Construction and destruction
in The British Empire through buildings
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Buildings are shown to lie at a complex intersection of ideas and economic imperatives, technical innovations and cultural and religious yearnings, all reflecting patterns of class and racial inclusion and exclusion. The objectives and methods of construction are surveyed, together with the development of engineering and architectural professions, both in Britain and throughout the empire. There is also an examination of the emergence of Public Works Departments and their influence, together with the nature of the workforce and its racial dimensions. Destruction is examined from the point of view of the destruction of many indigenous settlements and structures, as well as the various forms of damage inflicted through warfare and appropriation, as well as natural causes such as eruptions and earthquakes.

The British Empire through buildings

Structure, function and meaning

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