its apogee in the tall houses of the Bamileke and other peoples of western Cameroon, who constructed steep prefabricated pyramidal roofs raised on platforms with verandas; the whole structure frequently reached 33 feet (10 metres) or more, with male and female ancestor figures often flanking the doors. Tall conical houses, made of bamboo poles joined at the crest and then leaf-thatched, were built by the Ngelima and the Panga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

We discovered this Nordic-inspired garden via The List – House & Garden’s new online directory (find out more here). The area was designed by Victoria Wade Landscapes to evoke an idyllic family holiday in Norway, complete with groups of birch trees, a turf-domed pavilion inspired by the local vernacular and granite setts reminiscent of Bergen’s cobbled streets. Transplanted to Cardiff, it is a cosy retreat from the wild Welsh weather.

Designed by TDO Architecture for a client in the New Forest, the delightful Forest Pond House is both a space for meditation and a children’s den in the woods. Cantilevered over the edge of a pond in a large family garden, this elegant and imaginatively designed outdoor room was shortlisted for a RIBA award and the AJ Small Projects Awards. Made from glass and copper over a timber frame, it cost £7,500 and did not require planning permission.

Later houses of the Xhosa tend toward a consistent form—the rondavel, or cylindrical, single-cell house with a conical thatched roof. This type is prevalent throughout Southern Africa. Variants in the region include a low plinth or curb supporting a domed roof (some Swazi and Zulu), flattened domes or low-pitched cones on head-height cylinders, and high, conical roofs. Methods of construction also vary, though a common method is a wall with a ring of posts and infilling of wattles or basket weave packed and plastered with mud. Rings of posts may have packed earth infilling, and in more wooded regions walls may consist mainly of timber posts. Some southern peoples, including the Venda of northeastern South Africa and the Tswana of Botswana, build veranda houses with deep, thatched eaves supported by an outer ring of posts. The units are traditionally single-cell, undivided, and illuminated only from the doorway. Additional living space may be claimed from the exterior, with a semipublic space in the front and a private space, with hard-packed earthen floor, at the rear of the dwelling being used for food preparation, cooking, and other domestic occupations. Both spaces are bounded by a low wall. In many areas houses are dispersed; in others the kraal, with huts ranged around the perimeter of a large cattle enclosure (as among the Ila of Zambia), serves a defensive function against raiders and predators. In Namibia the kraal of the Ambo (Ovambo) people had an outer concentric ring leading to cattle pens, an inner fenced meeting place, and subdivisions for wives’, visitors’, and headman’s quarters.

Taken from the November 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Ticky Hedley-Dent

Available from members-only lifestyle store Achica, this ‘Gothic Top Bower’ by Agriframes provides support for climbing plants to create a pretty shaded area in the garden. It is 2.7m high and costs £319.

African art, the visual arts of native Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, including such media as sculpture, painting, pottery, rock art, textiles, masks, personal decoration, and jewelry. For more general explorations of media, see individual media articles (e.

g., painting, sculpture, pottery, and textile). For a discussion of the characteristics, functions, and forms…

In the grounds of Nicky Haslam’s Folly de Grandeur sits this summer house, installed by previous occupant John Fowler. The summer house is framed by a pleached-hornbeam hedge and is underplanted with shade-loving ferns.

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Architecture, the art and technique of designing and building, as distinguished from the skills associated with construction. The practice of architecture is employed to fulfill both practical and expressive requirements, and thus it serves both utilitarian and aesthetic ends.

Although these two ends may be distinguished, they cannot be separated,…

This covered loggia has blue and white furniture and overlooks the town and outdoor dining area. Anne-Marie Midy inherited this house in the south of France and has since lovingly restored it to refresh the interiors without losing the charm of the space. Anne-Marie Midy and her husband own the Mexican furniture company Casamidy.

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Victorian meets twenty-first century: original tiling is complemented by white furniture with clean lines in this Georgian orangery at a Somerset country house.

Similar houses are constructed in the East African lakes region, where the form probably originated. Houses of considerable size are built by some Luo (near Lake Victoria) and Kuria (Tanzania) people, the former making extensive use of papyrus reeds from lake borders, using the thicker stems structurally and the leaves for thatching material. Luo homesteads are frequently ringed with hedges within which cattle are penned; fields extend beyond for the growing of cereals. Most of these Central African peoples construct granaries, often basket-shaped and basket-woven, raised on stilts to keep rodents away and placed beneath a thatched roof to keep them dry. Veranda houses are also built, and secondary thatched roof crests, which permit ventilation, are not uncommon.

