Gomeran architecture is sober and functional as it has been throughout the island’s history. Houses are built with tiles, mud, wood, stone and tosca (carved stone), blending harmoniously into the landscape.
Between rural and urban houses there are certain differences. Urban houses tend to be larger and taller – one or two stories high – and built more carefully. There is usually an entrance hall, an interior courtyard, covered balconies forming a corridor around the interior patio, and a small plot of land behind for growing a few crops. In the two-storey houses, the ground floor rooms are used for business purposes, store rooms or service rooms. The top floor rooms are usually bedrooms, the lounge, kitchen, dining room and bathroom, with basic furniture.
Rural houses are usually dispersed across the countryside, relatively isolated. They have sloping roofs with two or four sides, one of which often extends out from the house to form a porch supported by wooden pillars. Exterior yards, wood ovens, wooden benches, and adjacent rooms for farming implements, or fishing boats and gear (in the case of fishermen’s houses) are also common features. Surrounding the houses are pajeros for sheltering animals and storing crops, built from dry stone, mud, rods and local tiles.