2nd ANNUAL MEETING, Edinburgh, 9-11 February 2012

Colonial, Imperial or Corporate Architecture. Architectural diversity or uniformity across time, agency or geography


Dr Ola Uduku
School of Architecture, ESALA
University of Edinburgh
Lauriston Place
Edinburgh EH3 9DF

Programme: Johan Lagae
Local Organizers: Ola Uduku, with  Alex Bremner


Our COST-Action aims to produce a broader understanding of the worldwide spread of European architecture across empires during the 19th and 20th century by focusing on its vectors, connections, semantics and materiality in a large range of geographic and linguistic contexts engaging both Western and non-Western environments. It posits that the bilateral colonial channel (e.g. French architecture in Algeria or British architecture in India) represented but one aspect of a larger multifaceted history. By combining architectural history with area studies’ knowledge, the intention is to map and analyze more complex dissemination patterns and border-crossing relationships.
The theme is the Annual Workshop for 2012 is explicitly focusing on broadening the perspective on architecture outside Europe beyond the built production that came into being under colonialism. It posits that some mechanisms should be understood first and foremost as belonging to other kinds of global mechanisms and transfers, linked to, for instance, religion but also economy. What we thus want to look at is the architecture of religious or missionary congregations not linked to a particular colonial enterprise, as well as the building production of manufacturing, construction or commercial enterprises that operated in a wide geographical territory (Schindler, Franki, Hennebique,… Tata, Sunlight,…). But also typologies that cross borders and contexts are a possible topic (mass housing, workers’ housing, bank buildings, airports, embassies,…).
The time frame is, as always in our action, limited to the 19th and 20th century. We invite members to propose a paper around the topic described above and relate it to one the three themes of the action: (1) actors and networks of expertise; (2) media; (3) built fabric. There will be a separate session for discussing issues related to WG 4.

Practicalities related to the sessions/program

  • As we have a quite full program, we urge members to be disciplined and adhering to the time schedule. In particular, we need to be able to start in time with the morning sessions, in order to allow for discussion. As hotels and the conference venue are within walking distance, this should not pose a problem.
  • Presenters should prepare in order to talk no longer than 20 minutes, in order to leave time for discussion (a 10 minute slot is planned for each presentation)
  • Chairs are requested to keep a tight view on the time schedule and urge presenters to stick to the allotted time. They will also be in charge of organizing the discussion. They can opt for a format in which each presentation is followed by a discussion or a format in which a discussion is organized after all presentations. This is to be discussed with the presenters and depends on the “closeness” of the papers.
  • Presenters should be in the room at least 10 minutes before the start of a session in order to upload their powerpoints.
  • Discussants will not receive papers beforehand, but are invited to react on the presentations as given. They can prepare in advance some questions by reading to – often substantial – abstracts included at the end of this document.



Arrival of the Core Group Members

Alternative Pre Conference Programmes

Guided visit of the National Archives of Scotland on Wednesday morning (RCAHMSS) –
Email Ola Uduku (o.uduku) by 1st Feb if you intend to do this.
Scottish Parliament visit  – daytime tours are free and available from 10am
Evening Dinner 6.30pm Blonde Restaurant  (table booked under Dr Uduku) 5 St Leonard’s Street Newington Edinburgh EH8 9QR
t. 0131 668 2917
Please inform Ola if you are planning to attend this dinner, so that she can book enough places (email Ola Uduku (o.uduku) by 1st Feb).


Morning meeting venue: 19 George Square, University of Edinburgh, Room G/29

9h00-10h30: Core Group Meeting
10h30 – 12h00: Internal discussion on the ABE-Journal (Core Group members + interested parties: those who want to attend, please inform johan.lagae )


Scottish Parliament (E. Miralles, 2004)  visit daytime tours are free and available from 10am
National Poetry Library (M. Fraser Architects 2000)
5 Crichton’s Close  Canongate, Midlothian EH8 8DT
t. 0131 557 2876 www.spl.org.uk/
Scottish Story Telling Center (M. Fraser Architects, 2006)
43-45 High Street, Old Town, Edinburgh 0131 556 9579 (café venue for lunch)


Afternoon Meeting venue:
Hunter Lecture Theatre Edinburgh College of Art, University of Edinburgh Lauriston Place Campus

