Revisiting the Traditional Architecture of Timor-Leste in light of Ruy Cinatti’s 1950’s-1960’s travel records: documenting transformation and change in the built environment

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Abstract

During the mid-20th century, a series of Portuguese scientific missions (MAT) formed by artists, architects and scientists documented Timor-Leste’s traditional housing resulting on the book ‘Arquitetura Timorense’ [Cinatti et al 1987]. The aim of this paper is to illustrate the transformation occurred in the traditional architecture of Timor, from the period of the MAT missions till today. This research focused on 4 out of the 7 regions identified by Ruy Cinnatti in his original book, and discussed 3 particular typologies in context. The authors have used archival research [Australia, Timor-Leste and Portugal] as well as extensive fieldwork in Timor-Leste in 2019 and 2020. The results demonstrate that the traditional housing practices are being considerably modified in response to the conditions that the country finds itself today. {e.g. Scarcity of resources, land tenure issues and difficulties on transferring skills [design and making] to the youth generation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVernacular Architecture
Publication statusSubmitted - 2020

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