Some inspiring quotes from famous architects across the world.

Being an architect myself (junior level now), I realized that our verbal communication is very essential not only to convey some of our crazy design ideas but also to convince clients to get it built. Clients, they don’t appreciate your wonderful drawings. Besides than only being awed by beautiful computer renderings, clients generally don’t know how to read your sketches or plans. Hence, there’s this part for bullshitting by architect to help out in that situation. Fancy words, compelling adjectives, and voicing it out full of confidence, and in the end, there is a higher chance everyone would agree to you. It works.


That is part and parcel for others to trust you as an architect.


In the profession of many successful architects across the world, many of them do have had voiced out some very inspiring words of wisdom (or I simply called it bullshit again) usually when they were being interviewed. But we can actually learn something from those quotes by them. Some are very straightforward. While some are very meaningful and thought-provoking. Here you go:

‘Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.’ by Frank Gehry.

‘Less is more.’ by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

‘Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves.’ by Julia Morgan.

‘Every great architect is – necessarily – a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.’ by Frank Lloyd Wright.

‘All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.’ by Philip Johnson.

‘Building art is a synthesis of life in materialised form. We should try to bring in under the same hat not a splintered way of thinking, but all in harmony together.’ by Alvar Aalto.

‘A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable.’ by Louis Kahn.

‘A house is a machine for living in.’ by Le Corbusier.

‘Form follows function.’ by Louis Sullivan.

‘To provide meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it.’ by Daniel Libeskind.

‘Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.’ by Arthur Erickson.

‘Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.’ by Louis Kahn.

‘I work a little bit like a sculptor. When I start, my first idea for a building is with the material. I believe architecture is about that. It’s not about paper, it’s not about forms. It’s about space and material.’ by Peter Zumthor.

‘There’s a snobbery at work in architecture. The subject is too often treated as a fine art, delicately wrapped in mumbo-jumbo. In reality, it’s an all-embracing discipline taking in science, art, maths, engineering, climate, nature, politics, economics.’ by Norman Foster.

‘I search for surprise in my architecture. A work of art should cause the emotion of newness.’ by Oscar Niemeyer.

‘Architecture is a rare collective profession: it’s always exercised by groups. There is an essential modesty, which is a complete contradiction to the notion of a star.’ by Rem Koolhaas.

‘Frank Lloyd Wright made houses right up until the end. I think that’s important because it gives you a direct connection to all the basic aspects of architecture – the spatial energy of the place, the construction, the materials, the site, the detail.’ by Steven Holl.

‘The aesthetic of architecture has to be rooted in a broader idea about human activities like walking, relaxing and communicating. Architecture thinks about how these activities can be given added value.’ by Thom Mayne.

‘Architecture is how the person places herself in the space. Fashion is about how you place the object on the person.’ by Zaha Hadid.

‘As an architect, you design for the present with an awareness of the past for a future which is essentially unknown.’ by Norman Foster.

Take your time to digest the quotes above. Think about it. Learn from it, especially to those who are in architectural career. When you excel in the near future, then you would also have the chance to bullshit some great words like the ones above too. If you want to read more quotes from these famous architects, you can go to A huge compilation over there.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)



Some beautiful movie soundtracks.

Listening to songs is great to reduce stress during work. It is also a good and simple form of entertainment at home. But sticking to songs everyday would still end up being boring especially when I have limited number of songs in my iPhone or in my laptop. This week, I switched to listening to music, with nobody singing. Just melody. And the first thing on my mind are movie soundtracks.

Many past movies were tend to be unforgettable and awesome, thanks to the inspiring beautiful score it had while the movie is playing. Here below are some very lovely movie’s original scores which have been haunting me this week. Few of my personal favourite below. Listening to these soundtracks will also remind you of those great movies.

Gravity. One of the best films last year and the score had just won Best Original Score at 86th Academy Awards held last Sunday. A truly intensifying and climax-reaching score.

Titanic. Still one of my most favourite films after so many years. Very saddening and touching score that melts everyone’s heart. Also not to forget the theme song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ by Celine Dion. Immensely memorable.