13h30 -14h15: Mercedes VOLAIT & Johan LAGAE, “Welcome + Where do we stand?”
14h15-15h15: Presentation of the activities of WG1, WG2 and WG3 by their chairs (15 min each)
15h15-16h30: Session of WG4

16h30-17h00: Coffee Break + walk to venue of keynote lecture
17h00-18h30: Keynote Lecture Prof. Miles GLENDINNING University of Edinburgh – “The Hundred Years War: a century of mass-housing ‘campaigns’  across the world” Venue: Lecture Theatre 175, Old College University of Edinburgh
19h00: Dinner: The Tower Restaurant, National Museum Of Scotland Chambers Street, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, 0131 225 3003 (Offered by University of Edinburgh)


Session 1 – Corporate architecture? The built production of corporate players
Chair:  Johan Lagae; discussants: Ralph Bodenstein, Carola Hein Venue: University of Edinburgh 19 George Square Room  G/29

9h00 – 9h30 Diego CALTANA, “The Porr Betonbau-Unternehmung: ways to develop
an Austrian corporate company abroad (1926-1979)”
9h30 – 10h00 Claudine PIATON, “The ‘domaine commun’ of the Suez Canal
10h00-10h30 Christel FRAPIER, “Settlement abroad of French constructors and
dissemination of technical knowledge during the XXth century”

Coffee Break

11h30-12h00 Ezio GODOLI & Anna NUZZACI, “The architecture of the Associazione
Nazionale per soccorrere i Missionari Italiani in Asia and Africa”

12h00-14h00 Lunch break & visit to Edinburgh University campus (incl. Library)

Session 2 – Corporate actors in a postcolonial world
Chair: Tzafrir Fainholz; discussants: Madalena Cunha Matos, Pauline Van Roosmalen Venue:   Meeting suite,  Edinburgh University Library, George Square
14h00 – 14h30 Kim DE RAEDT, “School building and the Development Concept in Postcolonial Africa. Mapping Transnational Networks of Architectural Expertise and Practice”

14h30 – 15h00 Rachel LEE, “Building a shared vision: Otto Koenigsberger and the Tata Group in India”
15h00 – 15h30 Kathleen JAMES-CHAKRABORTY,“Marg: European Architecture as seen from an independent India”
Coffee break
16h00 – 18h00 Discussion of Training School 2013 + Abe Journal: future issues
18h00 – 18h30 break + walk to venue of keynote
18h30 – 20h00 Keynote Lecture Prof. Carola HEIN, Bryn Mawr College – “Architectures of Oil: Global aims and local forms” Venue: Lecture Theatre 175, Old College, South Bridge University of Edinburgh
20h00: Dinner at Spoon Restaurant, 6A Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DH
t. 0131 557 4567


Session 3: International, national, or regional? Style, type & ideology in the Mediterranean during the colonial/imperial era
Chair: Vilma Fasoli; discussants : Mercedes Volait, Johan Lagae Venue: Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place (use main entrance via Lady Lawson Street)

9h00 – 9h30 Eliana PEROTTI, “The Mediterranean architectural formula: building block for the colonial city”
10h00 – 10h30 Leila EL-WAKIL, “Spécificités de l’Art Déco méditerranéen: des modèles internationaux aux variations locales”
10h30 – 11h00 Vassilis COLONAS, “Neoclassicism versus Eclecticism. Architectural styles in Modern Greek State and in Ottoman Empire and their attitude towards the local”

11h00-12h30: Lunch (a series of sandwich bars are close to the Edinburgh College of Art)

Session 4 – Imperial Architecture? Style, type & ideology in the British empire
Chair: Pauline Van Roosmalen; discussants: Alex Bremner, Alexandra Yerolympos Venue: Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place (use main entrance via Lady Lawson Street)
12h30 – 13h00 Robert HOME, “British cantonment and township rules and the shaping of colonial urban landscapes”
13h00 – 13h30 Tania SENGUPTA, “The architecture of governance: office buildings in early-nineteenth century provincial administrative towns of colonial India”
13h30 – 14h00 Iain JACKSON & Ola UDUKU, “British Architecture Overseas: revisiting pre and post WW2 influences in the Middle East and Africa via the corporate building type”
14h00-14h30 Stuart KING, “Tropical Aspiration: Queensland Colonial Architecture and the Networks of Place”
Coffee Break
15h00-16h30 Wrap-up session: synthesis and perspectives
Return flights on the evening of the 11th or 12th




