Lobang Kayu is in Archinesia 3rd Edition : Does Architecture shape the city or vise versa ?
Does Architecture Shape the City or Vice Versa ?
When we first set foot on a city, the first objects we are aware of are the buildings standing on it, because architecture is a visual object that most strongly shape the face of any city. Then, inevitably, the question arises in our minds: “Does architecture shape the city, or vice versa?” We asked the question to several urban experts and they all said that a city is not only shaped by its architecture, but also by its government policies, politics, economy, capital, people, transportation, and even by events held inside it. Although—undoubtedly—architecture is often used and exploited in pursuit of the ambition to create a memorable city, so much so that many cities in the world race to invite world renowned architects—or star architects, if you will—to design a number of awe inspiring urban objects or architecture. And oftentimes these constructions are nothing more than display ‘objects’, or will someday become one.
In this volume, ARCHINESIA Bookgazine observes and discusses cities in their relation to architecture. Jakarta is recently criticized by its own governor as a city bereft of identity with ‘faceless’ and generic buildings standing on it, making it identical with thousands of other cities in the world. But is identity truly the most important thing to develop in a city that is often considered grievously ill by its own citizens? We invited seven experts to give an answer about the architecture of Jakarta. Post-war Cambodia is also interesting to peruse. This Southeast Asia country is currently rebuilding its cities in the aftermath of a long fought war. On the other hand, London is changing the face of its eastern parts after the Olympic Games. Melaka, a city recognized as a world heritage city, is struggling to conserve its old architecture. Singapore, on the other hand, invited world renowned architect to design and construct a new iconic building on the Marina Bay Sands area in an attempt to fulfill the ambition to be among the top cities in the world. Almere, a small town in the Netherlands built several eye-catching buildings to grab the attention of not only the world, but also its own citizens.
The minuscule observations of the abovementioned cities are of course insufficient to answer all our questions about cities and architecture. But they will at least try to give you an idea of how the relation between a city and its architecture can affect each other, how architecture may fill a void, or even have its functions questioned and contested, since, in essence, architecture is meant to improve the quality of the people that conducted their activities inside it.