The Vernacular Architecture of Malawi

Vernacular Architecture is a key design informant for most practising architects in Africa. Not only do they draw inspiration from it but they also gain an understanding of pertinent climatic, environmental and social modalities. To academic architects and historians vernacular architecture is a fundamental departure point when analysing a particular society and its architecture.

Africa is incredibly rich in the vernacular; we have an array of living examples anywhere from Cape Town to Cairo but little of it on record on the web. As Africa integrates with the global condition so the traditional ways of life change, as do human settlements and residential topologies.

Architect Jon (Twingi) Sojkowski recently completed a three week tour of over 300 vernacular sites in Malawi which produced some 4,500 photographs and many videos. This outstanding architectural resource is available on

For more on Africa's vernacular architecture you may wish to visit AFRICAN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE and ZAMBIA VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE by the same author.