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 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 […]

North America Public/government Race Settler colonialism Uncategorized

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital: How Segregation Pervades Design at all Scales

While once commonplace in the American landscape, mental asylums are often seen as obsolete relics of an antiquated form of psychiatry. The typology of a stately, manicured hospital for the “insane” emerged in the latter half of the nineteenth century as representations of a newfangled, “moral” and romanticized view of treating mental illness.1 This relatively […]

Community/urbanism North America Public/government Spanish

Built from Stolen Stones – The National Palace in Mexico City

Julieta Alva The National Palace in Mexico City has served as the residence of the President of Mexico since 2018 and is located on the cities main square.[1] This is a historical site of importance, as it was the original location of the palace of the ruling class during the Aztec empire. Much of the […]

British Empire Public/government

Burma (Myanmar): A Colonial Possession within a Colonial Possession

Historically known as Burma, present day Myanmar has gone through significant transformations in power structures and national identity.  This struggle can be symbolically represented through the architectural presence left by imperialist superpowers, most commonly, Great Britain. The imposition of architectural styles is one method of establishing empire and declaring power over a nation. Its strong presence […]

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 […]

North America Public/government Race Settler colonialism

U.S Capitol Building, Washington D.C (1793)

The convoluted emergence of the federal center of American democracy and how it reflects the colonial roots of a nation The location and architecture for the U.S federal government did not always exist as it does today. The immediate image that is conjured up of the white, neoclassical portico and columns in front of a […]

Domestic/residential French North America Public/government Race Settler colonialism Uncategorized

Sans-Souci Palace, 1813: Architecture of Liberation in the French Atlantic

Introduction The Caribbean is a region historically notable for its legacy of colonization and slave labour. As early as the 16th century enslaved Africans were shipped to islands in the West Indies to work on plantations owned and operated by Europeans. In particular, France claimed a substantial amount of territory for its monarchy, and took […]

Community/urbanism North America Public/government Settler colonialism Uncategorized

Toronto’s Old (Old) City Hall (1845)- Toronto, ON : Heritage Preservation & Settler Colonialism

Forming a portion of the St. Lawrence Market façade in Toronto, its first official city hall is part of a legacy of facadism in Toronto architecture, where buildings are preserved to meet the goal of heritage conservation of facades. As we seek a decolonized society, it is important to question the role our preserved architecture […]

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, […]

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