Monumental temple architecture is rare in Africa, for in animist religions spirits may reside in trees, carved figures, or small, simple shrines. Shrine rooms containing votive objects and dedicated to spirits or ancestors are common, however; like the shrine house of the Asante, with its rooms for an orchestra and the officiating priest, many such houses are similar to the dwelling compound. A more notable structure is the elaborate mbari house of the Owerri Igbo of Nigeria. A large open-sided shelter, square in plan, it houses many life-size painted figures sculpted in mud and intended to placate the figure of Ala, the earth goddess, who is supported by deities of thunder and water. The remaining sculptures—often witty—are of craftsmen, officials, Europeans, animals, and imaginary beasts. Because the process of building is regarded as a sacred act, mbari houses, which once took years to build, were left to decay, and new ones were constructed rather than old ones maintained. Contemporary mbari structures are formed from cement, and the symbolism of decay and renewal has therefore been lost.

Taken from the September 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Olinda Adeane.

Maisons & Hotels Sibuet: 00-33-457 747 474; maisons-hotels-sibuet.com

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The owners of this Tuscan house decided to make an outdoor sitting area out of a corner of the loggia – an idea that can be applied to any outbuilding in need of a bit of care and attention. Choose pieces made from robust materials like wood and metal, which can tolerate the elements, such as the classic bamboo chairs, wooden table and oak swill-style baskets used here.

In the Twickenham home of Lady Wakefield, the Marston & Langinger conservatory acts as an extension of the garden, and provides an alternative dining area. Like the rest of the house, it is full of pieces chosen with confidence. Nothing is matching, objects are not necessarily of value, but they are all things of beauty and interest.

The Bunkie Co. offers one of the smartest flat-pack structures we have seen. The company is based in Canada, but because the design is in flat-pack form, it can be shipped around the world. We particularly like the ‘Premier’ model, which is shaped like a cut-out house and was developed to require no building permit – though it might require planning consent in some UK contexts. It costs from £26,900.

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Appearing smaller than it really is has earned Slackwood Farm a Grade II* listing. It is an early example in northern England of a double-pile house, so called because it is two rooms deep along the width.

Cylindrical houses are built by the majority of peoples in the savanna and semidesert regions of Sudan and western Africa. With less wood available, these are often constructed of mud in a coil pottery technique. It is customary to lay the mud spirally in “lifts” of approximately half a metre, allowing each lift to dry before adding the next. The Musgum of northern Cameroon once created spectacular homes from compressed sun-dried mud, although their tall conical dwellings with geometric raised patterns are no longer made today. The Batammaliba of Togo and Benin build elaborate two-story dwellings that are integrally connected with Batammaliba cosmogony and social order.

Extend your outdoor entertaining space with a rusted-iron gazebo from Room in the Garden. Available in various sizes, these elegant pavilions can either be left open as a structure for climbing plants, or lined with canvas in a choice of 38 colours.

Not only does this internal courtyard work as a perfect plant or garden room, it also floods interior designer Helen Green’s open-plan kitchen and dining room on the Sussex Downs with natural light.

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Taken from the August 2012 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Liz Elliot.

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Tom points out, ‘With a width of 2.4 metres, length of 5.4 metres and height of 2.2 metres to the apex, it offers more generous space compared to a standard shepherd’s hut.’ Prices start at £15,000.

The veranda at the Playa Grande Beach Club proves that exteriors can be as gorgeous as interiors! Following the vintage scheme, the veranda is littered with vintage rattan peacock chairs, is fitted with pendant lights and finished with glossy tiles.

Ecological and demographic factors play an important part in building design. Soil erosion and overgrazing, as well as pressure on land as a result of population growth, have also contributed to migratory movements. The growth of urban centres led to wide-scale migration in the 20th and 21st centuries, and these migrations have had a profound effect on the dispersal of house types.

In this alluring Californian loggia, designers from Rios Clementi Hale Studios have used graphic stripes to evoke a bygone Hollywood era while reflecting the indoor-outdoor nature of the space. Its focal point is the ‘Carousel Lantern’, £2,880, from Charles Edwards.

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Off the coast of Mozambique, the owners of this beachside home have created a luxury retreat using natural products to help conserve the island’s rich natural heritage. A cluster of cane pendant lights from Indonesia accentuates the height of the roof, while the furnishings such as cushions covered in mud cloth from the Dogon tribe in Mali and painted bowls made in Kenya show support for Africa’s artisan communities. A pair of seagrass rugs delineates the two seating areas.

Thatch-covered conical roofs of cylindrical houses in a Matakam compound, Cameroon.Rene Gardi

A muted colour scheme was chosen by Top 100 designer Katharine Pooley for her stylish shepherd’s hut due to its limited space. Metallic accents were added with bronze- and copper-toned accessories. ‘To finish the look, I used sisal carpet that was seamless and had a country feeling, complementing the choice of fabrics throughout the hut.’

