Sunday, 29 July 2012

Academic Writing - Model Answer (Task 2)

In the past, buildings often reflected the culture of a society but today all modern buildings look alike and cities throughout the world are becoming more and more similar. What do you think is the reason for this, and is it a good or bad thing?

No other building in the world is quite like the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China or Sagrada Familia in Spain. However, travelling to any mega city around the world today, one has a feeling of having visited it before because of similar buildings.

In order to cut costs, buildings are constructed in a similar way as companies buy materials in bulk. With the onset of globalization multi-national companies want all their buildings to look the same to ensure uniformity. Once again this saves costs as all materials from door handles to door mats are purchased in large quantities and used on several buildings. A company also benefits when it is trying to get brand recognition from its customers if their buildings are recognised instantly.

On the other hand, in terms of creativity, originality and architectural design, buildings that are similar lack these qualities. One of the reasons people travel is to see something different to what exists in their home country. Barcelona, for example, would not be so popular if it were not for Gaudi’s designs that still exist today. Very few people are interested in giant glass and steel structures only.

In my opinion it is important for each city to keep its own individual character and this can be done with buildings that stand out and cannot be found in other areas around the world. Travelers should not feel as if they have not left home just because companies want to preserve an image and save money.

Question taken from Step Up to IELTS Self-Study Student’s Book p.90

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