The Current Scenario of Curvilinear Architecture in Malaysia

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Faridah Adnan
Johan Victor Torrance
Rodzyah Mohd Yunus


The Bilbao Effect incorporates itself into numerous iconic buildings and grand designs of international architects such as Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, Norman Foster, Renzo Piano, Phillip Cox and Toyo Ito who exploit curvilinear forms as their architectural language. Through out the world, major events such as the Olympic Games have catalysed the implementati on of curvilinear architecture while in Malaysia, the development of Putrajaya has provided opportunity for iconic forms, expressed in curvilinearity. The paper focuses on the current scenario of curvilinear
architecture in Malaysia and its position in the international arena. It strives to answer the question of 'How far have Malaysian architects gone in implementing curvilinear architecture?'This is done by first formulating a 'Taxonomy of Rigid Curvilinear Architectu ral Forms' based on the works of renowned international architects. The taxonomy constitutes the instrument for gauging the position of Malaysian architects. This is achieved by having the works of local architects mapped on to the taxonomy. The research findings indicate that the international architects have advanced by leaps and bounds ahead of their Malaysian counterparts in implementing curvilinear
architecture. Several recommendations are proposed in order to narrow this gap .The paper focuses on column-free, rigid and permanent buildings completed from 1990 onwards.
Keywords: Curvilinear Architecture, Iconic buildings, Malaysian scenario, Taxonomy, the Bilbao Effect


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