Global Perspectives Column Student Life

Architectural Sketches From Across Asia

By Safa Ameera Rahim of Student Initiative on Asia (SIA)


The Taj Mahal, often recognised as one of the seven wonders of the world. This is one of the first few architectural sketches I ever made. The sketch is made entirely using a single mechanical pencil.

PS. The adjacent minarets seem bent, but they are not, its just old photograph of the original sketch as I do not have it here.


The sketch is an attempt at depicting the Paxutai of Laos. The detailing of the actual monument very intricate and beautiful, making sketching it a lovely experience.


The doorway is inspired by the architecture of the Samarkhand in Uzbekistan. The blue inlay is a quintessential part of most Central Asian monuments.


The sketch is inspired by the famous ‘pink’ mosque of Putrajaya in Malaysia. Interestingly, there are only four pink mosques in the world, three of which are in Southeast Asia and one in Iran.


This is a depiction of the Himeji Castle of Japan. I’m not very good with paints but I thought the cherry blossoms would give the sketch a beautiful Japanese touch.


This is the popular Minangkabau architecture of Indonesia. The uniquely shaped roofs were extremely difficult to draw, one can only imagine how complex they might have been to build.


The piece is inspired by a Korean pagoda. A pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves common to several parts of Asia. Most pagodas were built to serve as a place of worship.


This is a version of the Huang He Tower of China. The multi-storied wonder resembles traditional Chinese architecture, however, it was only built in the 1980s after being destroyed once in the late 1950s.


An ode to the Ahsan Manzil of Bangladesh. The colonial architecture resembles a lot of older buildings seen around South Asia.

Safa Rahim is Masters Candidate in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute Geneva. She has an avid interest in the subject of International Political Economy and financial policymaking. When she isn’t reading about the global economy, she is probably sketching an architectural marvel with music on. The rest of her time is spent on dreaming about food and exotic travel destinations.

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