Building Stories

Location: Jian’ou, Fujian Province, China

We are surrounded by architecture. See?



The differences between Western-style buildings and Eastern ones is vast, and can hardly be summarized in one of my pithy blog posts. However, some of the most interesting buildings are those that toe the line between Western and Eastern.


Note the tiles on the outside of houses, in lieu of bricks or siding. That is because most of the spaces here are cement blocks



There’s row-house buildings next to brutalist high-rises, across the street from tiny shops that double as bedrooms for the purveyors and their family. All on the same street.




The ancient buildings tend to be farther away from the city center, probably because no one wants to live in a drafty, sparsely-furnished temple, but they are one of the treasures of living here in Jian’ou. Even though it’s a well-wrought idea in the West, people in China are just now learning that it’s good to keep tradition alive through buildings, sculptures, and works of art. Since our city was once the seat of Chinese governance, there were undoubtably many buildings in this style. Of course, they perished in the bombings and fires that came with the cultural uprisings of the past hundred years.




And, of course, what is architecture without people? Answer me that.


Stay tuned for some holiday cheer,

<3, K&V

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