The region of Southeast Asia had already experienced rapid urbanization and cultural change before the East Asia region did. None the less, nowadays shophouses and rowhouses still form the major portion of streets in Chinese town in Southeast Asia countries. The purpose of this study is to examine the adaptation process of shophouse and rowhouse in the Southeast Asia region and the architectural characteristics between the middle of 18th and the early of 20th, which Chinese people of the region inherit and develop, for more thorough understanding of cultural adaptability and regionalism of Chinese architecture in Southeast Asia. The common fact found in the Southeast Asia region is that Chinese people in countries of this region gradually started to live densely as a group in a certain zone in city area since they got to play important roles in commerce, trade and service works related with cities, due to European countries' advance into Southeast Asia and their construction of colonial cities in the region. Chinese people in the region utilized residential rowhouse and special shophouse, which is a kind of shop adapted from rowhouses' sitting room or storage, for their commercial and industrial activities in urban areas, which had problems of limited space. They also realized high densities through vertical expansion of space in order to adjust to changing urban structure under execution of urban planning in cities of colonial area and rapid urbanization. Even though residence of Chinese in Southeast Asia was influenced by new political, social, economic and cultural rules of European colonies in Southeast Asia, it has continuously succeeded to the cultural tradition of China, their home country, in terms of planning principle which puts air well in the middle and hierarchial spacial construction method. Appearance of the open connected verandah, designed by Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, can be regarded as one of the architectural characters. Hence, Chinese residence in cities of Southeast Asia can be understood as a new regional architectural culture in the context of European countries' urban planning and urbanization of colonial areas, Immigrants from southern China and their role, their adjustment to urban areas by utilizing mixed type houses of residence and business, cultural tradition of Chinese home country.
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