Thursday, August 6, 2009

Rethinking architecture

Mid July 2009, a studio trip to Malacca has awaken me from the cult doctrine of architecture. It has provoke my mind, prompting me to rethink and redefine architecture. I may not have the best redefinition of this matter but i'm trying my best to illustrate the thought in my mind.

While many has ways of defining and categorizing architecture, architecture itself is still at its basis, a language of time and space. It tells a story of a timeline, a period of time, at a specified site and also not forgetting the intention when the building is constructed. In fact, it could be of a cultural purposes, a place for people to congregate and have interactions through community activites and meetings, especially during festive seasons. Nonetheless, architecture could also be the reference timeline, playing an important part in marking a certain period of time and happenings. Take for example, the A Famosa Fort was built by the Portuguese during their reign in Malacca. Here we could also note that there is a different functions of architecture as time goes along. It used to be a fort, and yet it is a historical building which becomes a heritage assets to Malacca. Hence, we could almost say that architecture's form, functions and space is not static. Rather, it is dynamic.

With globalisation wave all around, many has perceived that architecture is a standalone entity. They have advanced by far from the traditional roots. Justifications are made up to promote a baseless thinking. It has by far deviate very much from the basic living styles of humans. Architects now would only compete among themselves to see who has the most weird building which is more often than not are deemed as unique. Eccentricity now becomes a new wave of thinking. Buildings start to look very alienated and out of context. In fact there is a rumour that even governments are starting to encourage the mushrooming of such building in order to create icons and identity of the country. The easiest example would be Singapore, where the government encourages the springing of ION orchard at Orchard Road, Singapore which uses full glazings with its extraordinary form. In my opinion, the building could be placed anywhere in other parts of the world.

Enough said, the best architecture is still the architecture which is back to basic. Solutions and ideas starts to come when problem arises.


  1. i saw this building recently and i am not impressed. it is rather flaunty - as if saying 'look at me' but you are right it speaks nothing of its location. therefore i would say it is not relevant to its context.

  2. This what happen when architect just simply "copy" form from others in magazines without doing a proper research/study how the form derive.

    Even in this modern design in Birmingham, it still relate to the surrounding context and proportion.


  3. min : first of all,thanks for the comment and stopping by my blog. saw this when i was interning in singapore. It receives many praise and also critics. Initially, this building "wow" me but towards the end, i realize that the form does not co-relate to the function. i felt it was soul-less.

    Fadzlan Rizan Johani : Indeed! thanks for the link, Fadzlan! i never realized there is a dejavu.

    :)your visit has motivate me to write more! thank you.