Saturday, April 17, 2010

Books on Asian Architecture

Here are some recent additions to our extensive collection of books on Asian architecture:
  • National Library of Singapore - Redefining the Library. The innovative new building of the National Library of Singapore opened in Victoria Street in 2005. It has since received architectural awards and, more importantly, is becoming a major hub in the knowledge society of both Singapore and the world. In this finely illustrated volume, the library's administrators, architects and planners explain the rationale and functions of the building and its facilities. Future strategies and present-day usages are discussed in the context of environmental and technological issues.
  • Solutions for a Modern City: Arup in Beijing. This book explores the major projects undertaken in Beijing by Arup, an influential firm of designers, engineers, planners and business consultants. Following Beijing's appointment as host city for the 2008 Olympic Games, Arup has had a significant influence on the astonishing architectural development occurring in Beijing and across China. With specially commissioned texts by Steve Rose, Dan Hewitt and Vesna Petresin Robert outlining the contemporary architectural scene in Beijing, technological innovations and broader historical context in which these developments are rooted, Solutions for a Modern City: Arup in Beijing provides a visually beautiful and informative insight into the built and cultural transformations currently underway in China.
  • Chinese Houses of Southeast: The Eclectic Architecture of Sojourners and Settlers by Ronald Knapp. The migration of Chinese from southeastern China to Southeast Asia is a significant component of the world's major cultural diasporas. It is the story of these hybrid architectural forms, built under different social and geographical environments that is the focus of this book. Over a three-year period from 2007 to 2009, Ronald G. Knapp and A. Chester Ong made five field excursions to Asia in search of the old homes of Chinese sojourners and settlers. This book, a fascinating account of architectural multiculturalism in the pre-modern world, presents the results of their research. An introductory essay portrays the historical circumstances that gave rise to Chinese houses overseas, and includes historic images, colour photographs, paintings and line drawings. At the core of the book are stunning colour photographs of nearly 40 residences built from the late 18th into the early 20th century. For each residence, background information about the individual and his family who built and then lived there is given. Images from southeastern China help clarify similarities and differences, and in several cases, related family residences in China are also presented.
  • The Tropical House: Cutting Edge Design in the Philippines by Elizabeth Reyes and Luca Invernizzi Tettoni. The Tropical House celebrates a growing trend toward stylish globalisation in interior design. More than 25 stunning houses and condos in and around Manila, the Philippines, are showcased, each evoking a distinctive tropical-modern fusion style that is gaining popularity around the world. Over 250 full-colour photographs of outstanding Filipino residences will inspire readers with their diverse, contemporary designs. From vintage glamour to classic modern with bold artful accents and the clean, sophisticated look known as "contemporary chic", this book showcases the myriad tastes of the Philippines.
  • Architecture of Thailand: A Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Forms by Nithi Sthapitanonda and Brian Mertens. A team of architects, photographers and historians convey in this impressive volume the vast and varied architectural styles and contemporary trends in Thailand's buildings. Scholarly text, ground plans and some 800 colour photographs and insets show how the country's culture, religions, history, economy and regional characteristics are conveyed and/or reflected in its buildings. With maps, glossary, chronology and index.

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