We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Harbin to Hanoi

Colonial Built Environment in Asia, 1840 to 1940


Publication Year: 2013

Colonial built environments were an expres­sion of imperial aspirations, a manifestation of power, a tool in the civilization of indig­enous cultures, a re-creation of a home away from home, and a place to live and work for both colonizers and colonized. Experts on city planning, architecture, and Asian and imperial history detail colonization’s influence at both the top and bottom levels of society and its representation in stone, iron, and concrete. Creating the colonial built environment was a multilayered, unpredictable process. This study emphasizes the diversity of the colonial built form from Harbin to Hanoi and differing experiences of foreign rule, as well as the flexible interac­tions between colonizers and colonized and the many risks of building and living in such colonies and treaty ports.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

series page, title page, copyright, dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF (256.2 KB)


pdf iconDownload PDF (206.0 KB)
pp. vii-viii


pdf iconDownload PDF (96.8 KB)
pp. ix-x


pdf iconDownload PDF (211.0 KB)
pp. xi-xiv

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (163.3 KB)
pp. xv-xvi

The efforts behind this book were generously funded by the University of Hong Kong’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures, with support from the History Department. We thank them both for intellectual, financial, and logistical support. ...

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF (293.0 KB)
pp. 1-16

This volume is the result of a discussion between its editors, both historians of empires, about the possibility of comparing the experiences of imperial European powers and Japan in the Pacific region during the period of time between the First Opium War (1839–42) and the Second World War (1939–45). ...

read more

2. Russia, Railways, and Urban Development in Manchuria, 1896–1930

pdf iconDownload PDF (262.8 KB)
pp. 17-36

When prominent Japanese poet Yosano Akiko traveled to Harbin in spring of 1928, she had mixed feelings about the city. She was impressed by its orderly layout, by its Russian-European style architecture, broad paved streets, shops, parks, and cafes. Grand Russian mansions and beautiful churches exemplified Imperial Russia’s former presence in this part of the world. ...

read more

3. Beans to Banners: The Evolving Architecture of Prewar Changchun

pdf iconDownload PDF (320.4 KB)
pp. 37-58

Spring 1937 likely represented the high point in the short history of the puppet state of Manchukuo (1932–45) and its new capital.1 The hostilities following that summer’s Marco Polo Bridge Incident inevitably required a reallocation of resources for the prosecution of war in China. ...

read more

4. France, Brossard Mopin, and Manchukuo

pdf iconDownload PDF (357.1 KB)
pp. 59-82

In September 1931, the Japanese colonial army in Manchuria, the Kwantung Army, began operations to take over Manchuria, the northeastern provinces of China. The Kwantung Army long had exercised strong influence over Zhang Zuolin, a regional military authority based in Shenyang, ...

read more

5. International Concessions and the Modernization of Tianjin

pdf iconDownload PDF (370.6 KB)
pp. 83-102

Within Chinese scholarship on urban development, two major schools of thought stand out.1 The first focuses on the humanities and uses historical, sociological, and anthropological approaches to understand city growth. Another school of thought mainly utilizes architectural and urban planning methodology. ...

read more

6. Mapping Colonial Space: The Planning and Building of Qingdao by German Colonial Authorities, 1897–1914

pdf iconDownload PDF (326.5 KB)
pp. 103-128

Mathias Erzberger (1875–1921), a member of the German Reichstag representing the Catholic Centre Party, delivered a speech in the budget talks in the German Reichstag in 1908, in which he sharply criticized the expenditure of a total of 110 million Reichsmark for the German leasehold in Kiaochow China in 1897.1 ...

read more

7. The Architecture of Risk: Urban Space and Uncertainty in Shanghai, 1843–74

pdf iconDownload PDF (323.7 KB)
pp. 129-150

In 1842, Great Britain and China signed the Treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War, redefining five cities along the Chinese coast as treaty ports, and creating urban spaces of indeterminate cultural and political identity within which international trade could legally proceed within and adjacent to Qing imperial boundaries.1 ...

read more

8. Fabricating Justice: Conflict and Contradiction in the Making of the Hong Kong Supreme Court, 1898–1912

pdf iconDownload PDF (567.8 KB)
pp. 151-180

Erected nearly a century ago, the old Hong Kong Supreme Court (1898– 1912) still stands proud on the eastern perimeter of Statue Square, Central. Dwarfed by commercial skyscrapers which have since risen all around, including the HSBC headquarters by Sir Norman Foster, it is one of very few historic buildings left on Hong Kong Island ...

read more

9. Making Space for Higher Education in Colonial Hong Kong, 1887–1913

pdf iconDownload PDF (394.4 KB)
pp. 181-206

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, people still like to imagine the British Empire as a monolithic structure, which exerted from its center in London a high level of control over the scattered colonial possessions and other spheres of influence in which the British nation had interests. This is, of course, anything but an accurate depiction of how the empire really functioned. ...

read more

10. Colonial Hanoi: Urban Space in Public Discourse

pdf iconDownload PDF (333.0 KB)
pp. 207-230

A few short years after the conclusive French conquest and occupation of the imperial citadel in Hanoi, the urban development of this new, soon-to-be capital became a priority for the colonial administration and a key concern of the civil population. The self-designated spokesperson for that small but fast-expanding European community, ...

read more

11. Hygienic Colonial Residences in Hanoi

pdf iconDownload PDF (303.8 KB)
pp. 231-250

Major shifts in the paradigm of Western medical thought and practice occurred in the late nineteenth century, during the high age of imperialism. The discoveries made by Louis Pasteur, Robert Koch, and a host of other bacteriologists from the 1860s onward had profound effects on medicine and empirical science. ...

read more

12. Domesticating the Suburbs: Architectural Production and Exchanges in Hanoi during the Late French Colonial Era

pdf iconDownload PDF (447.7 KB)
pp. 251-272

The urban built environment of Hanoi, Vietnam, has been the object of much writing in recent years. This scholarship focuses on the colonizers’ attempts to assert their domination over the territory and people of Indochina through the transformation and expansion of Hanoi’s urban space.1 ...

read more

13. Afterword

pdf iconDownload PDF (211.3 KB)
pp. 273-276

The European built form in Asia was a colonial enterprise from the very beginning—an expression of imperial aspirations in challenging environments. Once the gun smoke cleared, the diplomats, traders, and sovereign agents used the built form to send a clear message of new order: a court representing European justice, ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (262.7 KB)
pp. 277-282

E-ISBN-13: 9789882203891
Print-ISBN-13: 9789888139415

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 23 color and 27 b&w
Publication Year: 2013

Edition: 1