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The zimbabwes (“stone houses”) built in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Rozwi kings of southern Central Africa were royal kraals, an example being the citadel of Chief Changamire at Khami, Zimbabwe. Ruins at Regina, Nalatali, and Dhlodhlo (also in Zimbabwe) all display fine mortarless stonemasonry worked with chevron patterns and banded colours. Many African palaces were larger and often better-crafted versions of the traditional dwelling type, raised on hillocks or plinths. Such were the palaces of the kabaka (king) of the kingdom of Buganda, including the great barnlike thatched dome with an open reception veranda at Mengo, near present-day Kampala, Uganda. Other palaces were royal compounds, such as that of the fon (chief) of Bafut, Cameroon, which within a high fenced enclosure contained separate quarters for the older and younger wives, dormitories for the adolescent sons, houses for retainers, stores, meeting places, a shrine house and a medicine house, burial structures for former chiefs, and structures for secret societies.

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Located at the bottom of the garden of a Notting Hill villa designed by Amanda Hornby is this ‘shed’. Far from being a dusty toolshed this garden room is a chic log cabin, complete with movie projector, keyboard, old records, ceiling papered with old NME magazine covers and a sofa upholstered in Linwood floral velvet. It is the dream snug hangout for teens and grown-ups alike.

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Nigeria: architectureClay houses decorated with low-relief ornament and vibrant designs, exhibiting contemporary vernacular architecture in Zaria, Nigeria. (centre right) Frank Willett

Taken from the House & Garden May 2015 supplement, Hotels by Design.

At Mount Algidus in New Zealand, opportunities to use the loggia, swim in the pool and stroll in the box-bordered parterre are limited to a few summer months. The stylish loggia features lanterns from Vaughan.

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This project, designing a shepherd’s hut, was not without its challenges. ‘The biggest hurdle was the special planning due to the tight dimensions,’ says Top 100 designer Katharine Pooley. She decided to take on the task ‘with the same approach as any other project’ and created a space that would suit playing children and adults seeking a relaxing retreat alike.

To the south of the savanna is a thinly populated strip, possibly depleted by the slave trade, beyond which lie the rainforests. These regions, especially in Nigeria, are among the most densely populated parts of sub-Saharan Africa, and they have had contact with European traders since the 16th century. The rectangular-plan houses of the Akan peoples, including those of the Asante in Ghana, date to a period before the 16th century, but they may have replaced an earlier savanna form. Until the 20th century, Asante houses were constructed primarily of pole frames with mud infilling. Such houses were finely decorated, in mud molded over grass armature, with fluid motifs. In the early 21st century, rural Asante houses were often constructed of “swish,” or pisé de terre (earth rammed into a wooden formwork), raised in lifts. The pitched or hipped roof is covered in thatch or, more frequently, with corrugated iron. Though the materials have changed, the basic form remains in the village compounds: four independently constructed rectangular-plan structures forming the sides of a courtyard. Yoruba compounds in Nigeria are somewhat similar, but the four sides are often under one continuous roof. Rain is collected from the roofs, and the plan is therefore often compared to the Roman impluvium, or cistern, house plan. Farther south in Nigeria the Igbo and related peoples traditionally built rectangular houses, often with open fronts facing a courtyard and surrounded by enclosing mud walls. Similar rectangular buildings with thatched hipped roofs are used by other rainforest peoples, including some groups of the Fon in Benin and the Baule and Dan of Côte d’Ivoire. But in regions where widely dispersed peoples, such as the Senufo of Côte d’Ivoire, border the savanna, cylinder-and-cone houses with deep thatched eaves are common.

A locally sourced chalk-brick wall in Clare Agnew’s 300-year-old Norfolk barn conversion adds to the rustic theme in the garden room, which has aluminum windows by Luminex that open out to the back walled garden.

The offset pitch of the roof allows for a large north-facing sloped skylight, which provides plenty of natural light in the shed. This is particularly lovely above a workspace.

Hand-printed fabric walling and selected antiques add character to the hut, which has a different design scheme to the main house. ‘Complete with a sweet kitchen, wood-burning stove, artisan-fitted furniture and a bespoke bed, it has the perfect feeling of cosiness.’

The writer’s shed in Hackney at night, lighting up the end of the garden thanks to its backlit shingle cladding.