Juliette HUEBER, Thierry LOCHARD, René PELFRESENE, Pauline VAN ROOSMALEN, Antonio MENDES DA SILVA, Dov WINER, “Introducing a Reference Management Tool as a Collaborative Device for the scholarly community of COST Action IS0904 European Architecture Beyond Europe” + discussion
COST Action IS0904 European Architecture Beyond Europe involves a wide community of scholars focused on three content related working groups: WG1 Actors and Networks of Expertise; WG2 The Printed Media and the Construction of a Canon; WG3 Documenting Transnational Architecture. The scholars members of these groups have developed extensive bibliographies and collections of documents on their common thematic area.  WG 4 Conceptualizing an Infrastructure for Collaborative Research is tasked with providing support through digital means for collaboration between the members of the Action. WG4 as an initial step in setting up the collaborative facilities has carried out a comparative study of available reference management tools. Its purpose was that of establishing facilities through which members of the Action are able to share their bibliographic resources. WG4 decided to adopt Mendeley as such reference management tool. Mendeley serves as and for: Reference manager enabling the generation of citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice, and LaTeX; Reading and annotating documents using sticky notes and highlights; Adding and Organizing by importing and organizing PDFs from the user computer, EndNote™, Papers or Zotero; Collaboration by connecting with colleagues and securely sharing papers, notes and annotations; Networking and discovery of papers, people and public groups. This decision of WG4 was implemented through an structured schedule whose main milestones are: (1) definition of a network in the Mendeley server for IS0904 (2) preparation of training and supporting documents for the members of the Action (3) announcing to the members of WG 1, 2 and 3 that they should upload in a well specified frame of time 5 references to the shared space (4) provision of support to the Action members in carrying out this task and following up its completion. This presentation will report on the results of the process of introducing such reference management tool as an initial infrastructure in the work of COST IS0904.

European Architecture Beyond Europe http://www.architecturebeyond.eu/

Overview of Mendeley http://www.mendeley.com/features/

Comparisons of Reference Management tools






Diego CALTANA, “The Porr Betonbau-Unternehmung: ways to develop an Austrian corporate company abroad (1926-1979)”

This paper proposal aims at introducing in an international research platform the remarkable case-study of the Porr Betonbau-Unternehmung, an Austrian building contractor operating since 1926 in Middle-East (Egypt, Iran). It represents a particularly interesting case-study because 1) it began its activities abroad as a result of the disappearance of the abundant domestic market following the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy, 2) it operated abroad without a basic structure of well-established political or economic relationships, since Austria-Hungary, as one of the few European countries not involved in the colonial adventure, had no significant commercial interests with the countries in which Porr later started its own business, 3) gives the example of how a company was confronted with the local situation, for instance in the recruitment of labour. The Allgemeine österreichische Baugesellschaft was founded in 1869 and established itself in short time as one of the busiest construction companies in Vienna; over time the business expanded to the rest of the Habsburg empire. After the collapse of the monarchy an internal restructuring had to be carried out, which led to specialization in concrete structures (in 1927 the A. Porr Betonbau-Unternehmung, a subsidiary of the Allgemeine österreichische Baugesellschaft, was merged with that to form the Allgemeine Baugesellschaft – A. Porr Aktiengesellschaft). In the expansion of the markets abroad the “Neuausland” was favoured (i.e. countries that were part of Austria-Hungary); the opening to the Egyptian market in 1926 was due to the personal relations of director Ottokar Stern, who was probably in contact with the Jewish community of Cairo. The activity in Egypt, not supported by a strong enough network of contacts and even after errors by the company, was closed in 1930. In 1958, when the Porr had specialized in the realization of large-scale projects, the opening to the Persia / Iran took place. This market –that was especially lucrative for Porr (it carried out, among other things, two dams and railway infrastructure)– was part of the particular climate of facilities granted to Western companies in countries with regimes supported politically and economically by the United States (Porr worked in Iran mostly with U.S. companies).

