Critical Regionalism and its Contemporary Relevance

Critical Regionalism and its Contemporary Relevance

    The blog highlights the text by Kenneth Frampton (KF) on the topics of Critical Regionalism in 1983.


    KF addresses the issue of placelessness, lack of identity on the international style, and rejects ornamentation of Postmodern Architecture.


    In the text, he noted the “modern tradition” is tied to geographical & cultural context and not to vernacular architecture. This is done by combining the local and global languages of Architecture, in which KF refers as “Universal civilisation” and “world culture”.

    008_03_Past Avant Garde

    Advancing Modern of the past are not to be repeated due to the lost in its intrinsic value. Avant Garde of the past remains a history.


    In addition, KF also emphases the notion of “polis”(city) to be consisting of interaction of spaces and people. The extreme homogeneity ( similiarity between retail mall, airport and casino interior) has reduced the “polis” despite the increasing density.

    008_05_Space People

    This is nonetheless caused by 2 factors, Homogenity of spaces and the technology attachment of the people.
    Lastly, KF manifested in text the tactile qualities of space in comparison to visual. He compares the bare face brick stair on the left and earthly green soil to the right. This come to question the validity of the high definition screen facade that seemingly realistically represent space.
    008_06_Galaxy Soho2

    The blog intends to highlight design with Critical Regionalism and the ones without, whilst relating to our contemporaries effort to intensify contextual contrast. Would design be better to intensify or subdue the conflict at site? A well example is the Galaxy Soho by Zaha Hadid Architects. A standard set by the Pritzker Award laureate.

    If such, critical regionalism is deemed invalid in the face of Pritzker jury.


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