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More extensive was the great palace of the oba of Benin City, Nigeria. In the 16th and 17th centuries it was as large as a European town, with many courts surrounded by galleried buildings, their pillars encased in bronze plaques. Roofs were shingled, and there were numerous high towers topped with bronze birds. Benin City was burned by the British in 1897. The Yoruba of western Nigeria are also an urban people. Their towns traditionally have as their centre the afin (palace) of the oba, from which radiate broad roads dividing the town into quarters, each with its compound of a subordinate chief. Some afins in the precolonial era were of great size, encompassing much of the surrounding bush; the afin of Oyo, the capital of the Oyo empire (17th and 18th centuries), was reported to cover 640 acres (260 hectares). The palace buildings were substantially built, and the open verandas were supported by carved caryatid pillars. Yoruba towns still have palaces; though the architecture is often Westernized, traditional courtyards, recreation grounds, and high surrounding walls persist.

This teak pool house in Cornwall by architect Duncan Mackenzie, blends in to its surroundings, while offering an amazing spot for a summer party.

This shed is just a single room, a ‘room of own’s own’. Furnished in a restrained but not an austere way, it isn’t a monastic cell. Rather, the honey-coloured wood, upholstered and padded seating, the cheeky pop of cheering red and even the slightly kitsch floral oil painting on the wall give the space some real charm and warmth.

The ceiling of this room is painted blue to mimic the sky, making this space a perfect transitional area between indoors and out.

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This alluring writer’s shed in Hackney, east London, was designed by Surman Weston architects for a client who loves children’s literature and mythology. Partner Percy Weston explains that it ‘was conceived as a haven in the city; a fairy-tale hut at the bottom of the garden, where the client could retreat and immerse himself in his work. The back-lit cedar façade, shingle cladding, log store and wood-burning stove were all intended to play a part in creating this world. The offset pitch of the roof allowed for a large north-facing skylight; flooding the workspace with natural light.’ At 3.8 x 4.5 x 4.2 metres, it would not have needed planning permission if it had not been so close to the neighbour’s boundaries.

Designer Sir Paul Smith requested not just a shed from bespoke furniture designer Nathalie de Leval, but ‘my Shed’, when the two were brought together for the London Design Festival’s Wish List exhibition, where emerging designers created something to order by more established design maestros.

Djenné, ancient trading city and centre of Muslim scholarship, southern Mali. It is situated on the Bani River on floodlands between the Bani and Niger rivers, 220 miles (354 km) southwest of Timbuktu.

Djenné was founded in the 13th century near the site of Djenné-Jeno,…

Taken from the June 2014 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Clare Foster.

Located at the bottom of the garden of a Notting Hill villa designed by Amanda Hornby is this ‘shed’. Far from being a dusty toolshed, this garden room is a chic log cabin, complete with movie projector, keyboard, old records, ceiling papered with old NME magazine covers and a sofa upholstered in Linwood floral velvet. It is the dream snug hangout for teens and grown-ups alike. See inside here.

Furniture, all from the ‘Arbor’ collection, from Janus et Cie

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Don’t have a garden? Create a garden room inside. The basement of this eighteenth-century house in Spitalfields has been transformed into a bright kitchen, dining and sitting space, complete with a ‘living’ wall in the sitting area with the help of Chris Dyson Architects. The ‘living’ wall extends above a retractable glass roof which floods the vibrantly white family room with sunlight.

The addition of a wooden conservatory gave this house in Cambridge a new lease of life; where the owners could grow and admire plants as well as sit with family and friends and enjoy an enviable view of the garden. Twin gables with spoked cartwheels in the windows have enhanced this roof and added a new dimension to what would otherwise be a plain rear elevation.

A room that would be perched overlooking an amazing view in the grounds of his house, with glazed Crittal windows, measuring 3 x 3m (the same size as his first shop in Nottingham), where he would have room for a chair and a radio. Inspired by the shed of writer George Bernard Shaw, he requested ‘somewhere I can go to really to switch off, somewhere to relax. In today’s world where everyone is so busy, I think this is really important and very needed.’

Jane Sacchi recounts the experience of updating a twelfth-century tower in Italy, originally restored by her architect husband Bruno in the Seventies. ‘It would have originally been a tower of probably five or six storeys, with a fortified courtyard with battlements and arrow slits. One hundred years later, the property had become a gentleman’s residence. One side of the courtyard has an open loggia above, which was originally the banqueting hall.

While many African peoples have or have had kings, not all have resided in palaces, and not all have been divine. Some peoples have no recognized chiefs or leaders at all. Religion, however, plays an essential part in the life of all African societies. Among some, such as the Fali of Cameroon or the Nankani of Burkina Faso, spiritual symbolism informs every part of their dwelling types. Among the most-studied peoples in this respect are the Dogon who live on the rockfall of the Bandiagara escarpment in Mali. It has long been believed that the Dogon perceive each dwelling compound anthropomorphically as a man on his side in the act of procreation. The man’s head is associated with the hearth, the stores with his arms, the stables with his legs, the central workroom with his belly, and the grinding stones with his genitalia. From the individual parts of the house to the entire village plan, each element has a religiously symbolic association, and totemic sanctuaries with markedly zoomorphic form are built and dedicated to the ancestors of the living. It should be noted, however, that the scholarship of Marcel Griaule and his followers, who documented the complex cosmogony expressed in such plans, has been open to debate and revision. Among the structures significant to the Dogon are the rounded sanctuaries dedicated to the ancestors, covered with rectilinear checkerboard designs; granaries with wooden doors and locks carved with multiple human figures; and the men’s meeting house, or togu na, a low structure with a stacked millet roof and structural posts.