Claudine PIATON, “The ‘domaine commun’ of the Suez Canal Company”

By 1866, the Suez Canal Company, a joint stock company holding the concession for digging and operating the Suez Canal, was imposed to share part of its land concession with the sovereign state of Egypt, to create the so-called “Domaine commun”. In 1884, after a long period of negotiation and resistance, the  Company was forced to yield to the demands of the state which has just fallen into the hands of the new British rulers. This paper will present the early genesis of this domain that represents an original form of land management in a pre¬colonial era as well as its impact on the long-term construction of the city of Port Said.

Christel FRAPIER, “Settlement abroad of French constructors and dissemination of technical knowledge during the XXth century”
The paper proposes to come back on the research done for my thesis, along my post-doctoral studies and during my recent experience within the European program Arching (InVisu). Dealing with various geographical areas (Eastern Europe, Maghreb, and some other parts of the world) and different periods (beginning of the XXth c., Interwar, Cold War), the research focuses on French engineers or contractors and the strategies used to settle abroad and gain architectural commissions. We would like to show how these engineers and contractors, having to face complex geopolitical situations, did succeed in setting up networks, in competing (concrete versus metallic construction and vice versa) and finally in conquering new markets. The study of the socio-professional relations of the different agents in the field of construction brings new insight in the history of art and architecture. Retracing those professional courses leads to map their realizations but also to trace their travels, professional meetings, conferences, teaching practices etc., all over the world. This method allows to break off national boundaries and to contribute to a transnational understanding of art and architecture.

Tom AVERMAETE, “Excavating the Company Town: The Architecture of Small Mining Cities in Morocco”
An important part of Morocco’s modernization during the twentieth century is linked to the mining of the country’s large wealth of raw materials such as coal, lead, zinc and phosphates. Mining companies did not only extract, but also developed -in close cooperation with French and Spanish colonial administrations- settlements for their specialized labor force. This lecture probes into the urban and architectural models that were elaborated for these company towns. It will argue that the small mining cities in Morocco can be looked upon as ‘acculturated pragmatics’. Pragmatics, because they did not start from principles and schemes of professionals that were trained at the Beaux-Arts but rather from plain engineering logics. Acculturated, because in the various projects there are various attempts to tune these engineering logics to international ideas about architecture and urbanism, as well as to local climate and to dwelling culture.

Ezio GODOLI & Anna NUZZACI, “The architecture of the Associazione Nazionale per soccorrere i Missionari Italiani in Asia and Africa”
The ANMI (National Association for helping Italian missionaries), founded by Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1886, is a secular association made up of intellectuals, professionals and industrials, Catholics and Nationalists, united by the ideal of promoting the rapprochement between the State and the Church, interrupted after the choice of Rome as capital. Through the assistance to missionaries, the ANMI pursues the aim of supporting, with the construction of schools, hospitals, clinics and churches, the Italian communities abroad, compensating the absence of initiatives of the Italian Government. Initially financed by members’ donations, in 1900 the ANMI obtains from the Italian Government the permission to administer the funds provided by China as compensation for damage to Italian missions by the uprising of the Boxers. This capital, invested in the construction of buildings (Grand Hotel, hospital and school for the Chinese mission, etc.)  in the lands of Tianjin’s Italian concession, allows to the ANMI to expand the construction of school, hospitals and other buildings for the Italian communities, in the Middle East and North Africa, funded in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under the leadership of Schiaparelli, the Anmi becomes the most important promoter of building initiatives for the Italian communities in the Mediterranean area. After his death (1928), the fascist government exercises a more direct control on the ANMI through Pietro Parini, from 1929 general director of Italians abroad in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Special commissioner, vice-president and finally ANMI’s president, from 1933 to 1944 Parini transforms the association into a fascist politic’s instrument in favour of the Italian communities abroad, using its coverage specially in the countries where was forbidden to the Italian government the immovable property.


