Rural Shelter

South African Architecture

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Franco Frescura

South African Architecture

Rural Shelter goes on a walkabout through the southern African countryside. It looks at the different types of regional architectures and examines the role played by dwelling forms and decorative motifs in the creation of a rural identity. Important features of this identity include the reaction of the Xhosa to colonial conquest, the use of decoration amongst the Ndebele and Tsonga against land dispossession, and the manner in which the rural builders from each region have managed to harness the materials available to them to produce a unique series of dwelling forms and building textures.

A South African national born in Trieste, Italy, Professor Frescura has vast experience in every aspect of South African Architecture. He has been a visiting lecturer to at least 15 universities located all over the world. Between 1976 and 1989 he documented the self-built architecture of indigenous communities living in rural South Africa and his first book on the subject, Rural Shelter, was published in 1981 by Ravan Press. His most recent research deals with the early history and architecture of Johannesburg and its mines.


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