Topic for Debate
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
Some say that traditional architecture is something different than modern architecture. Some others say that modern architecture is just the continuation of traditional architecture.

Can one building have both architectural styles at the same time?

Is it good to mix up two languages in one building?
Tengku Anis Qarihah Raja Abdul Kadir
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
I think there are lots of views on this topic.

To begin with, traditional architecture is not a architectural style. It is an attitude towards culture, lifestyle and built form. Do not confuse vernacular architecture with traditional architecture. They are quite distinct from each other.

Traditional architecture has always taken into account innovation in terms of material and structure. Many of the buildings that we today call traditional, were actually stretching the limits of spanning and forever innovating in terms of building material to come up with sensitive designs.

There is also a vast difference between modernity as an attitude and modernism as an architectural style. Modernity as an attitude, according to me, can co-exist with tradition. Modernity deals with transformation and change in the present and tries to incorporate it in buildings. Thus, it keeps changing with time. The standard steel frame and glass construction which was 'modern' during the early 20th century is no longer modern today. And so, 'modern' architecture of today uses the latest in composite materials and composite structural technology.

This is very different from a debate on 'vernacular' style and 'modernism' as a style. If you are asking about styles and building languages -- then you just have to look at post-modernism to find an answer to your question!
Vishwanath Kashikar
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
...We already have it... almost everywhere around us! Post modernism, Neoclassicism...these are only a few of the 'concretised' and well defined examples to what you have been looking for. Most of the works by Charles Correa, Geoffery Bawa, FLW, Mies are what You are talking about.
P Das
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
Hello Mr. Kadir,

Well, your question is very interesting but it's not that simple. It has many inherent "sub questions" like: What is the definition of "traditional architecture"?

Traditional architecture, if interpreted literally, means architecture that has been derived out of tradition, and traditions are but the outcome of living practices, daily chores, cultural and social activities.

The fact that these are not static and can't be frozen and assigned to any particular timeframe also gives "traditional" architecture a natural quality of being with the times, or being dynamic in nature. What is modern to our parents may become "tradition" to us for for the next generation. So, it's a continuous and ongoing process. On the other hand, traditional is often considered to have a soft corner for "historical" aspect.

In either case, there are plenty of examples. The Indian subcontinent, for example, has rich heritage that can be an apt case study. And I think same goes for any other country/region with a rich historical past. However, one building that may appeal to you outright is the TCI headquarters at Gurgaon, India. Designed by eminent architect, Ashok B. Lall, this building is a fine example of application of traditional elements like, courtyard, and stone cladding with restricted fenestrations to house a modern office building. The result is outstanding in composition, a totally modern outlook with an unmistakable Indian look.
Vidhu Saxena
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
Tengku, Architecture can be said to be composed of dynamic / active / flexible / variable elements and static / passive / inflexible / constant elements.

So the process can be a dynamic and the product is a static, and vice versa the process static and the product dynamic.

Therefore, traditional materials can be used with modern techniques and vice versa; modern materials can be used with traditional techniques.

So yes, you can combine modern wih traditional into a new synthesis. the only point to watch is the need to define which elements of material and technique you want to use and then keep to those parameters throughout. :)))
Frank John Snelling
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
iam doing my thesis on this topic and i am going to apply this on school of architecture i need links or books references for authentic research i will be thankfull for all of your guidance
Amna Khan
Can traditional and modern architecture coexist?
Hassan Fathy is an excellent reference in this discussion which has developed a good range of good arguments on this forum already. Here a link to Hassan Fathy's discussion on "Tradition &Innovation"
Lucien Steil


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