Kim DE RAEDT, “School building and the Development Concept in Postcolonial Africa. Mapping Transnational Networks of Architectural Expertise and Practice”
After decades of endorsing a “self-sufficiency” policy for their colonial territories, Great Britain and France respectively established the Colonial Welfare Development Acts (1940) and the Fonds d’Investissement pour le Développement Economiqye et Social (1946) as colonial development financing bodies. Indeed, it was the metropoles’ conviction that raising the standards of living in the colonies would reinvigorate as well as continue the legitimacy of the empire by making the colonies more productive and ideologically stable in the tumult of the postwar years. In this context of fundamental restructuration, health and education became central elements of the development project in African countries, leading in particular to a remarkable number of school building projects authored by architects like, amongst others, Fry & Drew, Norman & Dawbarn and James Cubitt. Often designed along modernist lines, these complexes became icons of the colony’s modernization, even if they remain ambivalent on “whose modernity” was really at stake. After the wave of independences in the early sixties, Africans took over the colonial state apparatus along with the development project, which would, however, from then on no longer be sustained by colonial resources. Forced to look for new financial sources, foreign building and planning expertise came to African countries on the wings of development aid from the 1960s onwards. In those early Cold War years, Unesco, EDF, FAC, US AID and the World Bank, among many others, assigned school building experts to design low cost primary and secondary school infrastructures as well as modernist Teacher Training Colleges. On the one hand representing and materializing these countries’ aspirations for progress and development, while at the same time supporting the expansion (or continuation) of the donor’s ideological territory, these buildings gained a much contested status.  In this paper, I will elaborate on the way different theories of ‘development’ in the 1960s resulted in diverse approaches of development agencies concerning the planning of educational buildings. Confronting the role of the more institutional development agencies involved in school building in post-independence Africa with the concrete architectural production of a number of designers and planners working as consultants for those agencies, I will demonstrate how the ideological and economical background of different organizations (be they bi- or multilateral) strongly determined the vectors of architectural expertise going into as well as out of the newly independent nations. First, I shall illustrate how this manifests more concretely in specific types of knowledge transfer and architectural production by elaborating on the contrast between ideas of standardization, rationalization and prefabrication for primary and secondary school buildings on the one hand, and ‘unique architectural solutions’ allegedly required for Teacher Training Colleges and Universities on the other hand. Moreover, looking both at francophone and anglophone countries, I will explain how the different attitudes of ex-colonial powers regarding postcolonial foreign policy strongly influenced the shape and content of such development projects. Then, by comparing such bilateral aid (FAC, US AID, …) with multilateral development logics (World Bank, Unesco, …), I will clarify how a variety of ideological and economical logics often generated many different claims on technical knowledge in the same country.  Ultimately we aim to map out the diverse transnational networks of expertise which came into being through mechanisms of development aid, while at the same highlighting the nodes where these networks connected or overlapped. Finally, bearing on a number of concepts from social sciences, we will attempt to explain how, by the early seventies, early planning attitudes were rejected and some major shifts took place in the transfer of educational planning expertise and architectural practice in African countries.

Rachel LEE, “Building a shared vision: Otto Koenigsberger and the Tata Group in India”
Although Otto Koenigsberger (1908-1999) began working in India eight years before the country won independence, he was not part of the British Raj’s colonial enterprise. In fact, as Chief Architect of the semi-autonomous Princely Mysore State and later as Federal Director of Housing, Koenigsberger worked on building the independent Indian nation from within. In addition to his governmental duties, Koenigsberger was a consultant to the Tata Group—a privately owned industrial enterprise committed to nationalism and philanthropy. In this paper I will argue that the Tata Group—founders of, amongst other things, India’s first indigenous steel plant at Jamshedpur (1908) and first academic research institute, the Indian Institute of Science, in Bangalore (1911)—and Koenigsberger developed ambitious architectural and town planning schemes that Nehru’s government later adopted as national policy. I will illustrate that Tata projects such as the workers’ housing colony at the Swadeshi Textile Mills (1943), the Jamshedpur Development Plan (1944-45) and the Mithapur Plan (1948), as well as faculty buildings at the Indian Institute of Science, enabled Koenigsberger to realise his architectural and planning goals more fully than those he undertook as a government architect. Moreover, I will demonstrate that Koenigsberger’s notion of a locally rooted, research-based “scientific architecture,” and his commitment to much of CIAM’s urbanism manifesto, overlapped with the Tata Group’s philosophy of advancing India through industrialisation and education. Accordingly, this common ground allowed Western architectural and planning concepts to be transferred to the Indian context and subsequently transformed.  Expanding the focus of the paper, I will shed light on the networks of India’s cultural elite, to which the Tatas and Koenigsberger belonged, arguing that their shared vision for India’s future led to the publication of the Tata-funded and Koenigsberger-cofounded MARG magazine (1946), with the aim of disseminating modernist architecture and planning ideas in India.