This article addresses the range of architectural styles in sub-Saharan Africa. For a technical exploration of architecture as an art and as a technique, see architecture. For a discussion of the visual art of Africa, see African art. For a discussion of ancient Egyptian architecture, see Egyptian art and architecture. For a treatment of the later architecture of Egypt and other parts of North Africa, which were heavily influenced by Islam, see Islamic arts: Visual arts.

Used as a pre-dinner and drinks area, this amazing terrace by garden designers Dan Pearson and Huw Morgan of Dan Pearson Studio, is paved with local stone that has been colonised with mosses for a softened, natural look. ‘The general brief was for a cool, relaxing colour scheme of mainly green and white,’ says Dan. ‘The Wisteria is grown over a pergola, which is a simple construction. The tubular frame supports a wire grid from which the wisteria branches are suspended with ties. We painted it a dark, matt green so that it is almost invisible between the branches. It is planted solely with Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’, which is intensely scented when it flowers.

As you enter the high-ceilinged 1860s house the light-filled hall leads you towards the back door into the greenhouse and on towards the garden. Formally owned by Howard Hodgkin, new owners Linda and David Heathcoat bought the house in 1978 where they recall, the house, ‘was both a wreck and a jewel’. Linda is a keen gardener who loves potting and taking cuttings.

In the 19th century the earth-and-stone palace of the Asantehene (king) of the Asante empire at the capital city of Kumasi covered some five acres (two hectares). It had many courtyards with verandas and open screens and more than 60 rooms with steep thatched roofs. The exterior walls of the palace were covered with rich embellishments in raised clay, patterns that may be related to Islamic calligraphy. Shrine houses were also constructed. Little of the palace survived the Asante wars and a punitive expedition by the British in 1874.

African architecture reflects the interaction of environmental factors—such as natural resources, climate, and vegetation—with the economies and population densities of the continent’s various regions. As stone is the most durable of building materials, some ancient stone structures survive, while other materials have succumbed to rain, rot, or termites. Stone-walled kraals from early Sotho and Tswana settlements (South Africa and Botswana) and stone-lined pit circles with sunken kraals for pygmy cattle (Zimbabwe) have been the subject of archaeological study. Stone-corbeled shelters and circular huts with thatched roofs were also recorded in the 20th century among the southern Sotho. Rectangular and circular stone farmhouses, unusual in being two stories, have been built by the Tigre of Eritrea and Sudan for centuries, while in Niger some Tuareg build square houses in stone.

IntroductionGeneral characteristicsGeographic influencesNomads and pastoralistsSavanna kraals and compoundsForest dwellingsPalaces and shrinesInfluences of Islam and ChristianityThe 20th century

If you want to create a space for outdoor entertaining, a strategically placed pergola like this in the Sussex home of the late Helen Green, is perfect for giving a feeling of enclosure, without obstructing the view. Train a climbing plant over it for blousy summer blooms.

If you don’t want an enclosed garden space, we love the idea of creating an open sitting room, like the owners of this house in France. Comprised of a raised deck area, painted a cheerful duck egg blue, and finished with beautifully carved benches and an almost Gustavian looking table that would be just as at home indoors, the setup has an inviting whimsical feel.

Elsewhere in the garden is Dahl’s writing hut, which he based on Dylan Thomas’s ‘word splashed hut’ in Laugharne, Wales. Here Roald Dahl would lose himself in his work, writing only in pencil on yellow lined paper – his favourite colour.

The characteristic settlement form in western Africa is the compound, a cluster of units linked by walls. Many compounds are circular in plan, but others, conditioned sometimes by the uneven terrain, are more complex. Earthen wall and floor surfaces are plastered smooth and dried to a rocklike hardness. These surfaces are often decorated with coloured clays (as are the homes of the Bobo in Burkina Faso and the Nankani in Ghana) and, in some instances, sculpted with ancestral motifs (such as the Kassena do in Burkina Faso). Flat roofs with parapets are also built, sometimes in the same compound, supported either independently by a log frame of forked posts and cross members or by joists inserted into the clay walls; hollowed half-log gargoyles throw off water during seasonal rains. Dwelling huts, granaries and other stores, and pens for goats and fowl are built within the same compound.

