British Empire Europe Geography Institutional/cultural/religious Typology Uncategorized

The Bank of England: A Classically Inspired Stronghold of Imperial Wealth

Great Britain is one of the primary examples to observe when working to understand the reach of colonial, European imperialism. Cain and Hopkins observe that the onset of British Imperialism can be read two ways: one as the continuation of an existing system dominated by oligarchical land holders, and second as a consequence of the […]

British Empire Industrial/resource extraction Infrastructure South America

Viscous Pathways

Bitumen from La Brea Pitch Lake, Trinidad to Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. 1876 Diatoms are a major group of microalgae which reside in the world’s oceans, waterways, and soils. Living diatoms make up an incredibly large portion of the Earth’s biomass, constitute nearly 50% of the organic material found in the oceans, and generate between […]

Domestic/residential North America Race Uncategorized

Devon House, Kingston 1881: Rising Resilience of the Black and Enslaved

Kingston, a city in Jamaica, has mostly been ignored by historians despite it being the fourth largest town in the British Atlantic before the American Revolution and the town with the largest enslaved population in British America before emancipation. Slave trade in Jamaica was at its height, from the early 1770s through to the early […]

Asia British Industrial/resource extraction Infrastructure Public/government

Rangoon’s Port Trust Office: a beacon of British Imperialism

Rangoon (Yangon) has a complex history as Burma’s (Myanmar) largest city, its former capital, and most influential port city. The Port Trust Office (Myanma Port Authority building) was designed by Thomas Oliphant Foster and completed in 1928.[1] A powerful beacon in contemporary Yangon, the Port Trust Office represents British Imperial Power over its inhabitants, streetscapes, […]

Asia Empire Industrial/resource extraction

Hashima Island: “Difficult Heritage”

Hashima Island is also widely known as Gunkanjima (Battleship Island) — its silhouette defined by concrete high rises, mining facilities and seawall resembling a battleship. This abandoned six-hectare island was once a glorious site of the undersea coal mines that fuelled rapid industrialization of Japan in the late 19th century to the 20th century. In […]

British Empire Europe Institutional/cultural/religious

Natural History Museum | London | 1881

A Selective Curation and Distribution of Knowledge The Natural History Museum in London established in 1881 was designed by the Architect Alfred Waterhouse under the close guidance of Richard Owen, the Superintendent of the museum at the time. It exhibits a vast range of specimens and is recognized as the pre-eminent center of natural history […]

British Industrial/resource extraction North America

Gooderham & Worts Distillery: Distilling Industrialism & the Colonies

Every Christmas, Torontonians flock to the distillery district to shop under twinkling lights as they stroll down old brick roads lined by preserved heritage buildings that have been adaptively reused. Designated as a heritage neighborhood based upon, “illustrating the entire distillery process, from the processing of raw materials, to the storage of finished products for […]

Empire Europe Institutional/cultural/religious

Recontextualizing the Cenotaph for Newton: An Idolization of Scientific Knowledge and European Empire

A 500ft sphere — the proposed resting place for English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton — was designed by French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée in 1784.1 Boullée’s Cenotaph for Newton is rooted in the architecture of multiple cultures, the project context is disregarded, and the reconstruction of nature dominates ideological understandings of the architecture. Therefore, the Cenotaph for […]

British Europe Garden/park/landscape

The Palm House at Kew Gardens: Iron, Climate Control and Commercialism

On the outskirts of London, UK, lies Kew, home to the Royal Botanical Garden and its Palm House conservatory. This significant glass house was designed by Decimus Burton and constructed by Richard Turner from 1844 to 1848, although there has been some debate as to who rightfully lays claim to the design1. The Palm House […]

Asia Public/government Uncategorized

The Modern Japan: A Lens Through the Japanese Imperial Mint

The Japanese Imperial Mint is a British-colonial style brick factory that was the first of its kind in Japan, designed by Irish architect, Thomas Waters. Though the mint’s sole purpose was to produce coins, there were colonial undertones in its history. Even before its opening in 1871, much of its activities often fell under the […]

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