Oswald Nagler in Rangoon

John Hill
18. October 2021
Photo: Screenshot

American architect Oswald Nagler discusses the "House without Walls" he designed more than sixty years ago in Rangoon, Burma — present-day Yangon, Myanmar — in a short film made by Eduard Kögel as part of the Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism project.

As Kögel, curator of Chinese-Architects.com and one of the directors of Encounters with Southeast Asian Modernism, explains on the SEAM-Encounters website, Nagler and his wife moved to Rangoon following his graduation from Harvard GSD in 1957 but "were housed in a colonial building unsuited for the tropical climatic condition." In response, "they decided to build a house that responded better to the environment," that was inspired by local buildings, and that also used local craftsmen. "Through its radical reduction to only those elements essential that mitigated the climate," Kögel asserts, Nagler's first house "became a statement."

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