High Density Island Male - 2
(Male, Maldives)

The area from the north shore with port and market until the main Street Majeedi Magu crossing the central part is crowded with middle storey buildings. The shops abundant of goods are mixed with apartments and the traffic of people, motorbike and car are very busy. While, the south part over Majeedi Magu Street is a residential area with peaceful atmosphere and low storey houses.

In town walking, I had Deja-vu for the building density or town atmosphere. It is that of Tokyo Downtown!. Although the color sense of buildings is different and women put on burka, I felt very close the Male town characters such as a small site area, various building height, door facing to the street, no regular but clean townscape, crowded but orderly atmosphere and the approach of people's sign. The reason that this town was familiar for me might be because Japanese sense of density and how to create a calm relation in the high density were similar to that of Male locals, though the town was not very beautiful.

I regret that the traditional houses made of coral stones are decreasing. This form is suitable for the tropical climate with much rain because the stone with bubble has insulation effect, the opening between stones passes the wind and the material is durable for the rain and humidity. For locals, it would be old-fashioned and no adequate to the new construction trend ? I felt that the locals had no strong mind for the traditional culture in this town.

In Male are many mosques with various scales and those seemed to function as a public space in the island with no many parks. In the rainy season when I stayed, it was very hot in the sunny time while it rained heavily in the rainy time. I realized that the mosque is not only a religious space but also a public space where they can rest at any time. It locates under the shade of big tree and has a water space and a comfortable inside with big air volume and passing the wind. The high density's disposition of mosques may also be an apparatus for generating the comfort in the high density's island. I as a pagan was enviable of the mosque when I was tired with walking under the heat and rain.

To Japanese Version

Google Maps

Transportation : 15 minutes by ferry from Male airport island to Male island.




2007.09 Photos in English version, and photos and text in Japanese version

2018.01 Change of photos and English text

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Townsape of Male

Photo by Daigo Ishii