Kathleen JAMES-CHAKRABORTY,“Marg: European Architecture as seen from an independent India”
In 1949 the Athens Charter, the seminal urban planning document drawn up during sixteen years earlier during the fourth meeting of CIAM, was finally published in English. It appeared, not in the United Kingdom or the United States, but in an early issue of Marg, India’s most important magazine devoted to the arts.  Founded in 1946 on the eve of independence, Marg surveyed classical and contemporary Indian art, architecture, crafts, dance, and photography but also reported on contemporary foreign art and architecture, especially that of the United States and Europe.  Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra appear in its pages alongside Le Corbusier and Otto Koenigsberger, a German architect resident in India from 1939 until 1953, when he moved to London. This paper will focus on the way in which Le Corbusier and the planning position for which he stood were presented in Marg between 1949 and 1961, that is before and during his involvement in designing the new Punjabi state capital of Chandigarh.  It will also discuss the defense of modern architecture as the only appropriate style for an independent India published in the magazine’s inaugural issue in 1946 and chronicle Le Corbusier’s response to India as published in Marg.   Marg’s enthusiastic support of modern European and American architecture is a prominent example of the way in which during this period urban postcolonial intellectuals supported modern architecture in order to distinguish themselves from the former colonial power, who was seen as having less adventurous taste.  In the case of Marg, this occurred within the context of comprehensive and proud coverage of the subcontinent’s indigenous art, which, however, in the case of architecture (unlike other media, such as dance), the editors viewed as no longer living tradition upon which contemporaries should draw.



Eliana PEROTTI, “The Mediterranean architectural formula: building block for the colonial city”
A search for a formal architectural prototype – particularly in relation to residential architecture
– that would not be rooted in court traditions, but would nevertheless still be based on a national tradition, started as early as the 1920s in Italy and drew architects’ attention both to the residential architecture of ancient Ostia and also to the anonymous regional architecture of southern Italy. In the years that followed, the idea of a Mediterranean and national style of architecture with deep roots going back as far as Roman antiquity was to develop into an ideological formula providing the justification for Italian Modernism – which held up “Latin”, spiritual sources for rational architecture, termed mediterraneità, against the accusation that it was attempting to emulate “Nordic”, materialist models. The architectural debate over mediterraneità was only fully articulated during the 1930s, and became particularly urgent in relation to the issue of an Italian form of colonial architecture. One need only think of the nationalistically motivated and functionalistically justified position taken by Carlo Enrico Rava in presenting a Mediterranean architectural option in the journal Domus in 1931; or of Luigi Piccinato, who in 1933 answered the question of what the conceptual basis for a colonial residential building should be with a response couched in terms of the universality of Mediterranean architectural forms. In the colonial context, the term mediterraneità, as Mia Fuller defines it, has to be interpreted on analogy with Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism – i.e., as a concept primarily serving to define power geographically and which, since its development in the late 19th century, has undergone historical changes corresponding to political events. With the occupation of Libya (in 1911), which made the Mediterranean the focus of Italian colonial interests, the idea of mediterraneità becomes the medium of a hegemonistic and at the same time integrative cultural project that defines the Mediterranean area as a culturally connected region colonized in Roman antiquity, to which only a few developmental peculiarities in the intervening period need be conceded. Inside the specifically colonial urban culture the flexibility of Mediterranean architectural formulations allows the construction of an heterogeneous townscape, asserting a claim to appear both modern and at the same time historically shaped – Italian, Mediterranean, and Oriental. In this context, the architectural recourse to mediterraneità, in the spirit of Art Deco, proto-rationalism, rationalism or mere functionalism, becomes a reformulation of local, vernacular architectural forms, corresponding to the goals of a cultural-policy strategy on the part of the colonial government that was moving from the style du vainqueur to the style du protecteur. The Mediterranean formula, in its syncretistic attitude and pragmatic quality, arises to be the basic building block of the Italian, but not only, colonial city. Contemporary phenomena of systematic adoption of a Mediterranean architectural language, as to be found in French colonies or in California, seem to operate with an analogous formal repertoire but quite a different ideological background. These are some aspects of a comparative query that still remains to bee seen and promises to get interesting.

