• Solomon Islands!

    Solomon Islands: Looking up at palm trees. Go Now!

    Solomon Islands
    This Melanesian country is best known for its many islands and beaches... and this natural landscape (pictured) is why most people go. Don't miss out on the unique Melanesian culture and foods though! Begin Your Journey!

  • Tonga!

    Tonga: Coastline. Go Now!

    The heart of Polynesian culture is rooted in Tonga, but most visitors just come for the natural beauty. Explore Tonga!

  • Vanuatu!

    Vanuatu: Jetty into the ocean. Go Now!

    Picturesque serenity is a good way to describe Vanuatu, but the culture offers much more, including the inspiration for bungee jumping, which remains a rite of passage for young men. Explore Vanuatu!

  • Palau!

    Palau: "70 Islands!" Go Now!

    Few people have even heard of this small Micronesian country, but those who have often return with stories of beauty unmatched elsewhere, such as view of the "70 Islands" (pictured). Go Now!

  • Explore the: Federated States of Micronesia!

    Federated States of Micronesia: Overlooking some islands. Go Now!

    Federated States of Micronesia
    This diverse country stretches for thousands of miles and has the diversity to prove it, including the people from Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Yap among others. Begin Your Journey!

  • Samoa!

    Samoa: A traditional home. Go Now!

    Among the most famous of the South Pacific's many countries, Samoa sits in the heart of Polynesia and has a culture to match. Begin Your Journey!

Architecture of the Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands main form of historic architecture came in housing. Most houses in the islands were made of wood and had simple roofs covered in leafs. They tended to be tall to keep them cool, but they varied in shape. The houses also varied in other ways as some were built on rocks, while others were built on the ground; some had fire pits inside them, while others didn't; and some had thatched siding to act as blinds while others were simply open.

Villages often had a community house and the chief tended to have a larger house than the rest of the people. Men and women often lived separately as men lived in one house while women and children lived in another.

A relative oddity in Solomon Islands was the use of stone in some construction. There are a few remains of historic stone structures, including the Bao Shine (1200s) and the Nusa Roviana Fortress (1300-1800s). It seems, based on archeology, that stone structures existed much earlier, although none of these are still standing.

With the Europeans came new building materials and techniques. Better woods and joining materials were introduced to create longer lasting housing. The Europeans also introduced new types of buildings. Constructions expanded from just housing to include churches, forts, and public structures. These new buildings were almost always built in the European style and design, although houses generally maintained numerous aspects of their historic housing.

As foreigners arrived and settled they also changed the design of the housing in Solomon Islands, but only the foreigners widely adopted these new styles. The Australian and Chinese made the greatest impacts on this front as these settlers led a movement for pre-fabricated houses to be shipped to the islands from places like Australia. This also encouraged nearly every home to be painted light blue, which was the traditional color of the Chinese shops. This light blue is perhaps Solomon Islands' most distinguishing architectural characteristic today.

This page was last updated: February, 2013