BRITISH EMPIRE (Compiled by Erica Chan)



Bremner, G.A. Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire. London: Yale University Press, 2013.

-----, ed., Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

A collection of essays that focuses on British imperial and colonial architecture throughout the empire. The essays cover a wide range of the British empire, from British North America, to Australia, to sub Saharan Africa.

Crinson, Mark. Empire Building: Orientalism and Victorian Architecture. London: Routledge, 1996.

A study of the cultural, social, and architectural exchanges and influences within the British Empire. Focusing on Islamic and Byzantine influences upon Western design and understanding of art.

Guaita, Ovidio. On Distant Shores: Colonial Houses around the World. New York, N.Y. : Monacelli Press, 1999.

Guaita provides a detailed survey of the colonial structures from various empires around the globe. Looking at the British, Dutch, Portuguese, French influences within their colonial empires, Guaita discusses the influences of the colonial styles to create a hybridity of architecture that is unique only to places with colonial history.

Home, Robert. Of Planting and Planning: The Making of British Colonial Cities. London: Routledge, 2013.

Metcalf, Thomas R. “Architecture and Empire.” History Today 30, no.12 (1980):7-12

Smith, Alison, et al. Artist and Empire: Facing Britain’s Imperial Past. London, 2015.

Sohoni, Pushkar. “Building History: Historiography of Architectural History in South Asia.” History Compass 16, no.6 (2018): 1-9.



Australian Council of National Trusts. Historic Public Buildings of Australia. Melbourne, 1971.

Broadbent, James, and Joy Hughes. Francis Greenway: Architect. Sydney, 1997.

King, Stuart and Julie Willis. “The Australian Colonies.” In Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire. Edited by G.A. Bremner. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

This chapter focuses on the influences of European contact with the indigenous peoples of Australia since the 18 century and how it changed the physical layout of the continent as well as the culture of the indigenous inhabitants. With the arrival of the British, English styles of architecture were introduced to the continent and dominated the built environment into the twentieth century.

McGregor, Alasdair. A Forger’s Progress: The Life of Francis Greenway. Sydney, 2014.

Young, Gordon. “Colonial Building Techniques in South Australia.” Vernacular Architecture 17, no.1 (1986):1-20.



Crain, Edward E. Historic Architecture in the Caribbean Islands. Gainesville, 1994.

Fraser, Henry S. Historic Churches of Barbados. St Thomas, 2014.

Fraser, Henry and Ronnie Hughes, Historic Houses of Barbados. St Thomas, 2009.

Gravette, Andrew. Architectural Heritage of the Caribbean. Kingston, 2000.

Gosner, Pamela. Caribbean Georgian, the Great and Small Houses of the West Indies. Washington, 1982.

Waterman, Thomas T. “Some Early Buildings of Barbados.” The Art Bulletin 27, no.2 (1945): 146-149.



Association of Myanmar Architects, 30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon. Yangon, 2013.

Bansal, Ben, Elliott Fox and Manuel Oka. Architectural Guide: Yangon. Yangon, 2015.

Broman, Barry. “Relics of the Raj: Colonial Architecture in Myanmar.” Arts of Asia 27 (1997): 88-97.

Falconer, John, and Elizabeth Moore. Myanmar Style: Art, Architecture, and Design of Burma. Singapore: Periplus Editions, 1998.

Tun, San Lin, and Keith Lyons. Yangon Street Walker (Exploring Yangon Streets). Yangon, 2018.



Angus, Margaret. The Old Stones of Kingston: its Buildings before 1867. Toronto, 1966.

Clerk, Nathalie. Palladian Style in Canadian Architecture. Ottawa, 1984.

Gowans, Alan. Looking at Architecture in Canada. Toronto, 1958.

Kalman, Harold. A History of Canadian Architecture I, Toronto, 1994.

Magrill, Barry. A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1861-1914. London: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2012.

The success of the Anglican Church within the colonies was a reflection of the British Empire, This book introduces a new perspective of how print media and the colonial economy influenced the development of church architecture within Canada.

