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There is an ongoing challenge to making utilitarian buildings and infusing traditional architecture elements.

Traditional East Asian architecture takes up lots of real estate and are low density. They either have massive

courtyards or gardens or high roofs and interiors. Space and population density are major issues in East Asia. We have always built horizontally. We never had skyscrapers or apartment complexes before.

This is the closest example of old meets new:

Taipei Grand Hotel

Kudos to the architects for trying. But it looks really strange, looking traditional and not at the same time. It must have also been more expensive to make compared to a more contemporary design.

Another aspect of modern architecture is the Chinese Hat Syndrome. No longer are Chinese roofs used for dissipating rain, but to just make the building look Chinese. Most of the time, it looks like a last minute consideration or a something out of a Minecraft:


It would be cool to have a district in Beijing purely traditional but practically and financially it would be impossible even for the almighty communist party.

If Beijing would like to revive its traditional flavours, it could start by giving hutong and other surviving traditional buildings national protection status. It could also rebuild parts of its old city walls and make them tourist attractions, aka lookout or photography points.