22-26 July 2001


Posted on 19 Oct 2008 by admin

Wednesday, July 25, 2001, 09:00-13:00

Report IV-1

Zoljargal Gunkhuyag (Mongolia): "MODERN MONGOLIAN ARCHITECTURE"

Before revolution period (till 1921)
Mongolian architecture was influenced by India, China, Tibet and Russia from ancient to middle age period. It absorbed its conquered nation's architecture during the 12th-14th century. Before the national revolution in 1921, Mongolia was a nomadic and scattered nation. Mongolian architecture, such as temples and churches, had defensive form before the revolution in 1921. In that time, temples and churches began to develop their own hybrid style, with influences from China and Tibet.

Modern architecture in socialism period (1921-1990)
It could be said that modern architecture of Mongolia began from the revolution period. Since the revolution in 1921, the Mongolian architectural development was intense within a short period and was aided by Russian. During 1937-1947, many new modern architectural types were built, such as hotels, hospital, apartment, and central polyclinic in Ulaanbaatar. However, there were still no local architects and foreign experts were invited to assist the design of new projects, construction works, preparation of building materials and education for people.

Since 1946, railway buildings, telecommunications, power stations, factories, universities and theatre were built. These buildings' planning was rough and some of them could not satisfy the country's condition. Buildings were tried to build with lower cost and within shorter period. At the end of 1940, the first trained cadres of Mongolia came from Russia and they started to develop new architectural forms to adapt local customs and traditions. Mongolian architects were mainly trained in Russia until 1970. After that, they began to study in Bulgaria, Germany, Czech, Romania and Hungary. The first national architects graduated in Mongolia at the end of 1970. Mongolian architecture was influenced by socialism until 1990.

Democratic revolution and new modern period (since 1990)
In 1990, the socialist system was changed to democratic market system and it exerted great impact on the Mongolian society. There were organizations such as the State Central Institute of Building Design, where architects and professional groups could find their own studio, architectural or construction companies. Since 1990, the country began to organize companies. It helped to transfer new technology and to improve the flexibility of the planning system. Since that time it built private houses and hotels, supermarkets, commercial centres and banks, same as the modern foreign countries.

Report IV-2:


Conservation is not to preserve architecture as a legacy but to put modern architecture more relevant, meaningful and coherent to the future society and new urban conditions. The subject should include infrastructure and industrial buildings because they are also part of the modern creation. And the question is how do we going to preserve them in this new post-industrial condition.

Moreover, we have to consider the problem through the perspective of urban planning in district renewal and transformation projects. And the use of new technology such as internet and broadcasting may help in meeting the demand of the coming era.

The first conservation project that presented is converting a military building by the Japanese into a museum with new additions attached to it. The first step was to rediscover the nature of the building. Old design was reused and new meaning is put with the introduction of new materials and colors, emphasizing the new materiality. Information technology played an important role in the design, an information tunnel is created in the middle of the building and connecting to the new additions, through which the use and space of the building is elevated into a more contemporary one.

In order to have a better connection with its neighbors, new tunnels are proposed to direct the pedestrian flow to the museum.

The second is a beer factory built in the 1930s.

The project started by putting poster along the major road in the city center to inform and initiate the public to give pressure to the government to preserve the building.

A one week workshop was held inside the factory with students and guests from other places to let the public have more involvement in the project. Famous architects and artist were invited to make the workshop an important one.

However, when more people come to the place, it became more difficult to allocate the space and resources. And the project is facing the problem of management that is crucial for the future success of the project.

Report IV-4:

Josef Prijotomo (Indonesia):

Legally speaking, in Indonesia, UU-No.5 -1992 tentang Cagar budaya (Cultural Heritage Law), which is "any artifact which is at least of fifty years, is entitled to be constituted as Cultural Heritage", has granted all Pre-WW-II modern architecture on the preservation list. It is the responsibility of the State and the public to take care of those heritages. It finally turns out to be a conflict in responsibility in preserving and development.

