The main characteristics that define the domestic architecture in la Gomera are the integration in the environment and its functionality. The shortage of the soil suitable for building, the water, the weather conditions, the orographyof the island and the ownership of the land determined the location and distribution of the villages. Most of them take place between 1500 and 1700. Neighborhoods are placed in the landscape along the royal roads and many of them start in caves or cottages that belonged to the settlers before the conquest.
At the beginning the houses did not have windows as there was no glass and were built with stone and a mixture of excrement, mud and wicker (“adobe”). They were built in a single lineal nave of one or two floors with two gabled roofs and the tile of a community oven in the village. The houses were oriented according to their situation in the farms or the path. The appearance of the window results in a characteristic model of façade without changing their situation and original building materials.
We can distinguish between urban traditional architecture and rural traditional architecture.
The traditional urban house has made up the streets and the neighborhoods that have result in the most populated villages as Vallehermoso. Its building is careful; there are stone or wood stairs and balconies. Houses are built in close plots with a little vegetable garden at the back. The lower part of the house is used for shops, service accommodation or store.
The traditional rural house is just one floor, with one or two galleries in the shape of an L.
These are scattered through the landscape and it is completely integrated due to, among other causes, the finishing with the stone that comes from the vicinities. It is a functional housing for all the family, harvest, tools and animals.
Its roof is generally four gabled roofs with local tiles. Between the façade and the garden there may be a porch supported by wooden pillars where the vine tangles, a front garden or a stone seat. The wood stove is in the vicinities.