reviews3The Lhasa Atlas:

Traditional Tibetan Architecture and Townscape

By Knud Larsen and Amund Sinding-Larsen
Shambhala Publications: Boston, 2001

180pp.; $75.00 (cloth)

The Lhasa Atlas is a thoroughly impressive and passionate work of scholarship, documenting what is left of the old capital of Tibet. The book is the result of a seven-year srudy begun as the Lhasa City Historical Atlas Project. The project was led by the Norwegian and Danish architects Amund Sinding Larsen and Knud Larsen, who teamed up with other Asian and European researchers to record the architecrural heritage of Lhasa. But it should be mentioned at the outset that because of the ongoing destruction of buildi ngs in the old city, the book is even more of a historical document than it was intended to be. When the LeHA project began fieldwork in 1995, “three hundred secular and religious buildings were registered; this number was reduced to around two hundred buildings at the end of fieldwork in 1999.” As a record of a disappearing culture, of a Lhasa lost, the atlas is hauntingly beautiful—and very sad.

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