Inception. Heart-stopping soundtrack.

Also not forget this one from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the final movie of the highly successful movie franchise. The soundtrack is spellbinding.

These soundtracks are cool especially when you hear them before you are going to bed. I’m not going to post a lot here as I think you won’t be listening to all too, right? You can just pick which ever you love to hear again. You must have heard them in those movies before, but it would gives you more feel when you are just listening to the scores without being distracted by anything. Enjoy and have a great evening!

(Clips in this post are from YouTube)

World’s most famous landmarks?

The world we lived in has been much more amazing due to presence of many impressive and beautiful structures human beings had ever build. These structures which are easily recognizable worldwide are regarded as landmarks and each is usually made an icon or symbol of the respective country where it is located. Some of them had been here for at least few thousand years, while some that made it to this kind of recognition have only been built not long ago and yet still reached out to immense global fame.


I believe everyone had their own list of world’s most famous landmarks. It’s quite subjective. It depends on every individual’s different background and their level of exposure to the world. But the landmarks that I’m going to list down here would most probably make it to your list too. Here listed is my top 10 list of world’s most famous landmarks.

1. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France. *

2. Great Pyramid of Giza, Cairo, Egypt.

3. Statue of Liberty, New York, United States of America.

4. Empire State Building, New York, United States of America.

5. Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, United States of America.

6. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia.

7. Big Ben Tower, London, United Kingdom. *

8. Great Wall of China, China. *

9. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa, Italy. *

10. Taj Mahal, India. *

Out of the 10 places listed above, I have visited 5 (the one I bookmarked). Half. Not bad. I love to travel overseas as there are too many exciting and interesting new things out there for me to discover, experience and enjoy. The remaining 5 would be my top priority whenever I had the opportunity to make decision on where to go for oversea trip in future. There are still 10 structures in my mind that could make it to the list;

11. Angkor Wat, Cambodia. *

12. Forbidden City, Beijing, China. *

13. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. *

14. Acropolis, Athens, Greece.

15. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, United Kingdom.

16. Colosseum, Rome, Italy. *

17. Statue of Christ, The Redeemer.

18. London Bridge Tower, London, United Kingdom. *

19. White House, Washington, United States of America.

20. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. *


Same. The ones bookmarked are landmarks that I have visited. Maybe for Burj Khalifa, it’s not counted because I only managed to see it from far (viewing it from the airport during transfer flight). Of course, the last on the list is something I see everyday, as it’s only few kilometres away from my home. I have to say the Petronas Twin Towers’ impressive architecture really make it stands out among many other skyscrapers in the world. Another ten (it seems I couldn’t stop); Hollywood sign (Los Angeles, USA), St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City), Buckingham Palace (London, UK), CN Tower (Toronto, Canada), Chrysler Building (New York, USA), Beijing Bational Stadium (Beijing, China), Burj al Arab (Dubai, UAE), Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota, USA), Arch de Triomphe (Paris, France), Bank of China Tower (Hong Kong, China). These landmarks I mentioned here would usually be having a lot of their replicas built particularly in theme parks too. It is because they are easily identifiable. Landmarks, man!

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Top 5 biggest Hong Kong male superstars

Hong Kong had no doubt made its name well-known in entertainment industry from film-making to singing throughout Asia-Pacific and sometimes beyond international recognition too. For a Hong Kong celebrity to achieve outstanding popularity and success, he or she usually does not only concentrate in either singing or acting career, but both together. And then, I came to realize that Hong Kong male celebrities tend to be a much greater ‘superstars’ than the females. For example, Bruce Lee is the first Hong Kong male superstar that even nobody in the West hasn’t heard of his name. Then, came many other male celebrities that follows, making their names highly popular beyond Hong Kong too, outnumbering the females. Sorry, no gender discrimination here. Just voicing out my opinions. To be a superstar in Hong Kong, you have to be an actor. A singer is not enough like what I said earlier. Female artists whom made their names through singing also did not do as well as males in acting career. Reason? Unknown and unclear.

