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Don't Tear It Down! has been produced by the UNESCO New Delhi Office

The book is © Randolph Langenbach 2009

UNESCO New Delhi
B-5/29, Safdarjun Enclave
New Delhi, 110 029
+91-11-26 71 3000

Produced in Association with:

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Government of Jammu and Kashmir
Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs
Kashmir Earthquake Relief (KER)

Republished in the USA and Europe
by Oinfroin Media, Oakland, California, and distributed through Ingram Book Group. 


Official USA and Europe publication date:

September 20, 2009

Don't Tear It Down!
Preserving the Earthquake Resistant Vernacular Architecture of Kashmir

Text and Photographs By
Randolph Langenbach

CLICK HERE to online booksellers in USA, EUROPE, as well as India, Pakistan and the rest of Asia.  This list includes both the printed version and a downloadable eBook version.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Book

News Articles and Reviews are in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top

10 January 2010 by "David" in Blog of
Frontier Treks & Tours | India

Don’t Tear It Down!

Before leaving Kashmir recently I stopped by the office of the J&K chapter of Intach to gather some info related to heritage walks in the old city area of Srinagar. While there I checked out an interesting book called “Don’t Tear It Down! Preserving the Earthquake Resistant Vernacular Architecture of Kashmir” by Randolph Langenbach.
The book argues that the older, traditional design of many Kashmiri homes and buildings is much more resistant to falling apart from earthquakes than most of the more “modern” buildings being built in place of the older ones. There are several fascinating pictures in the book illustrating this point.

This is a great book for those interested in architecture, especially as it relates to areas prone to earthquakes. For other tourists to Kashmir the book may be interesting just to see some of the old photos from the Srinagar area compared to today.

You find the book online at various places, including www.amazon.com, and on this website as an e-book.

23 October 2009
GreaterKashmir.com GK Communications Pvt. Ltd., Srinagar

‘Vernacular Architectural Heritage of Kashmir Under Threat’

by Faheem Aslam

SRINAGAR: A renowned architect has underlined the threat to the vernacular architectural heritage of Kashmir and has called for its immediate conservation.  In his book titled “Don’t tear it down!” Randolph Langenbach asserts that destruction of heritage buildings leads to cultural and economic loss, and Kashmir was fast losing its architectural heritage.  “The remarkable heritage of the Valley is under threat being lost rapidly....[more...]

23 October 2009
South Asian News Agency (www.SANA.com.pk). 

‘Vernacular Architectural Heritage of Kashmir Under Threat’

SRINAGAR (SANA): A renowned architect has underlined the threat to the vernacular architectural heritage of Kashmir and has called for its immediate conservation....Text is same as Greater Kashmir article, as that article is the source for this one. Greater Kashmir serves Indian Administered Kashmir and SANA serves Pakistan Administered Kashmir.  The book is Published by UNESCO New Delhi, and distributed in Kashmir by UNESCO and Kashmir Earthquake Relief (KER), and distributed in Pakistan by UN-HABITAT.

Customer Review

October 12, 2009

5.0 out of 5 stars All is not lost

By John. C. Hurd (UK).  John Hurd is Director of International Conservation for the Global Heritage Fund.

This excellently presented, well illustrated and rationally formed book satisfies both the need for a description of vernacular structures in Kashmir and region, and also offers solutions to the often seemingly insurmountable problems facing those responsible for the restoration of damaged houses post earthquake and from many other causes of damage. The pointers to disaster reduction...[more...]


TA658                                                                                ISBN: 978-0-9796807-1-7
Don’t tear it down!; preserving the earthquake resistant vernacular architecture of Kashmir.
Title main entry. Ed. and photographs by Randolph Langenbach.
United Nations Publications, ©2009

Langenbach is a former architecture professor at U. of California at Berkeley and senior FEMA analyst, and he has written this illustrated survey of architecture in the Indian state of Kashmir to demonstrate how traditional construction methods have led to earthquake-resistant structures. Written for anyone interested in the region and its architecture, this book documents..[more...]

SciTech Book News reviews books in the physical and biological sciences, mathematics, medicine, engineering, technology, and agriculture. We emphasize graduate level texts, serious scholarly treatises, and professional references. Our goal is to characterize titles for academic and research librarians and others responsible for selecting or recommending sci-tech-med books. Quick listing is our hallmark.

Missionary International Service News Agency


[In Spanish]

21 July 2008 (This review was written in 2008 before the book was published based on UNESCO publicity.)

Dahji Dewari” Y “Taq”, Las Antiguas Casas Antisísmicas Del Kashmir

Ahora un libro de la UNESCO invita a no cometer el error de demoler aquellas antiguas casas, sino de conservarlas y, sobre todo, aprender de sus técnicas constructivas tradicionales. Cuando el Kashmir Azad, territorio del Kashmir que se encuentra bajo jurisdicción paquistaní, fue sacudido por el terrible terremoto que en octubre del 2005 mató a más de 70.000 personas y dejó a tres millones sin viviendas, los estudiosos se dieron cuenta de que los edificios que habían sufrido menores daños y que casi nunca se habían derrumbado, eran las casas tradicionales de dos tipos: las 'Dahji Dewari' y las 'Taq'. ...[mas...]



11 April 2008  (This review was written in 2008 before the book was published based on UNESCO publicity.)

Preserving Quake-Resistant Vernacular Architecture of Kashmir

The traditional Kashmiri construction technique of "dhaji dewari" and "taq" is the focus of UNESCO attention for its earthquake resistant properties, which it wants popularized and adopted in current modes of construction. Taq consists of load-bearing masonry piers and infill walls, with wood "runners" at each floor level used to tie the walls together
with the floors. The second system, known as Dhaji-Dewari construction, consists
of a braced timber frame with masonry infill. The UN body is publishing a book ...[more...]

IRNA is a news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There is a strong historical cultural and religious connection between Kashmir, ancient Persia, and modern Iran.


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M-Arch (Harvard), Dipl.Conservation (York, England)


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