Thomas, Christopher. “‘Canadian Castles?’ The Question of National Styles in Architecture Revised.” Journal of Canadian Studies 32, no.1 (1997): 5-27.

This article challenges the traditionally accepted association of Canadian architecture with the Neo-Medievalist style. Using High Victorian Gothic and Chateau style structures, the author argues that Canadian architecture is formed from British and later, American tastes.


Kornwolf, James D. “Great Britain in Canada, 1610-1815: Lower Canada (Quebec), 1763-1815.” In Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America – Volume III. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002. 1261-1293.

Marsan, Jean-Claude. Montreal in Evolution: Historical Analysis of the Development of Montreal’s Architecture and Urban Environment. London: McGill University Press, 1981.



Blumenson, John. Ontario Architecture: A Guide to Styles and Building Terms 1784 to the Present. Toronto, 1990.

Kornwolf, James D. “Great Britain in Canada, 1610-1815: Upper Canada (Ontario), 1763-1815.” In Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America – Volume III. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002. 1294-1329.

McBurney, Margaret, and Mary Byers. Homesteads: Early Buildings and Families from Kingston to Toronto. Toronto, 1979.

McRae, Marion, and Anthony Adamson. The Ancestral Roof: Domestic Architecture of Upper Canada. Toronto and Vancouver, 1963.

McRae, Marion, and Anthony Adamson. Hallowed Halls: Church Architecture of Upper Canada. Toronto and Vancouver, 1975.

Thomas, Christopher A. “Slippery Talk of Parliament’s Architecture: Canadian, Canadian British, or Anglo- American?” Canadian Art Review 29, no. 1/2 (2004): 14-27.



De Silva, Nimal and D.P. Chandrasekara. Heritage Buildings of Sri Lanka. Colombo, 2009.

Jazeel, Tariq. “Tropical Modernism/Environmental Nationalism: The Politics of Built Space in Postcolonial Sri Lanka.” Fabrications 27, no.2 (2017): 134-152.

Lewcock, Ronald. The Architecture of an Island: The Living Heritage of Sri Lanka. Colombo, 1998.

Perera, Nihal. “Indigenising the Colonial City: Late 19th century Colombo and its Landscape.” Urban Studies 39, no.9 (2002): 1703-1721.

Van Horen, Basil. “City Profile: Colombo.” Cities 19, no.3 (2002): 217-227.

This article provides an in-depth historical overview of the city of Colombo and explores the evolution of early settlements and urban planning under colonial influences.



Amutabi, Maurice. “Buildings as Symbols and Metaphors of Colonial Hegemony: Interrogating Colonial Buildings and Architecture in Kenya’s Urban Spaces.” In Colonial Architecture and Urbanism in Africa, edited by Fassil Demissie. London: Routledge, 2016.

Ghaisan, Usam. Lamu: A Study of the Swahili Town. Nairobi, 1975.

Harris, Richard and Garth Myers. “Hybrid Housing: Improvement and Control in Late Colonial Zanzibar.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 66, no.4 (2007): 476-493.

Focusing on the later years of British rule in Zanzibar, this article investigates how the cultural and social exchanges between the local population and the British settlers led to the production of a hybrid building form.

Hoyle, Brian. “Urban Renewal in East African Port Cities: Mombasa’s Old Town Waterfront.” GeoJournal 53, no.2 (2001): 183- 196.

Kirkman, James. Fort Jesus Mombasa. Mombasa, n.d.

The Old Town Mombasa: a Historical Guide. Mombasa, 1987.



Bremner, G. A. "Fabricating Justice: Conflict and Contradictions in the Making of the Hong Kong Supreme Court, 1898 -1912." In Harbin to Hanoi: The Colonial Built Environment in Asia, 1840-1940, edited by Laura Victoir and Victor Zatsepine, 151-80. Hong Kong Hong Kong University Press, 2013.

------.  "Spaces of Exclusion: The Significance of Cultural Identity in the Formation of European Residential Districts in British Hong Kong, 1877 - 1904." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 21 (2002): 223-52..

