Explore European colonial architecture after circa 1850

Welcome to this website dedicated to buildings and sites designed and created between circa 1850 and 1970 in countries outside of Europe that at the time were ruled by Europeans. For those interested in this topic for personal, scholarly, political, historical or cultural reasons, this repository to which this website allows access, offers a wealth of text documents, photographs, films, maps and related information such as architects, commissioners and contractors. We hope that this digital tool helps you to browse and link data about European colonial architecture.

The driving force behind the creation of this website and repository is the lack of general knowledge about the facts, images, history and influences behind the creation of buildings and sites built under European influence in countries outside of Europe. To counter this situation and to promote, understand and appreciate European late-colonial architecture and town planning, digital, worldwide and open access to relevant but often dispersed and rare data is the key. By providing a single access point to sources on European colonial architecture and town planning of the late-colonial period, this repository hopes to simplify, inspire and augment the current renaissance and appreciation of this particular built heritage for scholars, designers, politicians and a wider audience with an interest in culture.

The repository contains a variety of sources: text documents, photographs, moving images, maps and archives. In addition to the text documents being fully searchable, links between the various sources will also give references to architects, commissioners, contractors, etc., enabling the repository’s user to discover and understand hitherto often invisible relations between projects (buildings, town plans), persons (designers, commissioners, contractors), organisations (school, professional associations) and sources.

By bringing together sources that are often geographically dispersed and not always easily accessible, the repository offers a single, open-access digital platform that enables its user to explore and acquire information, while simultaneously allowing the questioning of existing knowledge, the discovery of new territory and the emergence of new findings and insights.

The development of the repository was funded by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). The graphic design of the website is partially funded by DutchCulture, centre for international cooperation.