Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World

Principal Investigator(s): Professor Marcel Vellinga

Contact: mvellinga@brookes.ac.uk

Project start: September 2015

Project finish: January 2023

About us

The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World, edited by Professor Marcel Vellinga, is a fully revised, updated and expanded edition of Paul Oliver’s classic 1997 publication.

Featuring approximately 3,000 entries, the encyclopedia contains over 30% entirely new material and will be available as a six volume printed work and as an interactive online resource. A major development in the field of vernacular architecture studies, this new edition, with its expanded theoretical and geographical scope, reflects the considerable growth in research in the field since the first edition.

It will be published by Bloomsbury Publishing in 2024.

Teepee next to a lake

Research impact

A row of houses

This project will bring the encyclopedia, which has long been unavailable, back to prominence. It will be the definitive and most up-to-date reference resource for the study of the world’s vernacular and traditional building cultures.

In the 25 years since the publication of the first edition, a considerable amount of new research has taken place around the world. Scholars from various national and disciplinary backgrounds have documented the vernacular architecture of specific cultures or places. They have enhanced theoretical approaches towards the definition, documentation, analysis and representation of vernacular architecture more generally.

Altogether, this research has resulted in a more mature, diverse, active and dynamic field of study, interdisciplinary and international in focus, which continues to enrich our knowledge and understanding of the diversity and quality of the world’s vernacular architecture. The second edition will encompass the results of this new research, and feature brand new sections on the impacts of climate change, conflict and globalisation on vernacular traditions.


Marcel Vellinga

Professor Marcel Vellinga

Professor of Anthropology of Architecture

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