Lu, Tracey L-D. “Heritage Conservation in Post Colonial Hong Kong.” International Journal of Hertiage Studies 15, no.2-3 (2009): 258-272.

Yip, C.L. "Four Major Buildings in the Architectural History of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation." In Eastern Banking: Essays in the History of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation edited by F.H.H King, 112-38. Michigan: Athlone Press, 1983.



Arnold, Dana. “George Gilbert Scott and Bombay.” Apollo: The International Magazine for Collectors 133 (1991): 87-90.

Chopra, Preeti. “Refiguring the Colonial City: Recovering the Role of Local Inhabitants in the Construction of Colonial Bombay, 1854-1918.” Buildings & Landscapes 14 (2007): 109-125.

Cole, Robert. “Power and Performance in Bombay’s Victoria Terminus.” World History Bulletin 23, no. 1 (2007): 54-61.

Focusing on the Victoria Terminus in Mumbai, this article explores the British colonial design and construction of the gothic structure that sits at the centre of the three major roads of the city.

Glover, William J. “‘A Feeling of Absence From Old England:’ The Colonial Bungalow.” Home Cultures 1 no.1 (2004): 61-82.

Kabir, N, N. Naz and A. Qayyum. “The Contribution of British Engineer Architect Colonel Samuel Swinton Jacob, (1867-1902): Proponent of European Indo Islamic Architecture in Colonial India.” Pakistan Journal of Science 66, no 3 (2014): 282-290.

Kalpana, K. and Frank Schiffer. Madras: An Architectural Heritage. Chennai, 2018.

Khan, A, S. Arif, O. Nadeem, and A. Anwer. “Jack Arch: The Back-Bone of British Colonial Residential Buildings in India.” Pakistan Journal of Science 65, no.3 (2013): 352-256.

Khan, A, S. Arif, A. Rehman, M. Mushtaq and S.R. Ahmed. “Stones of British Colonial Lahore: A study of Two Remarkable Buildings of Earlier Period of British Colonial Architecture.” Pakistan Journal of Science 65, no.2 (2013): 303-309.

Metcalf, Thomas R. “Architecture and the Representation of Empire: India, 1869-1910.” Representations, no. 6 (1984): 37-65.

------. An Imperial Vision: Indian Architecture and the British Raj. New Delhi: University of Oxford Press, 2002.

Oechslin, Werner. “Chinese or Classical: Colonial Architecture in India.” Lotus International 34 (1982): 60-63.

Scriver, Peter and Vikramaditya Prakash. Colonial Modernities: Building, Dwelling and Architecture in British India and Ceylon. New York: Routledge, 2007.

A selection of historical architecture essays that focus on the built environment of India and Ceylon during and after British rule. These essays explore the designs and functions of the hybridized spaces through a social, cultural, and political framework.

Sen, Siddhartha. “Between Dominance, Dependence, Negotiation, and Compromise: European Architecture and Urban Planning Practices in Colonial India.” Journal of Planning History 9, no.4 (2010): 203-231.



Abidin, Wan Burhanuddin B. Wan. "The Malay House: Rationale and Change." Degree of Master of Science in Architecture Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981.

Davison, Julian. Singapore Shophouse. Edited by Kim Inglis. Singapore: Talisman Publishing, 2010.

Davison begins with a definition of the shophouse, then provides a detailed historiographical analysis of the different phases of shophouse styles throughout the decades. Within the analysis, major architects and wealthy patrons are also discusses, which is rare as shophouses are often seen to be settled within the culture of vernacular architecture. 

De Bierre, Julia, and James Bain Smith. Penang: Through Gilded Doors. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, 2006.

Fels, Patricia. "Conserving the Shophouse City." Malaysian Journal of Tropical Geography 33 (2002).

Fels suggests that shophouses are a metaphor of its residence’s lifestyle. It serves a social, cultural, and religious purpose and functions as a unified organism with its neighbouring shophouse. Fels argues that the conservation of shophouses is not simply about the upkeep of old buildings, but also means the conservation of culture and heritage.

