There is debate raging about architecture in the West framed as traditionalist vs modernist.

This is false dichotomy. Once you leave the West, you realise that it's just another limitation.

Queue Bill Bensley, possibly the most important architect of the last 20 years 🧵
Probably the greatest living architect in Southeast Asia and one I would point to as an example of overcoming this false dichotomy and moving beyond modernist and traditionalist labels.

He works primarily on luxury hotels.

Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur, built in 2004
Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur (cont)
Baan Botanica, Bangkok (Bensley's home)
Capella Hanoi
Four Seasons Tented Camp Chiang Rai

Built around an elephant sanctuary
The Siam Bangkok
I think the great power of his work lies in condensing Asia's new found prosperity and boldness and its willingness to indulge its own tastes, on its own terms

No western copy cats. Asia can look at itself for inspiration and aesthetic models.
Suffice to say that there is no appetite in the West for boldness, glitz and glamour. The trad vs modernist debate boils down to Chestertonian apple pie comfort vs Scandinavian minimalist discomfort.

None of these two strains are able emanate an energy on par with Asia's.
For those trying to revitalise the West, culturally, economically and aesthetically, it might be time to look East.

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