WTF! WHO GRAB MY BUDU
Disclaimers: This is absolutely fictitious. If you believe it is true, you must be insane. But if you think it is relevant, please like and share :-)
Yeh, borrowing from the phrase who stole my cheese, but being Malaysian we preferred our Budu more then cheese. Yet, coming from the mouth piece of the architect, it is rather strange? Why am I saying this? Well, architect is in fact a very obscure profession that some may even misunderstood as synonymous to being the oldest profession on earth, yeh I quote Phillip Johnson the patriarch of American Modernist Architect,
"what's wrong if I am a whore?"
Strangely, have you ever reckoned such holistic profession has its own guild? Well, call it professionals. Well, WTF is this?
Being professionals mean you must undergo a lengthy duration of training and must be acknowledged by your peers to have at least gain sufficient skills in discharging your services to the public in return for a descent fee only to be paid by your client and nobody else. Here is the irony, as most corporate client assumed that architect does not need to pay its bill because idea is only value upon the ink and paper it is drawn. So, the most noble thing the professional guild has done is to pass an act in parliament to protect such fee and they proudly proclaimed it as the scale of minimum fee. Ironically, today as it stands, it is the maximum fee. I had the experience of client suing me for charging him beyond the minimum fee rule!
Okay, if that looks normal, the guild made it a point to drill upon young architect wannabe, how important it is to uphold the sanctity of the fee and you break the cardinal rule if you try to undercut your fee to gain commission. Ironically, it is the "oldies" and the "big boys" are doing the same in all forms and manners that is legally allowed. Yeh, I will tell you how that can be done but it is not the subject of this article. Some good souls who believed in this system, made their living better of not being an architect. Even in the market, was told the past president of the guild actually committing the sins when he swapped his T Square for the developer's hat. That is reality!
The guild realized such a problem but non has the "ball" to correct the situation as the office bearers are much keen on their very own status quo such as traveling business class in the expanse of the member's funds short of saying the opportunity to lobby for ex-gratia illegitimate sponsorships from suppliers and contractors a liked. See how many of these office bearer having their very own name-card being printed with who's who in the guild's line up? Perhaps it is also an express means to receive your very own Datukship, who knows?
The beauty of such doesn't really stop there. Our more advanced neighbor Singapore has always been the preferred location for international firm to set up their regional office. Even the the Singapore Big 5 has already landed on our shore not as illegitimate Design Firms but legitimate architectural practices spearheaded by the local architects. The guild is not very happy about it but what the F they can do beside dishing it out as an examination question for architect wannabe for a solution? Obviously, the big boys also marketed themselves as local counterpart for these international firms to lobby big project. Wallas! One fine day they also found themselves to be in oblivion when these international firms preferred "in-house" as compared to "out-sourcing" and the government is encouraging it through open competition!
Now the guild's "ball" is really being squeezed hard, almost explode! Yet the office bearer of such guild continues with their merry making and yet has the F face to ask a solution from its member? Especially so it's younger members of what their aspirations are with the onslaught of foreign architect on our land? WTF is the guild is thinking? They can't even resolve our Budu being taken away by another allied profession called town planner. They also cannot do away with the profession being the agent of GST for nothing in return. We can't even collect our mediocre fee in full and yet we are collecting GST on behaves of the government! Irony, irony....
Such forum, as far as a personal opinion is concerned remained another "wayang" or show to at least say, they have done something for the profession. The reason is simple, nobody is going to be heroic enough to guarantee a solution. The office bearer comes and go, there will still be continuous merry making and jet setting with knighthood and commission exchanges, it really doesn't matter if the even larger then reality "big boys" are already here. Wake up gentlemen! You cannot change them, joint them, eh?
The Chinese courtyard house is also known as the SiHeYuan house 四合院 or the combination of four courts, forming a center plaza. A basic SiHeYuan house is considered a module capable to be duplicated and expanded when desired. There are many rules governing the design of the SiHeYuan house. These rules are based on the principles of FengShui.
There are basically 3 sections of a single module.
The frontal portion comprises of the "Main Gate" and a terrace of worker's quarters to the left of the "Main Gate" and the horseman station to the left. Many people assumed that the "Main Gate" as the Main Door but this is not the case. The inhabitant takes the street as public spaces and high walls are desirous to conceal the private spaces within. So the worker's quarters, horseman station and the main gates are barricading the street front. The main gate is always located to the right side, looking from the street. It is in the location of Xun 巽 within the Green Dragon Embrace 青龍.
The Center Portion is the house proper. Aligned to the center is the Main Door. This Main Door opens up to a huge center court. Only VIP and family members can come in from the Main Door to the house proper. Only males can be seen walking pass the center court. Females are not allowed to use the center court. They can only pass through the terraces that link to the western wing also known as the White Tiger Embrace 白虎. Only on special occasions like festivity, marriages and ushering newborns, females are allowed to be seen in the center court.
The western wing is the living abode for the females. The opposite is called the eastern wing also known as the Green Dragon Embrace 青龍. The eastern wing is the living abode for the males. Contrary to FengShui principles that the Green Dragon Embrace 青龍 must be higher than White Tiger Embrace 白虎, the female quarters are higher than the male quarters for practical reason - allowing the female to see and not to be seen from the ground level.
Aligned to the center and opposite of the Main Door, sitting north facing south is the Main Living Hall where official receptions are held. There is no TV room but a large hall comprising of rows of seat with the main feature wall usually heavily decorated with altar and calligraphy. The master room is usually located to the back of the Living Hall. Usually the owner will plant 2 trees at the front of the living hall within the compound of the center court. Whenever the tree wither, it signify bad omens. If it is on the left, it affects the male descendants otherwise if it is on the right, it affects the female descendants.
The last portion of the house comprising the kitchen, toilets and the back of house. It is detached away from the house proper through a court of utilitarian in nature. There is also a back door only serves as the entrance for the female members of the family and as the only mean to allow the disposal of "night soil" or sewer.
Every sections of the SiHeYuan is comprising a number of buildings complete with its 4 walls and a roof above. So technically SiHeYuan is a compound with many individual houses. The courts are open to sunshine and rain water. There is a complete water reticulation system within the SiHeYuan where waters are designed to flow according to a certain direction in accordance to the FengShui principle. Nothing is rarely left for chances.
When the family grows, the extended family require extended place to live. The same module was duplicated to the back, again with a second center court complete with its own left and right wing living quarters with its secondary main hall, yet the secondary module also share the same kitchen.
As the family prosper, they may require their very own Chinese garden. They will not turn their main court into a Chinese garden and instead, they will purchase the neighboring lot and be expended into a standalone Chinese garden with internal access ways. So, technically the SiHeYuan remains intact and whatsoever add-ons are a matter of "plug and play".