On Distant Shores: Colonial Houses Around the World

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Monacelli Press, 1999 - Architecture - 360 pages
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From the era of Christopher Columbus, and even earlier, colonists left their home countries to venture to far-away lands. As they settled permanently into outposts in the farthest reaches of the globe, the colonists built residences that combined the architecture of their countries of origin with the design characteristics of their new lands. Such a synthesis of tradition and regionalism created the unusual hybrid designs of many of the world's most elegant and beautiful houses and estates.

For this volume, author and photographer Ovidio Guaita has traveled to dozens of countries to trace the many paths of the colonists: from England to North America, the West Indies, the Far East, and Australia; from Portugal to Brazil, Madeira, and Malaysia; from Holland to South Africa and the East Indies; from Oman to Zanzibar; from China to Korea; and more. Each conjunction of local and foreign cultures formed unique and immediately recognizable styles: British neoclassical architecture in the colors of the tropics; functional European wood structures highlighted by geometric Arabian tracery.

Guaita's dazzling color photographs also show decorative elements derived from blending two different cultures. The Omani door, for instance, retains its importance in colonies on Zanzibar and along the coast of Kenya; the distinctive form and color of the Chinese roof, which represent social status, are also present in Korea and Taiwan. The author's fascinating study portrays the rich cultural and architectural legacy resulting from different cultures meeting and coming together.

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Contents

Houses and Colonies
11
British Colonial Style
20
North America
23
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Ovidio Guaita works in the Department of History and Restoration of the Faculty of Architecture of Florence and is a correspondent for the magazine Ville e Giardini. Among his previous books is Terrestrial Paradise.

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