Even the recently concluded 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards also saw the higher number of famous male actors (whom many are also singers themselves) present compared to the females. Besides than Sean Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Nick Cheung whom go all the way in acting from beginning till now, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Aaron Kwok were all started off as singer first, then breaking the boundary to join acting career that extends their success further. Well, acting is a good choice in Hong Kong. They made money, they earn praise, they win awards, and they gain recognition. That’s much more than what singing can offers for every of them.

Here below is a list of top 5 biggest Hong Kong male superstars I compiled based on my own opinions and the list only includes the living one. The list is not in order. Coincidentally, everyone in the list is above 50 years of age, which means that experience do matters for someone to be truly a star! For the list, I won’t include personal biography which is boring. Instead, I include things special or distinctive from each of them in a very brief way to cut short the reading. Do you agree with my list or you want to further expands it to include few more? Well, they are all actors to be specific.

1. Jackie Chan


-Major: Films. Famous for performing own incredible stunts in action movies since 1980s. Popular for acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, improvised weapons and innovative stunts that attracts large number of audiences. Had also starred in several Hollywood films. He had involved in over 100 films up to date. Current age: 59.

2. Andy Lau


-Major: Singing. He hold current Guinness World Records for ‘Most Awards won by a Cantopop Male Artist’, by winning over 300 awards mostly from his singing career that reached its peak in 1990s. He is also the three-time best actor in Hong Kong Film Awards. He is labelled as No.1 Hong Kong box office star. Current age: 51.

3. Stephen Chow


-Major: Films. A very successful artist whom had starred in a lot of classic comedy films that were big hits most particularly back in 1990s. Famous for bringing ‘mo-lei-tau’ (nonsense) comedic elements into movies that will make you non-stop laughing and leaves you countless unforgettable funny moments from his works. Current age: 50.

4. Jet Li


-Major: Films. Had starred in many critically-acclaimed epic martial arts films. Successfully ventured into Hollywood films too. He himself is a martial artist and a wushu champion too. Current age: 50.

5. Chow Yun Fat


-Major: Films. Best known in Asia for many dramatic classic films, and also in the West for his performance in ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. A three-time best actor at Hong Kong Film Awards. Had also starred in several Hollywood films. Current age: 57.

(Images and information in this post are from various reliable sources throughout the world wide web)

Pritzker Prize 2010: SANAA

Have you heard of SANAA? It is an architectural firm based in Tokyo, Japan which stands for Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates. It was founded in 1995 by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa. These two architects had their greatest achievement this year as they are honoured with world premier architecture prize, Pritzker Prize 2010.

Often referred to the ‘Nobel Prize of Architecture’, this prize is awarded every year to a living architect whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. We have seen many famous international architects winning this, Sir James Stirling (1981), Ieoh Ming Pei (1983), Richard Meier (1984), Kenzo Tange (1987), Frank Gehry (1989), Robert Venturi (1991), Tadao Ando (1995), Renzo Piano (1998), Norman Foster (1999), Rem Koolhaas (2000), Herzog and de Meuron (2001), Glenn Murcutt (2002), Zaha Hadid (2004), Jean Nouvel (2008), Peter Zumthor (2009)….and some others in other years…

Congratulation to SANAA for being honoured with this award. I wish myself can be awarded with this prize too in near future! The prize also marks the contribution of the architect to the built environment that involves mainly architecture. I do not know about both winning architects before they are awarded with Pritzker Prize. After they are awarded, then they become famous…this is another advantage of the award.

Their works can be summarized as:

‘architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever’

This section below shows the jury citation of the winning architects, that provide description of the characteristics of architecture produced by SANAA and some famous examples of their brilliant works:

(taken from

For more than 15 years, architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa have worked together in their collaborative partnership, SANAA, where it is virtually impossible to untangle which individual is responsible for what aspect of a particular project. Each building is ultimately a work that comes from the union of their two minds. Together they have produced major commissions, such as the O-Museum in Nagano and the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa (both in Japan), the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum (Ohio), De Kunstline Theater and Cultural Center (Almere, the Netherlands), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), and the recent Rolex Learning Center (Lausanne, Switzerland).

