THE INFLUENCING FACTORS OF ARCHITECTURAL COMPOSITION AND THE ARRANGEMENT OF HUMAN SETTLEMENT IN ORCHID ISLAND
Free (open access)
Volume 8 (2013), Issue 2
154 - 164
C.-J. CHEN & S.-T. KUO
This paper analyzes the vernacular architecture and human settlement of Orchid Island. It attempts to explore the influencing factors of architectural composition and the arrangement of villages regarding their environmental conditions. Orchid Island is mostly populated by an aboriginal people called the Tao. Six tribes totaling 3000 people live on the island, coexisting among different cultures and traditions. The subterranean clustered buildings are the most particular configuration of the island. These constructs demonstrate a conspicuous vernacular figure, reflecting a high level of efficiency and practicality, which corresponds with the local environment and the landscape of the island. Although the settlement space and the island’s land use change gradually due to various socio-economic factors, the traditional subterranean buildings survive; they are conserved and used primarily by two tribes called the Langdau and Yehyin. Although both tribes reside on this small island, some distinct physical differences in the buildings they use can be recognized. The goal of this research is to explore the influencing factors by comparing representative examples from each tribe. The study of the research consists of (i) a field investigation on the configuration of buildings and the physical difference between two tribes and (ii) a correlation analysis on the settlement arrangement and the composition of traditional buildings with their environmental conditions. This research presents the dominated influencing factors of buildings and the arrangement of human settlement of the island. The obvious differences between the two tribes can be specified in accordance with the geological and climatic conditions.
Influencing factors, Orchid Island, subterranean building