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Islamic Architecture

Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the
foundation of Islam to the present day. What today is known as Islamic architecture owes its origin to
similar structures already existing in Roman, Byzantine and Persian lands which the Muslims conquered
in the 7th and 8th centuries. The principal Islamic architectural types are: the Mosque, the Tomb, the
Palace and the Fort. From these four types, the vocabulary of Islamic architecture is derived and used for
buildings of less importance such as public baths, fountains and domestic architecture.
Indian Architecture
The architecture of India is rooted in its history, culture and religion. Indian architecture
progressed with time and assimilated the many influences that came as a result of India's global discourse
with other regions of the world throughout its millennia-old past. The architectural methods practiced in
India are a result of examination and implementation of its established building traditions and outside
cultural interactions. Though old, this Eastern tradition has also incorporated modern values as India
became a modern nation state. The economic reforms of 1991 further bolstered the urban architecture of
India as the country became more integrated with the world's economy. Traditional Vastu Shastra remains
influential in India's architecture during the contemporary era.
Japanese Architecture
Japanese architecture ( Nihon kenchiku?) has traditionally been typified by wooden
structures, elevated slightly off the ground, with tiled or thatched roofs. Sliding doors (fusuma) were used
in place of walls, allowing the internal configuration of a space to be customized for different occasions.
People usually sat on cushions or otherwise on the floor, traditionally; chairs and high tables were not
widely used until the 20th century. Since the 19th century, however, Japan has incorporated much of
Western, modern, and post-modern architecture into construction and design, and is today a leader in
cutting-edge architectural design and technology.
The introduction into Japan of Buddhism in the sixth century was a catalyst for large-scale temple
building using complicated techniques in wood. Influence from the Chinese T'ang and Sui Dynasties led
to the foundation of the first permanent capital in Nara. Its checkerboard street layout used the Chinese
capital of Chang'an as a template for its design. A gradual increase in the size of buildings led to standard
units of measurement as well as refinements in layout and garden design. The introduction of the tea
ceremony emphasised simplicity and modest design as a counterpoint to the excesses of the aristocracy.
During the Meiji Restoration of 1868 the history of Japanese architecture was radically changed by two
important events. The first was the Kami and Buddhas Separation Act of 1868, which formally separated
Buddhism from Shinto and Buddhist temples from Shinto shrines, breaking an association between the
two which had lasted well over a thousand years and causing, directly and indirectly, immense damage to
the nation's architecture. Second, it was then that Japan underwent a period of intense Westernization in
order to compete with other developed countries. Initially architects and styles from abroad were
imported to Japan but gradually the country taught its own architects and began to express its own style.
Architects returning from study with western architects introduced the International Style of modernism
into Japan. However, it was not until after the Second World War that Japanese architects made an
impression on the international scene, firstly with the work of architects like Kenzo Tange and then with
theoretical movements like Metabolism.

Chinese Architecture
Chinese architecture refers to a style of architecture that has taken shape in East Asia over many
centuries. The structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained largely unchanged, the main
changes being only the decorative details. Since the Tang Dynasty, Chinese architecture has had a major
influence on the architectural styles of Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.
The architecture of China is as old as Chinese civilization. From every source of informationliterary,
graphic, exemplarythere is strong evidence testifying to the fact that the Chinese have always enjoyed
an indigenous system of construction that has retained its principal characteristics from prehistoric times
to the present day. Over the vast area from Chinese Turkistan to Japan, from Manchuria to the northern
half of French Indochina, the same system of construction is prevalent; and this was the area of Chinese
cultural influence. That this system of construction could perpetuate itself for more than four thousand
years over such a vast territory and still remain a living architecture, retaining its principal characteristics
in spite of repeated foreign invasionsmilitary, intellectual, and spiritualis a phenomenon comparable
only to the continuity of the civilization of which it is an integral part.
Liang, Ssu-ch'eng, 1984
Throughout the 20th Century, Western-trained Chinese architects have attempted to combine traditional
Chinese designs into modern architecture (usually government), with only limited success. Moreover, the
pressure for urban development throughout contemporary China required higher speed of construction
and higher floor area ratio, which means that in the great cities the demand for traditional Chinese
buildings, which are normally less than 3 levels, has declined in favor of modern architecture. However,
the traditional skills of Chinese architecture, including major and minor carpentry, masonry, and
stonemasonry, are still applied to the construction of vernacular architecture in the vast rural area in
China.

Examples of Each Architecture


Chinese Architure
Liyuan Garden The Kiaping diaolou in Kiaping County in Guangdong
Japanese Architecture
Nishie Residence
Indian Architecture
Famous Hindu Akshardham temple in South Delhi
Islamic Architecture
Taj Mahal. Uttar Padesh, India 1632- 1653