22-26 July 2001


Posted on 19 Oct 2008 by admin

Tuesday, July 24, 2001, 09:00-13:00

Report II-1:

Afife Batur (Turkey):

Ottoman architecture underwent radical changes at the beginning of the18th century. These changes began with the information brought by Yirmisekiz Mehmet Effendi, who was sent to Europe in 1722 as the first Ottoman ambassador. However, we cannot use the concept of modernity for these changes in the fields of architecture and arts. The magnificence of European architecture and palaces and civic buildings were new for Ottomans who could approve monumentality only in the religious buildings.

During 1730s, the Istanbul Baroque style appeared in the fountains and houses and then at the mosques. This style became effective until the end of the century and had left behind a rich heritage in Istanbul, especially in fountain buildings. In 19th century the architects of the Balyan Family realized many large buildings that adopted the contemporary European architecture into the Ottoman world. Europeans, especially the Italian, carried what was "new" to Istanbul. "Tarz-I Cedid" (The New Style) means the "new" in architecture.

Art Nouveau opened the way of transforming from the "new" to the "modern". Mehmed Vedad could represent this "modern" at the end of 19th century. Vedad's main vision was "to reach the modern by building historical continuity". In his apartment buildings, decorative elements peculiar to Ottoman architecture were used in modernist mass compositions. However, since the revivalist movement was easier and more popular, few of his students continued his practice.

In 1930s, the Modernist Movement came. Young Turkish architects attempted to follow the modernist movement that they thought was the most appropriate for their new Republic. Historical continuity was not a problem any longer.

Under the impact of the nationalist movements rose in the world in 1940s, the historical continuity, abstracted from nationalism, was remembered again. Localness and the concepts of sustainability of the local environment gained importance again. Sedat Hakki Eldem attempted to show that modern can be achieved by following the local sustainability.

In the countries that meet the western concepts early, the relation between the traditional/ local and modern would be under tension. This relation should not be sentenced to a monochromatism that is closed and unproductive and creates no renewals. The Turkish example has reproduced the modern concept for her. This is the history of building her own modernism and change, with it deficiencies, mistakes and beauties in every stage and in every experience.

Report II-2:

Jeon Bon-Hee (Korea):

This periodization of modern architecture focuses on the domestic response to the impacts of the modern west. The most significant point that I have made is the division of the first and second modern, which I believe to be somewhat common in other East Asian nations that have gone through colonial periods.

The Korean modern architecture can be divided into 4 consecutive stages: Early modern, 1st modern, 2nd modern and the contemporary. Early modern is the meeting point of traditional era and the introduction of western modernity after the opening of ports. The first period of modern refers to the age of colonial modernism - the 1920s and 30s: roughly the times of the first urbanisation under the Japanese colonial government. The second period emerged after 1945 liberation and the Korean War, in the 60s and 70s, by a new generation devoted to the modern project.

The characteristics of the first period of modern are:
a) Korea was under the Japanese ruling
b) Japanese (or second-hand and Japanese version of) Modern
c) Torn between the old and the new
d) Protest to Japanese Colonial Government
e) Rapid urbanisation
f) Birth of first Korean Architect (in only ethnic meaning)
g) Introduction of international style building with 4-5 storeys or less
h) Most citizens lived in urbanised HanOk (Korean style house- timber structure)

The characteristics of the second period of modern are:
a) Korean was under the ex-military ruling
b) American (or after-war) Modern
c) Forced to forget the old except some selective
d) Protest to ex-military dictatorial government
e) Rapid urbanisation
f) Change of Architect's generation
g) Introducing over 10 stories tall building
h) Most citizen lived in detached YangOk (Western style house- R. C. and brick structure)

There are some general aspects of modern architecture and Urbanism in Korea. They are:
a) The secession of style. From medieval, conventional or historic styles to modern style especially in the height of building, roof style and facade design.
b) Theory of planning. Organic and genius-loci to grid-pattern and profit searching.
c) New materials and structural system. From natural products to industrial products; post and lintel structure to masonry and R. C. structure.
d) Profession. From traditional carpenters to registered architects and general contractors.

