Tripitaka on my mind

A short but beautiful trip in late 2019 was the last time I managed to set foot in Yangon, visiting the magical Tripitaka Library and being shown around inside. A few photos from the inside below, dug up from the SD card today. Looking at them feels strange, it is February 2021 after all and our friends in Yangon are going through some hard times.

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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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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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Rangoon and Kuala Lumpur urban histories

Below is some work-in-progress on a comparative urban history piece on Kuala Lumpur and Yangon. It is the final section of a term paper that I wrote for my Southeast Asia class. I have never visited Kuala Lumpur, but found reading about it fascinating. Upon talking to my professor, though, I realize that much work remains to be done if I were to take this any further. Here’s me hoping to pick this up once my academic timetable clears up a little bit towards the end of the summer! In the meanwhile, let me know what you think!

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Yangon — Accountant General’s Office (c) Manuel Oka

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