Assia SAMA BOUADJADJA, “The colonial space of Setif (Algeria): an architectural rhetoric”
Setif is an eastern town of Algeria that has been created ex-nihilo following a French royal decree on February 11th, 1847. Its colonial space, it will be argued in this paper, presents configurations that demonstrate divergent attitudes during the French occupation of Algeria from 1830 to 1962. Discriminatory and segregationist, the first  attitude is manifested both by the distinction between European and indigenous districts, and the great disparity between their respective configurations.  More subtle, formalist and ceremonial, the second attitude seeks to emulate Arabo-Muslim architectural language, known under the label of “Arabist style”. This style  which marked the Algerian territory since 1900, was limited to the reproduction of models related to Moorish culture. Fundamental and humanist , nourished by the spirit of liberty and  equality, that has mobilized the European intellectual sphere since the Enlightenment, the third attitude,  Although acting in colonized territories, was engaged to project its humanist ideal in the space by being more attentive to indigenous peoples, more humble and  more respectful.
In this work, we will present three operations on the ground, which respectively represent these three nuanced attitudes:
-The operation HBM (Habitation à bon marché), medium income houses, proposed  to the European population, compared with that of the estate of low income houses, proposed to the native populations. Both of them  were realized by the same promoter, Charles Levy, in the 1920s.
-Three projects in the 1930s, designed by Marcel Henri Christofle, municipal architect and chief architect of Algerian Historic Monuments.
-The operation of Bizare (1970), which constitutes, in our opinion, a reply of Roland Simounet’s attitude , previously translated through the project ” Djenane El Hassan ” of Algiers in the 1950s.

Leila EL-WAKIL, “Spécificités de l’Art Déco méditerranéen: des modèles internationaux aux variations locales”
L’analyse des différentes manifestations Art Déco des pays du Proche et Moyen-Orient arabe montre de grands écarts formels et stylistiques. Aux transferts des modèles internationaux s’ajoutent des interprétations locales. A quoi ou à qui imputer ces variations? incompréhension des modèles européens? Inaptitude technique ou richesse inventive? Le propos, s’agissant d’un style qui fait largement appel aux arts appliqués, est de questionner la rencontre des traditions décoratives locales avec les poncifs internationaux.

Vassilis COLONAS, “Neoclassicism versus Eclecticism. Architectural styles in Modern Greek State and in Ottoman Empire and their attitude towards the local”
As the new nation states broke free of the great European empires (Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian) architects turned to the mediaeval traditions of their respective countries to assert a new identity in contrast to the public image of the previous regimes.
Within this general trend Greece pursued her own distinctive path. Greece had its own historical heritage, more glorious than the mediaeval past of Byzantium, from which architects could draw their main inspiration: classical antiquity and the artistic models of the golden century of Athenian democracy. The country’s reconnection with classical antiquity was achieved – before any conscious attempt to seek a national character in architecture – via the neoclassical models brought from Munich by king Othon and the Bavarian architects. Neoclassical architecture had returned to its birthplace. Greece identified with the neoclassical style and through the architecture of the Greek Communities still subject to the Ottoman Empire it spread the style to every corner of the Greek inhabited East.
This late neo-classicism emphasizes Communities’ shared ideological identity and distinguishes them quite markedly from eclecticism, the architectural style opted by the Ottoman Imperial administration. By adopting patterns and models from contemporary Greek architecture, these buildings offered the numerous Greek communities on the one hand a link with the national center, the cradle of neo-classicism, and on the other a form of self assertion and status in the multi-ethnic world of the major urban centers of the Ottoman Empire.
With the recovery of the New Territories in 1912-13, Greece came into contact with its own mediaeval past. The architectural continuity of the urban and rural space – so abruptly and arbitrarily interrupted by the imposition of neoclassicism in the newly-established Greek state – was restored. The contact with the post-Byzantine tradition, still very much alive in Macedonia and Epirus, and reinforced through the memories and folk culture of the refugees, provided new outlets for the architects in redefining the identity of Greek architecture and liberating it, once and for all, from the compulsion to revive historical styles.