Housings, unlike monumental architecture, are quite slow in their reaction to social changes, and therefore maintain vernacular properties. Hence periodization through housing has the inherent danger of failing behind that of the general classification. On the other hand, housings, as a true reflection of social transformation, have the asset of tracing the overall flow of the society. And the developments in Korean residence architecture successfully reveal the changes in its social structure and its members.

Another fact that can be derived from this research is that it takes a considerable amount of time for a newly introduced style to be adopted in housings, and that these foreign imports are seldom an exclusive influence - they become incorporated with vernacular traditions, and form hybrid styles.

These aspects help to define the true model of residence architecture of East Asia, which has received western modernity as "Impacts". It is also suggestive that these housing types were developed not by architects - usually educated with western systems - but by the general public. In other words, what the architects and architectural historian should look into are not the foreign vanguards of the west but the general trend of our society, and its true reflection - the modern vernacular.

Report II-3:

Michael Dakudao (The Philippines): "MODERN" PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE

Spanish Colonial Rule (1571-1898) in the Philippines

Spanish urbanization process was applied in Manila based on the ordinances in 1573 of King Philip of Spain known as "Prescriptions for the Foundations of Hispanic Colonial Towns (Laws of the Indies)" The Spanish-established settlements throughout the country was the application of the church-plaza concept. Perhaps the most significant Spanish colonial architecture in the Philippines is the Roman Catholic Church that signified the intentions of the Spanish colonists to Christianize the natives.

In the process of colonizing the Philippines, the Spaniards also built their fortified city in Manila that they called Intramuros. The walls and ramparts of Intramuros are the most complete and in the best condition comparing to the others in the Hispanic world. The "Bahay na bato" (House of stone) was another product of economics and social developments, as well as architectural evolution, which is the symbol of the affluent Westernized Filipino during that period. In the meantime, Chinese artisans in Manila participated in all of the colonist's building activities. They produced bricks, tiles and other construction materials ending the importations from Mexico.

American Colonial Administration (1898-1946)

In 1898, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States of America in accordance with the Treaty of Paris. In 1904, American modernization started based on Daniel Hudson Burnham's "City Beautiful" planning - the idea of making Manila the "Pearl of Orient". In 1905, William Edward Parsons was assigned to implement the Burnham's plan so as to suit the tropical climate. In the end of his career, Parsons also turned to the neo-classical building style for government building. Under the American colonial administration, Filipinos were sent to study in American architectural schools. These second generation of Filipino architects were influenced by the Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles for their designs for commercial buildings, schools, hospitals, hotels, etc.

After the independence of Philippine, the 1950's was considered as a period of intense building which saw the manner of "International Style". The 1960's began the introduction of "Philippine-ness in Modern Architecture through the use of high-pitched roofs of the country's vernacular architecture. By the 1970's, a search for a distinctive Philippine style inspired a reassessment of the indigenous and Spanish and American colonial traditions which produce modern buildings with a distinct Filipino approach - "Edifice Complex". In the 1980's and 1990's, many new buildings found inspiration in the eclecticism of the Post-modern movement. From 1980's onwards, Filipino architects could come to discuss openly for the first time the topic on "Nation identity on Architecture". However, the conclusion is often referred to the "Confusion-ism" in Philippine Architecture. Most Filipino architects agree that Philippine architecture remains an "elusive thing".

Report II-4:

Bobby WONG Chong Thai (Singapore):

Western enlightenment was introduced into Singapore by European after founding of Singapore and Japanese occupation of 1941 was an extension of European history. This can be concluded as a narrative of Europeans' consciousness, interests, politics and actions.

During 18th and early 19th centuries, many Chinese and Indians were brought in as labours for tin mines and rubber plantations of Malaya. They did not consider Singapore as their homeland. In the first half of the 19th century, Chinese were divided into non-Strait-born and Strait-born. The non-Strait-born were more interested in events in China. Singapore was their centre for collection of fund for reformist, revolutionist or Kuomintang movement in China.

