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Cultural diversity becomes expressed in community architecture and draws us to areas such as the Alpes-Maritimes to experience the differences. In the past, people living in this region followed that North-Mediterranean manner of communal lifestyle. Yet even within this extreme corner of France we will see great variations with village materials and layouts, often between settlements only a kilometre or two apart ---- they reflect local patterns of social relationships in their specific landscapes. Now free of earlier struggles, their scale, townscape, and architectural expression have a humane livability.
Come with me through fascinating hilltop villages with their labyrinthic yet unified forms -- organically built communities in rugged setting. But the message is not one of style for imitation. Rather, the "lessons" are of time, place, and humanity!
See also my matching books "Greece", and "Southern Italy".
Peter Sheppard is a national-award winning architect, university Senior Lecturer, and Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects.
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