Fels, Patricia. "Penang’s Shophouse Culture." Places 9, no. 1 (1994).

Ho, Kah Chun, Ahmad Sansui Hasan, and Norizal M. Noordin. "An Influence of Colonial Architecture to Building Styles and Motifs in Colonial Cities in Malaysia." Malaysia Design Archive (2005). 1-14.

Knapp, Ronald G, and A. Chester Ong. Chinese Houses of Southeast Asia: The Eclectic Architecture of Sojourners and Settlers. Tokyo: Tuttle, 2010.

Knapp provides a detailed analysis of the historical context that led to Chinese architectural influences in Southeast Asia. A hybridity of Chinese, European, and local influences, Malaysian and Singapore shophouses are a reflection of not only the multicultural population, but also the economic success of these coastal cities.

Li, Tze Ling. "A Study of Ethnic Influence on the Facades of Colonial Shophouses in Singapore: A Case Study of Telok Ayer in Chinatown." Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering 6, no. 1 (2018): 41-48.

A comprehensive study of the evolution of Singapore shophouses from 1830s to 1930s. This study tracks social and economic developments in the colonial city and investigates how these changes influenced the facades of shophouses.

Lim, Jon S. H. "The ‘Shophouse Rafflesia’: An Outline of Its Malaysian Pedigree and Its Subsequential Diffusion in Asia." JMBRAS 66 (1993).

Lim points out the lack of intraregional study of the shophouse typology within academic literature and argues that while the shophouses found in Malaysia has been suggested to have originated from China, the influence of Sir Stamford Raffles must be considered in the study of the structure. Terming the Shophouse Rafflesia, Lim argues that Raffles, along with various municipal ordinances and urban development plans, contributed positively to the urban fabric by introducing the regular façade and “five footways”.

Ryeung, Ju Seo, Kim Bo Mi, and Ariffin Syed Iskandar. "Continuation and Transformation of Traditional Elements in Colonial Vernacular Houses in Kampong Bharu, Malaysia." Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering 14, no. 2 (2015): 339-46.

Tan, Kevin Y L, and Lim Chen Sian. Raffles’ Letters: Intrigues Behind the Founding of Singapore. Singapore National Library, 2013.

Yeoh, Brenda S.A. Contesting Space: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment in Colonial Singapore, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Wagner, Ashley. "Malaysia Shophouse: Creating Cities of Character." Architecture Undergraduate Honors Theses, University of Arkansis, Fayetteville, 2017.



Boyd, Andrew. "The House, the Garden, and the Artificial Landscape." In Chinese Architecture and Town Planning. London: A. Tiranti, 1962.

FitzGerald, C.P. The Third China: The Chinese Communities in South-East Asia Vancouver: Publications Centre, University of British Columbia, 1965.

A historical overview of Chinese architecture and how colonial encounter and trade impacted Chinese society and culture.

Han, Wang, and Jia Beisi. "Urban Morphology of Commercial Port Cities and Shophouses in Southeast Asia." Urban Morphology of Commercial Port Cities and Shophouses in Southeast Asia 142 (2016): 190-97.

Ho, Mui. "The Chinese Shophouse: An Architectural and Social Model for New Cities." Assessing Value in Tradition 76, no. 27-38 (1994).

In the densely populated and growing coastal cities of Southeast Asia, shophouses are constantly under threat of being demolished and replaced by high rises and skyscrapers. Ho argues that the demolition of shophouses not only destroy cultural heritage, but also hinders the economic growth of local businesses and small entrepreneurs.

Powell, Robert. The Asian House Singapore: Select Books, 1992.

Purcell, Victor. The Chinese in Southeast Asia. Hong Kong Oxford University Press, 1965.

This source looks at the impact of the Chinese population in different regions of South East Asia and how this mass migration settled, changed, and effected the native communities. The source looks at the Chinese in Siam, Vietnam, Malaya, and in Indonesia.