In the mean while, the Strait-born cooperated with the colonial authorities amounting almost to servility. Their architecture originated from the empire or their homeland, though many of them were eclectic in nature incorporation classical elements and plans to the tropics and with local or Chinese motifs. From1920s, some houses were designed in the arts and crafts movement with informality. In the 1930s, European modernist style appeared in Singapore. Singapore struggled against colonialism after the end of WW2 with the consciousness of decolonization emerged. Architecture in the 60s was a social, economical and political experiment with low cost, high rise, high density apartment blocks house 85% of nation's population. 1819 to 1940 is considered as the first modern, while 1945 to 1974 is the second modern. Previously, under the colonial rule, planning was a revolutionary operation, but in 1965, Singapore was transformed into a better-planned city.

Technologies changed us in the ways we never imagined. Now we are entering the second industrial age of electronics and synthesizing chemistry. This is similar to what Reyner Banham said, "it was the upper middle-class homes that the First Machine Age made its greatest impact, the homes that could afford these new, convenient and expensive aids to gracious living." This is exactly the same thing happened in Singapore during the First Modern. We are now looking forward to see how the First Modern together with colonialism made Singapore become part of the post-imperial network of global cities.

Report II-5:


Modern architecture can be said to begin in India after its independence. Many infrastructure, dam, hospital and housing projects were built then. As India is an extremely large country with long history, it is impossible to present all the buildings within a short time. Instead, the presentation was focused on the princely states in India, one place (Baroda) and one architect (Chisholm).

Baroda is 400 km north of Bombay, in the modern state of Gujarat. Its most celebrated ruler was Sayajirao Gaekwad III, who became ruler in 1881. He was deeply influenced by European culture. He was also an enlightened ruler with a taste in art and a faith in improvement through education, learning and hard work. Under Sayajirao, Baroda became a prosperous modern state.

Besides art, Sayajirao also interested in architecture, especially reproductive public works. He appointed Robert Fellowes Chisholm (1840-1945) as his architect. Chisholm emphasized the fusion of modernism in India (Functionalism and Gothic Revival). His works included the Kothi Municipal Offices (1882), Jaisinhrao Municipal Library (1882), Baroda College (1887), Palace (1890), Museum and art gallery (1894), Law courts (1896), Public market (1907), etc. Among them, fusion of local material (i.e. brick), foreign style and new building typologies could be found.

In view of the existing built environment, what can we make of this heritage? What is the fusion of style? The local people have used this heritage already in their buildings and that was why the Art Deco in the 1940's could flourish here.

Also, how do we evaluate/ assign value to historical buildings? We should distinguish between the "historical value" and "age value". Not everything has historical value; some of them just belonged to the past. We should also know the difference between "intentional monuments" and "unintentional monuments". We are dealing mainly with the unintentional monuments. Even if we can decide the historical value, what should we preserve? Whether the building, discourse or the ethic? We have failed to protect the traditions that created these buildings.

In terms of the modernist style, we should distinguish between ethic and aesthetic. Ethic refers to new materials, labour, crafts and organicity, which appeared in Chisholm's form if not in decoration.

True preservation of modern architecture means being able to preserve the enabling mechanisms, the patronage, the aesthetic and the technology of modern architecture. Lastly, since there are so many modern buildings in India that are neither authentically modern nor authentically Indian, how do we classify such architecture?

Report II-6:


Spanish and Dutch initiated trade with this island as a stepping-stone to the Ming Dynasty and therefore Taiwan was dwelled by European, Chinese and Japanese. In late Ming and early Ching Dynasty, Taiwan architecture remained the similarity as typical southern China seashore cities. Taiwan was ruled by Japan since 1895 for 50 years. During that time period Japanese introduced European as well as their own culture to Taiwan and that had been influential to Taiwan modern architecture.

1. During the period dwelled by Spanish and Dutch, Taiwan was deeply influenced by them in various aspects ranging from taxation policies to land use. At that time Taiwan society was very similar to Dutch colonies like Melaka. Architectural expression was no exception.
2. Cheng chang-gong recaptured Taiwan in Ming Dynasty and that should be an important issue, but it lacks historical evidence for any conclusion.
3. Taiwan port was opened for international trading in 1858, late Ching Dynasty. People's living culture and architecture was dominated by the modern system and concept brought about by the foreigners.
4. In late Ching Dynasty, Taiwan started ac series of Westernization progress. Military, education, transportation, real estate, financial system and even urban context were inherited from European culture and system, like the Great Britain or France. Some even hired European for technical advice.
5. Japanese defeated the Ching Dynasty and occupied Taiwan in 1895. Taiwan became the first Japanese colony. The results of Japanese modernization as well as European cultural invasion were reflected in many different aspects in architecture. These included: legislation or symbolizing architecture, colonial basic facilities, colonial productive infrastructures, and architecture of Taiwan local merchants, which inherited both southern Chinese architectural style and exotic European culture.

