Asia British Community/urbanism Public/government

The Rajabai Clock Tower, 1869-1878: Imperial Symbol on the Horizon

In the late nineteenth century, Bombay transformed from a city of warehouses to become one of Britain’s finest imperial cities.  As trade, wealth, and the population flourished, the colonial government embarked on the long-contemplated project of demolishing the old fort walls, to make room for the envisioned metropolis1. As Preeti Chopra discusses in her book, […]

Asia Empire Garden/park/landscape Public/government

Changgyeonggung Palace Grand Conservatory (Ch’anggyŏnggung Daeonsil)

Changgyeong Palace (Ch’anggyŏnggung)1  first opened its doors to general public in November 1909. What was once the royal grounds of the emperor Sunjong had undergone a renovation by Hirobumi Ito the first Japanese Resident-General in Korea – replacing and altering existing traditional architectures and landscape to build a new botanical garden, a zoo and a […]

Asia Community/urbanism Military/fort Race Settler colonialism

Lawang Sewu, Indonesia: through the years and through different hands

A Brief History of Lawang Sewu Lawang Sewu is an old Dutch colonial building located in central Java island’s north coast city of Semarang in Indonesia and occupies a total space of 23m x 77m. . In Javanese language, one of the many languages in Indonesia, Lawang Sewu can be directly translated as “A Thousand […]

Asia Religious

Sacred Heart Cathedral of Guangzhou

A Culture Clash under Colonialism With the signing of the unequal treaties between China and the Western powers at the end of the First Opium War, the number of missionaries entering China has dramatically increased and new Christian churches and chapels have emerged consequently1. The main Catholic exponents in China were French missionaries who chose […]


Jaipur: India’s First Planned City

Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state, is notably one of the first planned cities in India’s history. Inaugurated in 1727, the new city was a mathematically organized urban landscape that promoted growth for the Kingdom of Amer and encouraged cultural diversity. The Kingdom of Amer, led by Sawai Jai Singh, was originally located in […]

Asia British Community/urbanism Domestic/residential

The Jackson Plan for Singapore: Subversion within Segregated Fabric

Founded in 1819, the British colony of Singapore was established as an administrative and trade hub for the Malayan peninsula, intended both to cement a British presence in the region, and create a platform to compete with and contain Dutch influence in the lucrative region. Singapore’s original planning document, The Jackson Plan was drawn between […]

Asia British Empire

The Bund: An Architectural Archive of Imperial Processes and Colonial Legacies

The Bund, known as a historical and acclaimed strip of Shanghai’s riverfront, lends itself as a symbol of Sino-British relations and a shift in its Chinese architectural identity. Amongst the many tourist hot spots, The Bund iconizes itself as a “must see” destination both in historical and contemporary contexts. Littered with displaced architectural styles, buildings […]

Asia Chinese Empire Public/government Religious

The Dethroned Legacy of Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is a magnificent structure built in Lhasa, China, and was finished and opened in 1649, where it served as the home to the Dalai Lamas. Unexpectedly, the palace holds a dark history of power struggles with China as conflicts arose that deemed the Tibet government a culprit to abolish the government. Though […]

Asia Religious

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) | Bangkok 1782

A relic of Thai architecture untouched by colonial influence Wat Phra Kaew The history of Wat Phra Kaew is inextricably entangled in the history of Thailand itself. The building’s lack of colonial architectural influence is a rarity in southeast Asia for buildings of the same era and can be tied to the lack of colonial […]

Asia British Domestic/residential Public/government

Government House, Calcutta: A Symbol of Imperialism

In 1773, the Raj began once the Crown appointed the first official governor-general of India to oversee the operations of the private British East India Company (BEIC); this was the British effort to bring the Enlightenment to India with their primary focus being on Calcutta, a city now known as Kolkata.1 Initially, Calcutta was a […]

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