Tripitaka Library

Originally published on uncube magazine: More than 50 years after it was built, this Buddhist library building in Yangon in Myanmar, continues to exude the modern aspirations of its early days, while fulfilling its role as a site for traditional, spiritual learning. For Ben Bansal, one of the authors of a new guide to the architecture of Yangon, it is a building that like its American architect, Benjamin Polk, deserves more recognition.

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The front of Tripitaka Library, shortly after its opening in the early 1960s. The landscaped garden, centred around the artificial lake, give the building a more stately impression than today. (Archival photos © Abhinav Publications)

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Hong Kong

We spent some days in Hong Kong recently. The city is certainly as photogenic as one would expect. Below some impressions taken with my phone camera.hongkong11

A panorama shot from Star Ferry Pier, with People’s Liberation Army Building in centre-right

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Yangon review

Manu’s former boss picked up this review of our Yangon guide from the German architectural magazine Bauwelt. The review was written by Wilhelm Klauser, whose website is here. A short translation of the most important points after the jump.

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From our Berlin book launch in September 2015

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Penang

I had the chance to visit Penang for the first time last week. What a fantastic city. I rode the bike a lot and probably had my best Chinese meal ever. I definitely want to come back for more.

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Tokyo housing developments

A few interesting pieces on housing, construction and real estate in Tokyo and beyond caught my attention lately. I wanted to collect them here for future reference and research. I wonder whether what was once key to understanding Japanese cities’ success in dealing with unbridled urbanisation has become an impediment to its citizens enjoying the fruits of an affluent society today.

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The view from my balcony in Nakano, Tokyo (May 2016) Continue reading