There has been a constant misunderstanding between 'modernity' and 'colonization' or 'westernization'. Some special examples like Oxford College and Taipei Asahi Opera were inspiring for our interpretation of 'modernity', and, in the mean while, getting rid of the trap of nationalism as well as regionalism. In a global sense, the independence of Asian value is worth noting.

Report II-7:

Norihito Nakatani (Japan):

The phrase "Japanese modern architecture" consists of following words: "Japan (nation state) + Modern (time) + Architecture". In order to analyze modern architecture in Japan, the structural meaning of these words should be examined.

To combine "Japan", "modern" and "architecture", the following five phases should be considered:

The 1st phase: the birth of the Modern World System (based on I. Wallerstein's ideas) in late 16th century showed the adoption of materials of western civilization such as maps and paintings.

The 2nd phase: The formation of the Japan nation state in late 18th century. The rise of Koku-Gaku Sha (Nativist, National Learning School) resurrected the ancient figure for modern Japan, which marked the significance of tradition architecture in modern world as representation of the Nation State.

The 3rd phase: The Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century. Towards the end of the Edo period, the Shogun's government started to import new industrial technology. This adoption of western technology still continued in the Meiji era.

The 4th phase: The influx of Modernism appeared. Architecturally speaking, the `international style also became popular in 1930's Japan and became the primary principle of "Japanese modern architecture.

The 5th phase: the economic growth after World War II in the later 20th century resulted in the integration between the Modern and Japan in architectural history, for example, Kenzo Tange.

Throughout the five historical phases, Japanese modern architecture had been formed and developed as a combination of "Japan (nation state)", "modern (time)" and "architecture". The arrangement of these three words with their different emphasis is appeared in different phases. When "nation" is emphasized, the phrase should signify "modern Japan's architecture", or "modern architecture in Japan" when the emphasis is on "modern". The third possible interpretation of "Japanese modern architecture" is the combination of two interpretations, which is rarely attained.

Report II-8:

Zhao Chen (China):

The definition of Chinese ancient architecture has relied on a time basis (dynasties). The definitions of modern architecture are thus more or less related to political events and the existing definitions of the modern period of architecture in China are as follows:
"Fore modern" period: 1840, the Opium War
"Modern" period: 1919, May 4 Movement/ 1927, the establishment of the Republic of China/ 1949, the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China

Macau was important in the "fore modern" period of Chinese architecture, which started with the western influence in the end of 16th century or beginning of 17th century in Macau.

Besides classifying the periods in terms of political events, there should be culture/ economy definitions for the modern period of architecture in China. The definition of architecture should be based upon cultural meaning, with space and time. The modern period in China should be mainly depending on space, meaning exchange and conflict between the Western and Chinese culture. The following question should then be raised: how does the Chinese culture react to the Western Architecture?

The definition for the modern period of architecture in China begins with the establishment of two systems:
1. The Chinese Architectural Academy: it was a professional body formed by architects who got their education from western-based architectural schools in the United States, Europe or Japan. The Academy was based upon the interpretations by westerner and Japanese. Its establishment in 1930 was mainly by Liang Sicheng (ó¿évê¨) and Liu Dunzheng (ó´ì÷í›).

2. The Chinese Construction Industry: it was a modern construction company, mainly formed by traditional professionals, which included construction craftsmen (carpenters, and masons), architect offices, new professions in the society with western knowledge basis, either the western professional architects or Chinese professional architects, construction administrations and new unprofessional officials, transformed from normal officials. Later, it was developed to be more and more professional.

In conclusion, the definition of the modern period of architecture in China should be based on culture/ economy rather than politic events; and the fore modern and modern period of architecture in China should be defined by reaction of Chinese culture to the western influence. The modern period started in 1930 with Chinese Architectural Academy, while if concern with deep down to the positive reaction with self-consciousness, then we should think about the time of 1978 when the economic reform started.


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