Architecture and Its Models in South-East Asia

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Orchid Press, 2003 - Architecture - 127 pages
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This thought provoking study of the development of architecture, and the impact of architectural models on this evolution, in southeast Asia, draws for its early examples primarily from surviving Hindu-Buddhist monuments in Cambodia and Java. Dumarcay argues that, despite the fact that individual physical locations may merit innovation, new construction nevertheless tends to be constrained by pre-existing architectural models, appropriate to the new situation or otherwise, which are held within the collective conscience of a given culture. This tendency may further be strengthened in the event that an insecure regime seeks to employ architectural monuments to aggrandize its political position. The inappropriate use of models may also occur when architectural styles are transplanted from one culture into another. A break from the models of the past-and thus true innovation-may develop only when a master builder both has sufficient confidence in his own artistic vision and works within a context that allows him the freedom to express this vision.

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The Kew pagoda near London
Sketch of the Chanteloup pagoda near Amboise France
Sketch of the Manora pagoda near Pondicherry India

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About the author (2003)

Jacques Dumarcay was, until his retirement, an architect with the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient, specializing in the monuments of South-East Asia. Michael Smithies is recently retired from the United Nations after an academic career spent in South-East Asia.

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