Anne-Marie Midy inherited this house in the south of France and has since lovingly restored it to refresh the interiors without losing the charm of the space. Anne-Marie Midy and her husband own the Mexican furniture company Casamidy.

Of the buildings of the continent south of the Sahara, the ruins of Great Zimbabwe are perhaps the best known. This complex of stone enclosures, particularly those popularly termed the elliptical building and the acropolis, was built on sites established as early as the 3rd century ce. The first Shona phase of building was probably begun six centuries later and continued until the 15th century, when, under the Mwene Matapa, or “Ravager of the Lands,” Zimbabwe reached its peak.

In his latter years, Bruno amused himself by decorating the external doors and painting a ‘Mondrian’ on the loggia wall. This is where I have created the summer sitting room, a corner of shade and the perfect spot to watch the sunset over the distant Tuscan hills.’

A shaded spot in the garden of this country house in rural France is often used for lunches, with a vintage metal table from 88 Antiques on Golbourne Road, garden chairs from Italy and tableware from France.

Sizes and specifications are bespoke, but as a guideline a 2.3 x 1.8 metre summerhouse with a standard black exterior and cream-painted interior is £7,500, including delivery and construction.

Could there be anything more lovely than this pavilion in the garden of designer Nicky Haslam’s sixteenth-century hunting lodge? Delicate trompe l’oeil trees have been added to the ocher yellow wall, framed beautifully by the latticework and gothic ogee entrance. On the bench are ‘Mullion’ cushion covers, £65, from Nicky’s range for Oka.

Richard Parr moved his family from London to this Cotswold farmhouse and developed it into an inspiring setting for his architectural practice. This front porch dining area is the hub of the house in the summer months. The porch was once used, as it is now, as the heart of the building, giving protection to both people and produce; to the right was a cellar, and to the left was room formerly used to make cheese and beer.

Want to see more? Take a look around Roald Dahl’s Gipsy House.

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At the Kenyan retreat of businessman Jochen Zeitz, this stylish covered seating area with its rattan furniture and outdoor rug is a place we could linger for hours. Opting for an outdoor room with a thatched roof gives shade and protection from the elements, as well as a lovely dappled light.

The old barn on the Inchrya Estate has been transformed into an idyllic events venue. On warm nights the barn doors are flung open to reveal the golden glow of the room beyond. Benches have been made out of the old roof beams.

Home to all five Dahl children, his wife Liccy, who still lives at the property, tells how it was the kind of garden where the children would wake to find their names spelled out in weed killer on the lawn to celebrate a birthday.

As a consequence of their hunting and gathering economy, the San of the Kalahari move frequently. Some San scherms (shelters) are little more than depressions in the ground, but groups such as the !Kung build light-framed shelters of sticks and saplings covered with grass. Other hunter-gatherers, such as the Hadza of Tanzania, live in dry savanna territory, which contains a wide range of game animals. Their domed dwellings of tied branches are given a thick thatch in winter. Some forest dwellers, such as the Bambuti of the Ituri Forest in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, are also hunter-gatherers. Their similarly constructed temporary shelters are interlaced with crossed sticks, over which mongongo leaves are layered.

Ruth Sleightholme turns this Edwardian orangery into a rustic garden room. Using bold botanical motifs and furniture in natural materials has effortlessly brought the outdoors in. Rattan chairs and wicker basket pendant lights add a pop of neutral colour set against the mix of blues and botanical greens backdrop.

The ‘Hexagonal Gazebo’ measures 348 x 222 x 199cm and costs £3,950, plus delivery from A Room in the Garden. Canvas liners are available separately.

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The small but perfectly formed OfficePOD was initially designed for extra meeting spaces, and pods have been snapped up for hip media offices, including Google in London and BBC MediaCityUK in Salford. And they do indeed make for brilliant workspaces. However, they make equally alluring outdoor rooms.

Pastoral nomads follow defined routes, reducing the risk of overgrazing and enabling them to contact other nomadic groups. Camel-herding nomads such as the Kabābīsh of central Sudan use the traditional Bedouin tent, which consists of a rectangular membrane of strips of woven camel hair that are attached to webbing straps and secured with guys over rectangles of poles. A central row of four poles supporting curved ridge pieces reduces the possibility of damage to the tent. In Niger the Tuareg use a tent of superficially similar form, though the strips are made of goat skins sewn together. As many as 40 skins are required to complete each tent membrane. Farther south, Tuareg subgroups employ a structure similar to that used by many camel-herding nomads from as far away as Djibouti. Common to these people is the use of the pole frame in the form of a humped dome over which woven mats of grass or palm fronds are secured. Palm leaves are split by the Oromo of Somalia; Oromo women then weave strips of coloured cloth into the mat, with the patterned side laid over the frame in order to be visible within the tent, while on the outside the shaggy, rough fibres are exposed.

