for Tropical Architecture (ITA) was founded in 1994, as a
non-for profit association (ONG), composed
of architects and other professionals.
Our principle objective is to promote
discussion and provide study about architecture
and urbanism adapted to the tropics.
As a non for profit organization, the
Institute depends on donations from outside
sources in order to finance its investigations,
publications, conferences, and operating
expenses. Our headquaters, located in
Costa Rica, provide a library, computers,
slide & DVD collections, audio-visual equipment
and professional staff to our researchers.
The architecture with
which we end this century is abstract and climate independent..
When the modernist dogma flooded the planet,
it erased cultural tradition modes of expression
causing rampant internationalism that was
not successfully adapted to the tropics.
Some architects however, surpassed this
monotony. They succeeded in incorporating
cultural life and local climate by adapting
coherent forms, materials, concepts and
cultural traditions while remaining modern,
They defined an architecture that dearly
reflected regional influences while providing
It is important to understand the permanent concerns of a region. In tropical
construction, we recognize salient elements like the long eaves, steeply sloping
roofs, water gathering systems, perforate facades and lush vegetation. This group
of expressive elements forms a recognizable architecture based on the realities
of the climate: rain, sun, heat and langour. They integrate building and context.
Traditional architecture responded empirically and coherently to this context.
By reevaluating the languages of traditional tropical architecture, a new and
contemporary buildings can be created.
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