Rudofsky, Bernard. Architecture without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture. New York: Doubleday & Co, 1964.

Savage, Victor R. Western Impressions of Nature and Landscape in Southeast Asia Singapore: Singapore University Press, 1984.

Schutte, Heinz. "The Villas of the New Bourgeoisie." Internationales Asien Forum. International Quarterly for Asian Studies; 39, no. 1-2 (2008): 119-35.

Sujana, Widya. "The Sustainability of Chinese Shophouses in Asia and Southeast Asia in the Contemporary World." Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review 14, no. 1 (2002): 15.

Tan, Hock Beng. Tropical Architecture and Interiors: Tradition-Based Design of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand. Singapore: Page One Pub, 1994.

Viaro, Alain. "Le Compartiment Chinois Est-Il Chinois ?". In Les Cahiers De La Recherche Architecturale, edited by Patrick Bardou, 139-50. Marseille: Editions Parenthèses, 1992.

Yu, Kongjian. "Infinity in a Bottle Gourd: Understanding the Chinese Garden." Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University 53, no. 1 (1993): 2-7.



Carson, Cary, and Carl R. Lounsbury. The Chesapeake House: Architectural Investigation by Colonial Williamsburg. Williamsburg, 2013.

Congdon, Herbert Wheaton. Old Vermont Houses: An Architecture of a Resourceful People. Brattleboro VT, 1940.

Fonvielle, Chris E. Historic Wilmington and Lower Cape Fear. San Antonio, 2007.

Heckscher, Morrison, and Leslie Greene Bowman. American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament. New York, 1992.

Kalman, Harold and Louis P. Nelson. “British North America and the West Indies.” In Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire. Edited by G.A. Bremner. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Kimball, Fiske. Domestic Architecture of the American Colonies and of the Early Republic. New York, 1922.

Kornwolf, James D. Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America. 3 vols. Baltimore and London, 2002.

Kornwolf, James D. “The Uniting States: Romantic Classicism and the Late Colonial, 1776-1815” In Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America – Volume III. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2002, pp.1401-1554.

Marlowe, George Francis, and Samuel Chamberlain. Churches of Old New England. New York, 1947.

Morrison, Hugh. Early American Architecture. New York, 1952.

Nicoletta, Julie. The Architecture of the Shakers. Woodstock VT, 1995.

Nicols, Frederick Doveton. The Architecture of Georgia. Bronx, 1976.

Pfister, Harold Francis. “Burlington’s Architectural Theory in England and America.” Winterthur Portfolio 11 (1976): 123-151.

Pratt, Dorothy and Richard. A Guide to Early American Homes: North & South. New York, 1956.

Reinberger, Mark. “Graeme Park and the Three Cell Plan: A Lost Type of Colonial Architecture.” Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture 4 (1991): 146-15.

Roberts, Bruce, and Elizabeth Kedash. Plantation Homes of the James River. Chapel Hill, 1990.

Rose, Harold Wickliffe. The Colonial Houses of Worship in America. New York, 1963.

Sinnott, Edmund W. Meetinghouse & Church in Early New England. New York, 1963.

Speare, Eva A. Colonial Meeting-Houses of New Hampshire. Littleton NH, 1938.



Dantzig, Albert van. Forts and Castles of Ghana. Accra, 1980.

Hess, Janet Berry. “Imagining Architecture: The Structure of Nationalism in Accra, Ghana.” Africa Today 47, no.2 (2000): 35-38.

This article explores the changes in the built and urban environment in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, especially focusing on the relationship between British colonialist and the local population in the British attempt to segregate and regulate the built urban spaces. 

Lawrence, A.W. Trade Castles and Forts of West Africa. London, 1963.

Micots, Courtnay. “Status and Mimicry: African Colonial Period Architecture in Coastal Ghana.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 74, no. 1 (2015): 41-62.

Okoye, Ikem Stanley. “Architecture, History, and Debate on Identity in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 61, no.3 (2002): 381-396[photo id=12345 size=L link=no]

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