© 2018

Modernity, Nation and Urban-Architectural Form

The Dynamics and Dialectics of National Identity vs Regionalism in a Tropical City

  • Shireen Jahn Kassim
  • Norwina Mohd Nawawi
  • Mansor Ibrahim
  • Offers a useful and original contribution to the postcolonial architectural discourse in Southeast Asia

  • Generates the debate and discourse on the dialectics of national identity and national identity vs regionalism

  • Examines different building typologies, including religious, government, institutional, and cultural transport


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Shireen Jahn Kassim, Norwina Mohd Nawawi, Mansor Ibrahim
    Pages 1-30
  3. Norwina Mohd Nawawi, Shireen Jahn Kassim, Mansor Ibrahim
    Pages 31-58
  4. Noor Hanita Abdul Majid, Shireen Jahn Kassim
    Pages 79-99
  5. Shireen Jahn Kassim, Norwina Mohd Nawawi
    Pages 101-115
  6. Nor Zalina Harun, Alias Abdullah
    Pages 117-135
  7. Mansor Ibrahim, Shireen Jahn Kassim
    Pages 137-154
  8. Shireen Jahn Kassim, Norzalifa Zainal Abidin, Norwina Mohd Nawawi
    Pages 155-175
  9. Shireen Jahn Kassim, Norwina Mohd Nawawi, Siti Norzaini Zainal Abidin
    Pages 177-191
  10. Nurul Syala Abdul Latip, Norwina Mohd Nawawi, Shaiful Nadzri Shamsudin, Elias Salleh
    Pages 193-208
  11. Shireen Jahn Kassim, Norwina Mohd Nawawi, Mansor Ibrahim
    Pages 235-256
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 257-264

About this book


This book explores how Malaysia, as a multicultural modern nation, has approached issues of nationalism and regionalism in terms of physical expression of the built environment. Ever since the nation’s post-Colonial era, architects and policy makers have grappled with the theoretical and practical outcomes of creating public architecture that effectively responds to traditions, nationhood and modernity.

The authors compile and analyse prevailing ideas and strategies, present case studies in architectural language and form, and introduce the reader to tensions arising between a nationalist agenda and local ‘regionalist’ architectural language. These dichotomies represent the very nature of multicultural societies and issues with identity; a challenge that various nations across the globe face in a changing environment.

This topical and pertinent volume will appeal to students and scholars of urban planning, architecture and the modern city.


GARDENS AND ECOLOGY AS IDENTITY in Malaysia Urban Trends in Malaysia Urban Design ARCHITECTURAL IDENTITY Architectural Regionalism The Modern mosque architecture Regionalism within Modenernism CULTURAL LANDMARKS MUSEUMS AS NATIONAL SYMBOLS MODERNISM IN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TERMINAL FORMS “SUPERBLOCK” Facadism, urbanizing Malay vernacular THE TROPICAL METROPOLIS idealisations in a post colonial city Development of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre reconceptualizing the sustainable city

Editors and affiliations

  • Shireen Jahn Kassim
    • 1
  • Norwina Mohd Nawawi
    • 2
  • Mansor Ibrahim
    • 3
  1. 1.International Islamic University MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.International Islamic University MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.International Islamic University MalaysiaKuala LumpurMalaysia

About the editors

Shireen Jahnkassim is both an academic and practitioner of architecture, and is currently Associate Professor at the International Islamic University, Malaysia.

Norwina Nawawi is Associate Professor at the International Islamic University, Malaysia.

Mansor Ibrahim is Professor of Urban Regional Planning, IIUM

Bibliographic information


“What is identity in architecture? There have been numerous tomes and articles that wrestle with this complex topic. It’s a slippery slope but this book gets close to defining what it means in a way useful for the designer. It should be read by every scholar and student of architecture interested in seeking to address the collective angst of what constitutes identity in architecture — aesthetically, spatially, culturally, emotionally, functionally, systemically, perceptively, and ideologically.” (Dr. Ken Yeang, Architect, Planner, Ecologist, and Principal of T. R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn. Bhd., named by The Guardian as one of the 50 persons who could save the planet)