Did we mention this room actually pivots? There’s a mechanism that allows it to rotate and follow the sun. The stuff of dreams.

The ‘Camargue’ outdoor room from Garden House Design can be closed off on both sides with wind-resistant screens or glass sliding walls. It could also be installed to cover a terrace to keep out the elements on summer evenings.

Such exceptions apart, the overwhelming majority of Africa’s thousands of peoples in rural areas build in grasses, wood, and clay. Because of the impermanence of many of these materials, existing buildings, though based on forms many centuries old, are of relatively recent date. Where vegetation is largely confined to thin grazing cover, peoples are often nomadic, using tents of animal skins and woven hair for shelter. In the veld and less-forested areas, grasses are used as building material as well, being employed widely for thatch and mat roof coverings. Hardwoods in forest regions are used for building, as are bamboo and raffia palm. Earth and clay are also major building resources. Characteristic soils of Africa include semidesert chestnut earths and laterites (reddish residuals of rock decay), which are often low in fertility but easily compacted. Earth-sheltered houses are made by the Iraqw of Tanzania, and a number of peoples in Mali and Burkina Faso have partly sunken dwellings.

The unique garden buildings from Grainstore are built onto wooden staddle stones, meaning that they are ideal for uneven parts of the garden. Made from sustainable timber and painted a traditional black, the summerhouses and pavilions have a cream-painted interior – or can be custom-painted.

The veranda of this holiday home in Cap Ferret was designed by its architect Jonathan Tuckey as the main dining space of the house. ‘This was an ideal spot because it leads from the kitchen and has a wonderful view,’ he says. Below reclaimed pendant lights from Retrouvius, the 4.3-metre-long table is set before a built-in bench. ‘Because the table is so long we wanted to avoid the clutter – both visually and physically – of having 12 chairs, which would have left little space. The owners wanted to make sure they could seat large numbers of people, and a bench allows guests to squash up to add extra places.’

African architecture, the architecture of Africa, particularly of sub-Saharan Africa. In North Africa, where Islam and Christianity had a significant influence, architecture predominates among the visual arts. Included here are the magnificent mosques built of mud in Djenné and Mopti in Mali, the rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia, and the Islamic monuments of coastal eastern Africa. Discussions of architecture in sub-Saharan Africa focus chiefly on housing in villages, rural mosques, and the mélange of colonial and modern influences that characterize urban areas.

The architectural forms of Great Zimbabwe, however, are atypical of many African architectural styles. The site has a massive defensive wall and, included in the elliptical building, a conical tower of unknown purpose. It is also monumental in scale, having functioned as a royal citadel, and it has become a national symbol. While some of these features can be found in other examples of African building, they are rare, and the emphasis on Zimbabwe has overshadowed the great diversity of materials, forms, purposes, and uses characteristic of architecture elsewhere in Africa.

The exterior cladding and joinery is in oak, while the interior is distinctively lined with spalted beech and polished-lime plaster. This workspace manages to be both rustic and elegant.

A small concrete seating area, surrounded by a pond, offers views of the garden and tea estate at this spectacular Sri Lankan house.

Is it just us, or is there a particular pleasure gleaned from thumbing through a beautifully-photographed catalogue? We spotted this rustic scene in a recent tome from outdoor furniture brand Janus et Cie, based in LA. Their vision clearly animates this outdoor dining area. The clean, horizontal lines of the table contrast with the gentle curve of the overhead arches and hanging vines. Simple, yet visually stunning.

Helen Fraser and Non Morris, founders of garden-design company Fraser & Morris, undertake a range of innovative projects, despite being based at opposite ends of the country. Helen is based in Scotland, living with her husband and children in a Grade II-listed Arts and Crafts house with a garden room (pictured), located 1,200 feet up a Perthshire glen.

This studio by architect Charles Morris is where the owner, Lady Anne Field, goes to paint. Its glass walls on both sides allow total immersion with the beauty of the view.

Where do great writers go to dream up their best ideas? The garden of Gipsy House, the home of the late Roald Dahl that provided the inspiration for many of his stories, is permeated with that certain Dahlian magic that is so familiar to anyone who has read his work. Planted by Roald and Wally Saunders – a gentle giant of a builder who provided the original inspiration for the BFG – together they laid the paths, planted the limes, and built this magical birdhouse with window ledges lined with ‘dream catchers’ (for those not familiar with the BFG, those are, of course, the jars that giants catch dreams in).

A bench with Good Earth embroidered and printed cushions makes a comfortable seating spot in the garden of the company’s founder, Anita Lal.

