Architecture and Culture

Title: "Architecture and Culture"
Date: 2021-06-05T17:30:21+08:00
Slug: "Architecture-and-culture"
Tags: [Essay, Culture]
Draft: false

During a meal break, Lilianne and I were chatting about architectural styles. We both lamented that although China has a variety of architectural styles, they are not truly integrated with the culture. They seem more like decorations for tourists to admire.

The most obvious feeling is that if you randomly visit a city without knowing the location, it is difficult to distinguish where it is, and even the distinction between regions like East China and South China is unclear. Looking around, it is almost the same reinforced concrete, as if every city was carved out of the same mold.

She talked about her observations during her study abroad in Europe, saying that it feels completely different from China. Although Europe is not large, each country is similar to our provinces, but when you cross from one country to another, you can clearly feel the distinct architectural styles and different cultures. For example, Paris is romantic, people love to strike up conversations, and if they see you wearing a beautiful outfit, they will come up and compliment you. On the other hand, not far from there, Berlin, Germany has a practical style, with simple and solid arches in the subway, without any fancy decorations. Spain is even easier to distinguish, with everyone being passionate and carefree.

In some European countries, the attitude towards old buildings is generally to preserve their original dilapidated appearance rather than demolishing and rebuilding them. The most obvious example is Rome. She said she was surprised when she first arrived there - how could Rome be so run-down? There are not even asphalt roads, many of them are ancient cobblestone roads. Although it may not be as convenient, it feels like touching the history of thousands of years ago, a unique experience.

I asked, if they don't touch the ancient buildings, how do they arrange their urban development? She said they usually build new facilities near the old city area, and people move to the new area, trying to preserve the appearance of the old city as much as possible.

On the other hand, what I have observed is that many old buildings in China are either replaced with modern materials to varying degrees or completely demolished and then claimed to be a restoration of the ancient style. When they remove materials that have been there for hundreds or even thousands of years, they can no longer restore the original appearance.

Many places are enthusiastic about demolishing old buildings left by history and then redesigning and imitating them, resulting in numerous "old" buildings popping up everywhere, which is both laughable and ridiculous.

As a result, modern people cannot see the ancient appearance, and future generations will see the ancient appearance replicated by modern people?

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