On Sacred Architecture and the Dzongs of Bhutan. Tradition and Transition in the Architectural History of the Himalayas
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This thesis contributes with new insight and knowledge on the architectural traditions in Bhutan and the Himalayas, and also discusses questions relevant to architectural theory and history. In Bhutan the traditional society is still living, and thus represents a `window´ into past architectural traditions. The buildings express the fundamental relationships between architecture and culture, interlac-ing religious and socio-economic structures and perceptions. Bhutan´s monumental dzongs are at once both fortified monasteries and admin-istrative centres for the surrounding areas. The historical developments and the typological variations of the dzong type of buildings are discussed in the thesis. The dzongs were drawn and photographed by British expeditions from 1783 on-wards, and this historical material has been collected in archives and other sourc-es. Through what the author calls `visual archaeology´ it is documented how the dzongs have changed up until the present. In Bhutan there is no essential difference between the monuments and the ver-nacular traditions, and this research on the dzongs thus also investigates the over-all transition processes which have taken place in this architecture. Modernisation processes and issues are also discussed with a view to construc-tive attitudes towards the challenges of building today.
PublisherThe Oslo School of Architecture and Design
SeriesCON-TEXT. PhD thesis;13
CopyrightIngun B. Amundsen
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