“The new still follows the old traditions creating a holistic entity. The result is the achievement of a functional and harmonious architecture suited to the life of the Yemeni people. However, when alien techniques and materials are introduced, there are several effects. With imported materials, a large proportion of the cost goes into the pockets of a few contractors, with only about 25% remaining in the district. If local communities are to participate in self-help for construction, money must be spent locally, on local materials and labour. In addition, imported building methods usually prove to be unsuited to the climate, because the walls and roofs are not heavy enough.”
– Derick Matthews
The Traditional Architecture of Yemen – Yemeni people have inherited building skills since ancient times, and construction seems to be in their life-blood. The county’s architectural history is strongly tied both to its traditions and locally available construction materials
It is known that the Yemeni people who created such a fantastic architecture, are proud of it; they continue to build in traditional ways. In contrast to many developing countries, the Yemen does not seem to suffer from an acute housing problem.
The new still follows the old traditions creating a holistic entity. The result is the achievement of a functional and harmonious architecture suited to the life of the Yemeni people. However, when alien techniques and materials are introduced, there are several effects. With imported materials, a large proportion of the cost goes into the pockets of a few contractors, with only about 25% remaining in the district. If local communities are to participate in self-help for construction, money must be spent locally, on local materials and labour. In addition, imported building methods usually prove to be unsuited to the climate, because the walls and roofs are not heavy enough.
– Derick Matthews
Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese arcPritzker hitects – including Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma – to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context.
Traditional China built for the climate, respecting it’s people’s requirements
Religious buildings like the Pagodas or vertical stupas were expressions that respected tradition
The cultural revolution 1966–76, mass mobilization of urban Chinese youth inaugurated by Mao Zedong in an attempt to prevent the development of a bureaucratized Soviet style of Communism. The aim of the Cultural Revolution was to attack the Four Olds– old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits–in order to bring the areas of education, art and literature in line with Communist ideology. Anything that was suspected of being feudal or bourgeois was to be destroyed. There was a move away from the past. Today the value of many elements from the past that survived are being carefully restored and preserved. But is it too late for culture, did it change so much.
China is in the middle of a mass migration of residents from rural areas to urban centers and a building boom where development plans often happen so fast that considerations for design, technology, and quality are sacrificed for lower production costs and speed. At the same time, Chinese governments are commissioning projects they believe will bring renown to major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin as well as second- and third-tier cities. The result, according to critics, is that China is flooded with projects focused on flashiness and scale.
‘Foreign architects have had a ball in Dubai, at least until recently. It’s been the place where you can get away with anything. No matter how outlandish or oversized the idea, no one seemed to be saying no, and somebody else was always paying. As a result, the emirate has been waging some sort of architectural arms race with itself, each new development trying to outdo the last, while the rest of the world looked on with a mixture of disdain and envy. So here are some of the craziest highlights from a future that will probably never arrive – but, you never know, still just might’. – Steve Rose (The guardian)
According to Maggie Koerth-Baker, Kate Ascher, author of “The Heights : Anatomy of a Skyscraper”, explain what happens to sewage from the Burj and Dubai’s other tall buildings. ‘1700 km of piping has been laid, however, during Dubai’s economic boom in 2009 the city’s rapid growth meant that it was stretching its existing sewage treatment infrastructure to its limits. Sewage from areas of Dubai not connected to the municipal piped network at the time was collected daily from thousands of septic tanks across the city and driven by tankers to the city’s only sewage treatment plant at Al-Awir. Because of the long queues and delays, some tanker drivers resorted to illegally dumping the effluent into storm drains or behind dunes in the desert resulting in much controversy. The result of sewage dumped into storm drains was that it flowed directly into the Persian Gulf, near to the city’s prime swimming beaches. Doctors warned that tourists using the beaches ran the risk of contracting serious illnesses like typhoid and Hepatitis’.
Singapore has a very shallow historical past and an exhibition pavilion future ?
Some very good examples and some strange ones
The architecture of Singapore displays a range of influences and styles from different places and periods. These range from the eclectic styles and hybrid forms of the colonial period to the tendency of more contemporary architecture to incorporate trends from around the world. In both aesthetic and technological terms. From the late 1990s, like many other global cities and aspiring global cities, the Singapore government consciously launched a drive to develop ‘iconic’ landmarks in the city, as a means to strengthening the Singapore brand identity as well as to attract foreign tourists.
(to be continued)
Paper presented art the International Conference “Cities, People & Places” 2013
The Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. Colombo
15th October 2013
(c) Ashley de Vos