Dwellings of approximately rectangular plan, though often with curved and molded corners, are also found among the cylindrical units, and some peoples, such as the Lobi of Côte d’Ivoire, build compounds with straight walls. Throughout the western savanna region the trend has been toward rectangular-plan houses, largely because of Islamic influence from the north (see below Influences of Islam and Christianity) and contact with rainforest peoples from the south.

Fashion designer Katherine Hooker and her boyfriend, architect Dimitri Konstantidis’s, shady terrace on the Greek island of Patmos is a little slice of heaven. Every morning the pair have breakfast at the table – made from reclaimed marble pavement that was rescued from Athens – before going for a swim at a nearby beach.

Wooden benches encircling a table provide a convivial outdoor seating area to while away summer evenings.

The cattle-herding pastoralists of Southern and East Africa settle for some years in one location. The Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania construct an oblong, or sometimes square, low-domed hut some 20 feet (6 metres) long and at shoulder height from closely woven frames of thin leleshwa sticks and saplings. Arranged in a circle around the cattle enclosure, or manyatta, the frames are packed with leaves and plastered over with cattle dung, which acts as a deterrent to termites. The huts are aerodynamically designed to resist high winds, and the manyatta thicket boundary acts as a defensive barrier. A number of other tribes use a similar structure; the Barabaig of Tanzania, for example, build thornbush enclosures in the form of a figure eight, with one loop used as a kraal for the cattle and the other lined with huts with flat-roof frames.

The pool at the Playa Grande is flanked by two lattice-framed cabanas. In this one, locally made tiles, designed by decorator Celerie Kemble, cover the floor. The metal garden furniture has been painted white and finished with pale blue cushions. Interesting and unusual wicker work in the shape of cocao hangs from the ceiling. The overall effect is pure vintage elegance.

This large garden room in south-east London was designed by Charles Barclay and can double up as a guest room. It marks the divide between the main garden and the woodland area to the rear, but the sliding glass doors ensure the full view is not interrupted.

In Segera, the Kenyan retreat and eco lodge belonging to businessman and entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz, an old stable block has been converted in to a gallery space complete with bar. Zebra, elephants and giraffes are often seen roaming through the grounds.

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This pretty summer house from HSP Garden Buildings is the perfect space to create a quiet home away from home. An insulated option is available, enabling year-round use.

The exterior cladding and joinery is in oak, while the interior is distinctively lined with spalted beech and polished-lime plaster.

The curved structure of the Forest Pond House designed by TDO Architecture cantilevers over the edge of a pond and its timber frame blends in with the natural environment.

The screened porch is typical of traditional ‘Shingle’-style houses. It is a place to sit and be cooled by cross breezes in the summer, the folding, louvred shutters acting as sunshades. Located on a plot of farmland on the Atlantic coast of Long Island, interior designer Veere Grenney masterminded this barn-style holiday house with Manhattan architects Leroy Street Studio.

Having been granted planning permission for a building on the plot, TV presenter George Lamb commissioned Maria Speake of architectural salvage company Retrouvius to construct a cabin at the end of his garden that would function as a guest room. Rather more luxurious than your average shed, the space is kitted out with underfloor heating, triple skylights and a bathroom. See inside here.

This wooden ‘eco’ garden room from Westbury Garden Rooms is a great contemporary option for those in an urban area, or with a more modern house. The cedar-clad room is free-standing with a grass roof, and best of all is unlikely to need planning permission. Insulated and equipped with both heating and lighting, it is big enough to be used as a study, a games room, or even a guest lodge if you are unable to extend your house.

A loggia adjoining the private wing of Bowood House provides a quiet seating area in summer – the woven wicker furniture has cushions covered in Colefax & Fowler’s iconic Bowood print.

Above is a rendering of The Bunkie’s ‘Premier’, with two glass walls.

Ancestor figures, carved door frame, and veranda posts on a Bafussam chieftain’s house, Bamileke area, Cameroon grasslands.Photo Hoa-Qui

On a rocky hillside in the Languedoc, with its fierce summer heat and torrential autumn storms, this rough stone former barn is a now a comfortable retreat for interior designer Douglas Mackie and his partner Julian Jackson from their busy London lives.

Salvaged from a bramble patch, this Forties British Rail freight carriage has been transformed into a quirky studio by Somerset-based designer-makers Tom Fraser and Lisa Butler, and is one of six available through their company Mungo & Betsy.

Egyptian art and architecture, the ancient architectural monuments, sculptures, paintings, and decorative crafts produced mainly during the dynastic periods of the first three millennia bce in the Nile valley regions of Egypt and Nubia.

The course of art in Egypt paralleled to a large extent the country’s political history, but…

Taken from the October 2011 issue of House & Garden. Additional text: Nicole Swengley.

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