Robert HOME, “British cantonment and township rules and the shaping of colonial urban landscapes”
British colonial urban landscapes in the tropics were shaped by rules drawn from two main sources: rules for military camps and cantonments,  and local government, public health and building regulations from Britain. A strong influence was sanitary measures to reduce the high death rates from tropical disease of white troops and officials, based upon the limited medical knowledge of the time, and these resulted in policies of residential segregation and attention to ventilation and quality of air. This paper examines the so-called ‘Cantonment Rules’ in India and the ‘Township Rules’ in East and West Africa for their effect upon urban and building forms in those colonies. The influence of Lugard’s ‘dual mandate’ ideology is explored, particularly upon movement control, land use zoning and exclusion of indigenous populations. The influence upon building forms is also examined of the various rules governing space standards and site coverage standards for buildings, especially worker housing and lodging¬houses.

Tania SENGUPTA, “The architecture of governance: office buildings in early¬nineteenth century provincial administrative towns of colonial India”
This paper looks at the development of governmental architecture during the early period of the English East India Company’s revenue administration in Bengal, British India. It traces how, as the different demands for revenue administration gradually emerged, the designs of provincial office architecture evolved in response to them. Spanning a transition from trade-based defensive ‘Factory’ architecture of the Company to governance based ‘cutcherry’ (office) buildings that were now meant to administer large tracts of revenue land, the paper analyses how the latter was in many ways rooted in the former, and yet grew to be fundamentally distinct in many ways. It also reveals the intricate relationship between residential and office typologies during this early phase of colonial governance in Bengal.

Iain JACKSON & Ola UDUKU, “British Architecture Overseas: revisiting pre and post WW2 influences in the Middle East and Africa via the corporate building type”
This paper compares two periods of British-school dominance in influencing the architectural style in former oversesas ‘colonies’. It compares the Liverpool Architecture school tradition and its spread and influence in Egypt and Persia in the pre WW2  era through former students trained in the Liverpool Style with that of the modern movement architectural style spread across British West Africa via former students of the AA school of Architecture in the post WW2 era. In addition it seeks to contrast the established and familiar agendas of ‘tropical architecture’ (namely its concern with low-cost housing, better planning, and social infrastructure for all), with the architecture of the business of Empire and beyond: namely that commissioned by oil companies in the Middle East, the establishment of banks and trading offices in West Africa, medical research laboratories in the West Indies and the development of international airport terminals.

Stuart KING, “Tropical Aspiration:  Queensland Colonial Architecture and the Networks of Place”
In 1859, the British Colony of Queensland was separated from New South Wales, constituted with the immediate provision for responsible government and hence thrust into a competitive international economic environment.  For Queensland, representative of a new territory in Australia’s tropical north, this necessarily entailed a strategic positioning of the colony as central to imperial networks of production, trade and communication, enabling it to assume a role of regional pre-eminence within the larger group of Australian colonies, at the time independent entities not federated until 1901. At the same time, the Queensland Colonial Government sought economic and political alliances within imperial networks operating in the Asia Pacific region and beyond.  Such considerations impacted major representative works in the colonial capital, Brisbane, such as the Queensland Houses of Parliament (1865-67) – crucial to representing the regional aspirations of the Queensland Colonial Government – through to the production of remote frontier buildings that provided the essential infrastructure for settlement, governance and economic development, all effected through the Office of the Queensland Colonial Architect.
Whilst a tropical geography was fundamental to Queensland’s economic identity in the 1860s, it also undergirded early local architectural discourses that were likewise formulated within inter-colonial networks crossing borders. Queensland architecture was therefore simultaneously situated in relation to the immediate exigencies of place and within a wider field of ‘tropical architecture’ that encompassed a questioning of typologies, planning, construction, ventilation and sanitation, as well as attendant debates on style and acclimatisation.
This paper argues that an understanding of the geographic, economic and cultural positioning of the Colony of Queensland within the networks of empire is crucial to interpreting the development of the region’s architecture and its wider impact through independent, inter-colonial networks. These relationships are often overlooked in anachronistic nationalist frames of reference used to discuss Queensland’s nineteenth century colonial architecture.