Welcome to the website of the research programme Biocultural

Vernacular architecture has grown in response to the actual needs of the people that have produced it and reflects certain specific characteristics; it is built from locally available materials and is fully integrated into its local environmental, cultural, social and historical context, of which it is a significant part. The need of the contemporary architecture to be adapted to the local prevailing environmental conditions has recently led architects to an in depth investigation of local vernacular references and to the study of traditional architecture in order to recognize structural, typological and bioclimatic characteristics embedded therein, so as to reinterpret and to make use of them in new and contextually appropriate spatial proposals. In consideration οf the breadth of environmentally adaptive lessons that may be learned from vernacular architecture, an internal research programme was launched in July 2013 by members of the Department of Architecture of the School of Engineering of the University of Cyprus for the purpose of documenting the bioclimatic behaviour of traditional dwellings and settlements, accounting for both the indoor and outdoor environmental factors prevalent in private building stock, as well as in public open spaces. This programme – based on its findings and the evolution of its investigation on vernacular architecture – aims to prescribe and promote innovative methods of bioclimatic design and environmentally friendly approaches for the refurbishment of traditional buildings and settlements, thereby contributing to the sustainable design and development of the existing and proposed built and natural environment. 

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Research Project Coordinator: Maria Philokyprou, Department of Architecture