Page C2.1 . 03 May 2006                     
ArchitectureWeek - Culture Department
< Prev Page Next Page >
  • Mies on Lake Shore Drive
  • Asian Legacies

      Current Contents
      Blog Center
      Download Center
      New Products
      Products Guide
      Classic Home
      Architecture Forum
      Architects Directory
      Topics Library
      Complete Archive
      Web Directory
      About ArchWeek
      Subscribe & Contribute
      Free Newsletters


    [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Asian Legacies

    by Ian Morley

    Southeast Asian cities embody many contradictions. They possess, for instance, an indelible amalgam of traditional and contemporary architecture. It is not unusual in cities such as Hong Kong and Taipei to see bamboo scaffolding swaying as workers climb to what appear to be irrational and dangerous heights.

    Even in such highrises, the overall design is often guided by ancient philosophies. Feng Shui still influences architects and property developers in Hong Kong. The 101 Tower in Taipei was designed to resemble an unfolding bamboo shoot, an auspicious Chinese plant, and was formed with eight main sections the number signifying prosperity and confidence.

    This symbolic marriage of past with present, of history and ancient philosophy with modernity combined with their pace of life and increasing size in area and population gives Southeast Asian cities a distinct character.

    However, one significant aspect of Southeast Asian urbanism, the colonial past, is often mistreated. In architectural terms, this can mean the degradation of once-grand buildings or the rewriting of the city image.

    Blending Past with Present

    The mixing of tradition with modernity in Southeast Asia has brought out both the best and worst of modern urban development. For instance, local citizens use old buildings such as temples more intensively than Westerners use churches. But the rapid growth of many Asian settlements has led to a lowering of environmental and aesthetic standards.   >>>

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    The front elevation of the monumental Scott Market in Yangon, Myanmar. One of many surviving colonial buildings, it is suffering from neglect.
    Photo: Ian Morley

    ArchWeek Image

    Many of the former British colonial buildings still retain their public use, often as national government offices.
    Photo: Ian Morley


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK   |   GREAT BUILDINGS   |   DISCUSSION   |   NEW BOOKS   |   FREE 3D   |   SEARCH © 2006 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved