January 2019: Twenty buildings that tell the story of the British Empire and its architects

Commonwealth Institute building, London, 2011, before it was renovated and became the Design Museum. Photograph by Wilson Yau

After some research, I’ve drawn up a list of 20 buildings or groups of structures that together tell the story of how the empire grew and declined and the part played by its architects and architecture. I need to do much more reading and begin planning my travel, but it is clear architecture is not neutral and the buildings created across the empire were the tools and expression of Britain’s influence overseas, for good and bad, and showed the impact links to the colonies had on the very heart of the mother country, London.

Currently this is my list, but I suspect it’ll change:

  1. Imperial Institute and Commonwealth Institute, London, England
  2. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  3. New Delhi, India
  4. Government House, Calcutta, India
  5. King’s House, Spanish Town, Jamaica
  6. Colonial Building, Newfoundland, Canada
  7. St Martins in the Field, London, England, and imitations in India (St Andrew’s Church, Calcutta)
  8. St. John the Baptist Anglican Cathedral, Newfoundland, Canada
  9. Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking, England
  10. Royal Arcade, Melbourne, Australia
  11. East India House, London, England
  12. Old Supreme Council and Statue Square, Hong Kong
  13. Pier Head, Liverpool, England
  14. Bund, Shanghai, China
  15. Kingsway, London, England
  16. Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall, Singapore
  17. VT station, Bombay, India
  18. Victoria Falls Bridge, Zambezi River, Zimbabwe/Zambia
  19. Faneuil Hall, Boston, USA
  20. Independence Hall, Philadelphia, USA

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