The buildings by Sejima and Nishizawa seem deceptively simple. The architects hold a vision of a building as a seamless whole, where the physical presence retreats and forms a sensuous background for people, objects, activities, and landscapes. They explore like few others the phenomenal properties of continuous space, lightness, transparency, and materiality to create a subtle synthesis. Sejima and Nishizawa’s architecture stands in direct contrast with the bombastic and rhetorical. Instead, they seek the essential qualities of architecture that result in a much-appreciated straightforwardness, economy of means, and restraint in their work.

This economy of means, however, does not become a simple reductive operation in the architects’ hands. Instead, it is an intense and rigorous investigation anchored in hard work and steely determination. It is a constant process of refinement, where each client’s program is fully investigated and multiple design possibilities are explored through numerous drawings and models that check every alternative. Ideas are considered and discarded, reconsidered and reworked until only the essential qualities of a design remain. The result is a deft union of structure and organization, of logical purpose and precise beauty.

It may be tempting to view Sejima and Nishizawa’s refined compositions of lightness and transparency as elitist or rarefied. Their aesthetic, however, is one of inclusion. Their approach is fresh, always offering new possibilities within the normal constraints of an architectural project as it systematically takes the next step. They use common, everyday materials while remaining attuned to the possibilities of contemporary technology; their understanding of space does not reproduce conventional models. They often opt for non-hierarchical spaces, or in their own words, the “equivalence of spaces,” creating unpretentious, democratic buildings according to the task and budget at hand.

 One example is the Almere project in the Netherlands, with its many simple classrooms and workshops, all presenting privileged views of the sea. Another example is the Rolex Learning Centre in Lausanne, a space to be used by students day and night. Sejima and Nishizawa originally conceived it as a multi-story building, but, in the course of their deliberation, it became a single yet vast, flowing space. The building’s many spaces (library, restaurant, exhibition areas, offices, etc.) are differentiated not by walls but by undulations of a continuous floor, which rises and falls to accommodate the different uses, while allowing vistas across this internal “landscape for people.”

The relation of the building to its context is of utmost importance to Sejima and Nishizawa. They have called public buildings “mountains in the landscape,” believing that they should never lose the natural and meaningful connection with their surroundings. The New Museum in New York feels at home in the rough Bowery area of the city. Their glass-enclosed museums, such as the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, blur the borders between inside and out, providing direct and changing views to the surroundings.

While Sejima and Nishizawa have not published theoretical treatises to date, they are cerebral architects, whose work is based on rigorous investigation and guided by strong and clearly defined concepts. The appointment of Kazuyo Sejima as the director of the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale is a tribute to this.

For architecture that is simultaneously delicate and powerful, precise and fluid, ingenious but not overly or overtly clever; for the creation of buildings that successfully interact with their contexts and the activities they contain, creating a sense of fullness and experiential richness; for a singular architectural language that springs from a collaborative process that is both unique and inspirational; for their notable completed buildings and the promise of new projects together, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa are the recipients of the 2010 Pritzker Architecture Prize.

[All the pictures of the works by SANAA are from]

[All info in reference to the main website:]

You may refer to that for more info. Who will be winning for 2011 then?

Current progress of under-construction famous skyscrapers around the world

Year 2010…many famous skyscrapers are under construction currently, which some of these will make it to the top 10 list of world tallest buildings. With the recent opening of Burj Khalifa as the world tallest building, many people started to have interest on skyscrapers around the world.

Many people have know the famous completed buildings, like Taipei 101, Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Petronas Twin Towers, Empire State Building, Shanghai World Financial Center, etc. However, not many are aware of the skyscrapers that are under construction currently or even skyscrapers that have topped out.

On this post, I will show the progress of these under-construction famous skyscrapers around the world. First picture of each skyscraper showing the final rendering of the building, and the second picture following is the current construction progress:

Shanghai Center/Tower, Shanghai, China – 632m, 128 floors, scheduled for completion in 2014.

