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 […]

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 […]

Asia Empire Geography Institutional/cultural/religious Religious Typology

Chōsen Jingū: A Religious Entity Exploited in a “non-religious” Manner 1925 – 1945

Shintō as a distinguished religious belief system from Buddhism, has no fixed dogmas or strict scriptures but more readily preserved and observed through the common social life. Shrine Shintō, Shintō meaning “the way of the kami,” are sacred spaces where people worship the Shintō gods. Shintō rituals stress the harmony between deities, man and nature, […]

Asia British Domestic/residential

The Bungalow: A Colonial Residence

If you were to conjure an image of a Victorian colonial lifestyle, perhaps imagine yourself as a British officer stationed in rural India, you may picture this typical scene; a leisurely afternoon spent on a shaded verandah, surrounded by a lush garden dutifully tended by household staff. This idyllic domestic scene of colonial life within […]

Asia British Empire Institutional/cultural/religious Settler colonialism

Mayo College, Ajmer, India, 1885

The British Raj Thrives due to Mayo College In 1875, the British founded Mayo College in the town of Ajmer, located in the Rajputana (now known as Rajasthan) area in India. During the days of the British Empire, the area of Rajputana was divided into princely states, each having its own ruler who owed allegiance […]

Asia Military/fort Spanish

Fort San Pedro: Defense, Christianity and Labour

Fort San Pedro is a military structure created at the height of the Spanish colonial presence in Cebu, located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. The project faces the Cebu strait, where it defended Spanish colonial settlements from Moro raids and conflicts with Dutch forces. As with numerous similar forts distributed throughout the […]

Asia Empire French Geography Religious Typology

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (1877 – 1880) – Colonial Justification Through Religion

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, constructed between 1877 and 18801, can be considered a garish example of French colonial architecture located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The religious structure, officially, the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception was commissioned by Bishop Lefevre and designed by Jules Bourard.2 One will note […]

Asia British Community/urbanism Institutional/cultural/religious Race

Teak and Gold: Decolonial Resistance in British Rangoon

All the colors, creeds, breeds, and voices become Rangoon; Rangoon was born in Rangoon, Rangoon was raised in Rangoon, Rangoon stood on par with other cities around the world. Proud Rangoon, the son of an urban city:  (From Dressmaker Rangoon by Maung Chaw Nwe and translated by Kenneth Wong, 2013)1  The growth of British control […]

Asia Institutional/cultural/religious Public/government Typology

The Akasaka Palace | Tokyo | 1899-1909

The Meiji Restoration The Meiji period (1868–1912) was decisively an era of construction. It saw the military state of the Tokugawa shogunate replaced with a Westernized nation under a restored imperial authority. One of the most urgent tasks facing the Meiji leaders, who were largely drawn from the early samurai class of the Tokugawa Era […]

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