Every year, the month of October plays host to the world’s biggest and most extravagant beer festival and travelling funfair that is held in Germany, and in select countries from as long ago as the early 1800s. This festival is fondly known as the Oktoberfest, and like most ancient tales, the Oktoberfest is a tale about love. The carnival serves to honor the union of German royalty, Prince Ludwig and his bride Therese of Saxe-Hildburdhausen.
Zambia has taken after Germany in celebrating this festival on the first weekend of the month of October, running from Friday afternoon all the way through to Sunday afternoon.
Like Germany, Zambia comes together to do just that, celebrate – make merry, unwind, meet with friends and maybe network. It is put together by a local events company known as R&G events and is held at a prominent Motel in Chisamba with a prestigious name of Fringilla that is less than an hour’s drive away from Lusaka city.
An experience for anyone at the Oktoberfest is different; some people will go there only to appreciate the live music while others will go there only to appreciate the beer. An architect like me would rather enjoy both, but would enjoy even more the architecture present there, and this is no other architecture than the ancient one. It is the architecture of the caravan. A caravan is an ancient utility vehicle (UV, hereafter) that has long doubled as a travel trailer as well as a mobile shop. It is the versatility of this UV that makes it appropriate for use here.
Since beer kegs, finger food, tents and live music are what remain synonymous with the Oktoberfest, their cash bar sales through some of these caravans by beverage sponsors, and other sponsors alike is how revenue at this festival is generated.
The presence of such architecture adds an ancient character to this event and this alone makes it fitting for use at commemorating an ancient event such as this.