The State is one of those responsible for preservation and conservation of heritage as far as the cost is considered. However, they are more concentrated on archaeological and traditional artefacts, and they have the misunderstanding that new building is a sign of growth and development and seldom consider preserving old architecture. The second role, the owner and the investors always see from perspective of economic value. As buildings are more saleable if the building is new and bank loan is provided for new construction, not for preservation, they seldom consider conservation. The third role, the schools of architecture basically just focus on making new building. Their ignorance of adjacency and surrounding, poverty in the knowledge of history (history is an auxiliary part of curriculum structure) and in researches on architecture of the past are all negative to the preservation task.

Making heritage a public might help the situation. Some local organizations like Bandung Heritage, North Sumatra Heritage, West Sumatra Heritage, Yogyakarta Heritage, Semarang Heritage are responsible for the related issue. There are also occasional articles on building of the past published, though most of them are not written by architects.

Indonesian modern architecture is a mixture of indigenous or eastern and modern or western architecture. Some of them are modern "original". Others can be modern adapted to local environment, which we known as "regionalistic", while some of them are modified from the traditional structures, which we called Nusantara modernized. We also have a proposal of modifying stilt houses by painting the facade by the local dweller. It can be a typical expression of Asian architecture.

Report IV-6:


This report is mainly focused on the recent works on conservation in Shanghai. The works can be categorized into four aspects.

1) Documentation. In 1990's, about 300 historical buildings in shanghai, built between 1840-1940, mainly after the revolution, were started to record. The Documents of historical buildings includes not only the description of buildings and the government approval rankings, but also the original drawings of the buildings. Demolished buildings and small houses were also recorded.

2) Education. Research programs are provided for architects, builders and engineers for 2 years on historical buildings under the lists. One of the examples is the Education of Modern Architecture in Asia conducted by Huang Jo Shin.

3) Typical case studies. A research on city block of Sin Tian Di is carried out for three years including the studies of its historical development and histories of individual houses, measure drawings and photo records. The study report is significant for public's references and future development.

4) Consulting works. A few of working models are chosen as references for consultation. It helps to set up example to the world. In recent years, UNESCO held a meeting on the general introduction of Chinese cities.

In conclusion, conservation of historical buildings is not only a superficial work about maintenance and sustainability, but also requires a deeper research and understanding on the significance of the buildings.

Report IV-7:


Modern period of China, generally speaking, started after the Opium War, 1840 and Hong Kong then became a colony of Britain. But even before 1840, land of Hong Kong was illegally auctioned in Macau and Britain, in name of East Indian Company, bought some parts of Hong Kong. Colonization of Hong Kong started afterwards.

Flagstaff House, Government House, Supreme Court, St. John's Cathedral were some of the first colonial architecture built up by British in late 19th century. They are designed following the guideline of the Great Britain. Government House, being occupied by Japanese in the 40's, even contained some Japanese element. The old Hong Kong Bank (early 20th century), with the Art Deco style and steel framing, was the most advanced architecture in Asia at that time. All the materials used and designs were done in Britain. The same event happened 50 years later, when the Bank decided to have a new building. Norman Forster built one of the best architecture using all exotic materials. Some say this is another kind of colonization.

For the first Bank of China, they have the first building (mid 20th century) very similar to the first Hong Kong Bank, but the new one was another story: it was designed by a Chinese architect I.M. Pei and the material was imported from China. This can be seen as a reaction to prolonged colonization under British government in terms of architecture. Chinese Renaissance architecture (realized in the St Mary's Church) was an extension of traditional Chinese architecture into modern movement. The Arts Centre designed by Taoho, a local second generation architect, further develop that concept and gave a new definition to modernity in Hong Kong. Like I.M. Pei's Bank of China, they can be considered as a reaction to colonial architecture. Local architects need to think about how to preserve modernity by combining it into vernacular architecture. In the Conventional Centre Extension in Hong Kong, "vernacularism" is consolidated since at least it was designed by local student graduate and the returning ceremony was taken place there.

Developer, owner and government have to understand the value of preservation. Removal of rent control after 1980 was plausible since it helped to speed up the preservation process.


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