Rural and Urban Vernacular Architecture

This paper addresses the rural and urban vernacular architecture of the Maltese archipelago, a group of islands in the centre of the Mediterranean. It has long been acknowledged that the islands boast of a long cultural legacy dating back to the Neolithic period. By means of two contemporary case studies from Gozo, the second largest island of the group, this paper illustrates contextual architectural design solutions which are inspired by vernacular language. Although both case studies are located in the village of Xewkija, one is in a rural setting whilst the other is an urban one. Thus, following a brief section which makes reference to the definition of the vernacular, the paper outlines the vernacular architecture of the islands. It concludes by making reference to the recent health and sanitary regulations which reinforce the former, vernacular insensitive, mid-nineteenth sanitary provisions, thus negatively impinging on the well-being of society.