B i r i k y

Tana . Madagascar . 2009

Client Private

Status Completed

James Cameron was a missionary who lived in Madagascar in 1826. He is also the man which introduced mud bricks technique in the island. The clay was moisturized, then molded, tamped and dried in the sun. These adobe bricks (Biriki tanimanga) are a more efficient construction technique than the ancestral cob (Tovam-peta). But mud bricks suffered of a poor resistance to the compression.

Five years later, in 1831, Jean Laborde (consul of France and french manufacturer) imported the cooked bricks technique on the island. This architectural revolution, mainly used for prestigious buildings and for a ‘bourgeois’ society, was quickly spread from urban to rural areas, since it perfectly compensated for the shortcomings of mud bricks. We find cooked bricks in the main architectural elements (walls, lintels, columns, frames…) of every large red houses of Antananarivo, houses which are so characteristic of the Malagasy landscape. Here is one more.

With its dominant position on land overlooking the rice fields, this house has all the characteristics of a Malagasy ‘bourgeois’ house. Main facade’s bricks posts, balcony, brickwork, balusters, Victorian Trims and carved wood porch bracket are the traditional elements that the client wanted to keep.

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