File:Shanghai Center Dragon.jpg

One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower), New York, USA – 541m, 108 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.

File:Freedom Tower New.jpg

The Pentominium, Dubai, UAE – 516m, 120 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.

Abraj al-bait Towers, Mecca, Saudi Arabia – 595m, 76 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

File:Abraj Al Bait Towers.jpg

Kingkey Finance Center, Shenzhen, China – 439m, 97 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

File:Kingkey Finance Tower.jpg

Dubai Towers, Doha, Qatar – 437m, 88 floors, scheduled for completion in 2011.

File:Dubai Towers Doha.jpg

Al-Hamra Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait – 412m, 77 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010.

Busan Lotte Tower, Busan, South Korea – 510m, 107 floors, scheduled for completion in 2013.


China 117 Tower, Tianjin, China – 600m, 117 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012. (very slow progress, completion date expected to be delayed for another year probably)

File:China 117 Tower.jpg

Federation Tower, Moscow, Russia – 506m to top of spire (on – hold for the spire), both towers’ height (360m, 242m) , height of taller tower reduced, scheduled for completion in 2010.

International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong, China – 490m, 118 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Guangzhou West Tower, Guangzhou, China – 440m, 103 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China – 450m, 89 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out)

Ryugyong Hotel, Pyongyang, North Korea – reconstruction, 330m, 105 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012.

Now, it’s time for remarkable TV towers under construction:

Guangzhou TV Tower, Guangzhou, China – 618m, 37 floors, scheduled for completion in 2010 (topped out), completed to witness the Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 alongside with Guangzhou West Tower.

20060007-01.jpg image by Wuxa

Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo, Japan – 611m, 32 floors, scheduled for completion in 2012.

Too bad, many skyscrapers projects are on-hold currently, especially those famous one like Chicago Spire, Burj al Alam, Moscow Tower, etc.

Chicago Spire, Chicago, USA – 610m, 150 floors, on-hold.

Burj Al Alam, Dubai, UAE – 510m, 108 floors, on-hold.

Moscow Tower, Moscow, Russia – 612m, 120 floors, on-hold.

Nevermind, we will definitely see more and more new projects on skyscrapers released to the media, began construction, topping out, completed, and finally open in near future…

And finally, in honouring the current world tallest building, and world tallest man made structure: This skyscraper is going to be the world tallest for at least a decade.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE – 828m, 168 floors.

Do you enjoy this post? Please comment…not all skyscrapers which are under-construction, on-hold, or proposed are mentioned here…these examples above are just the few famous ones…now you will know that there is actually a lot of constructions going out there…

But where is my country, Malaysia? seeing nothing on future development after completion of current world tallest twin buildings, Petronas Twin Towers back in 1998…haiz…anyway, I heard from news that there are three places chosen in Kuala Lumpur for iconic landmarks to be built on it (proposal in progress), and two of these are over 100 storeys skyscrapers. Wondering whether this is going to be built or not??>..

My blog’s second tribute to MJ…

It’s been almost two weeks after he passed away suddenly due to cardiac arrest, the topic of his death is still as hot as boiling water, never cooling down.

More autopsy needed to be done to find the real hidden cause of his death more than the heart failure only. His upcoming memorial service will attract thousand of people.

I can still remember, on the day of his death, the topic turns to be the main news of the day, taking on few cover pages of each different newspapers. The topic is also found on the entertainment section as the main news too. This take up for few days, for a week. Until a week after his death, the topic is still apeearing on entertainment section. How famous he is!? No one in this world will not recognize him….even my over 80 years old grandma knew him…

Some TV channels have started to broadcast special events to commemorate his death, like previous concerts of him in 1980s and 1990s, documentary of him, his popularity and his life, and many more….

Recently, I have just found out a nice song from him. I have heard it before around ten years back when I was a child, always listening to his songs, watching him dancing…. The song is You Are Not Alone, probably the most romantic song he sang, love this song….

I love him dancing, his dance is awesome, the most famous one is moonwalk and bending 45 degree, actually many more….he is born to be the king of pop, and honestly, died to be the music legend and historical icon…