Building Material Migration: Imported Brick Imported and Localization in Taiwan in 17th Century.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In certain circumstances, the evolution of architecture is highly connected with construction technique development, which in turn may be generated by external cultures. This paper gives insight to such developments by discussing how brick was established as a new imported building material into Taiwan in the 17th century under Dutch influence.

Taiwan's architectural process started essentially by the Dutch from 1624, who built the first major permanent structures, three fortresses with associated burghs. Research into archives shows that the Dutch East India Company (VOC) brought for this purpose a new building material, brick, first by importing finished products from Southern China, then gradually moving to local production in Taiwan, which spread to several places within the island, even exporting to their strongholds in Japan. However, after the VOC left in 1662, the brick making industry supported by VOC seems to disappear in Taiwan as also the brick architecture.

Studies in this field have concentrated on the historic aspects of the presence of the VOC presence rather than their architecture. This study attempts for the first time a comprehensive dating of the key stages based on archive research. In addition, analysis of the masonry techniques of the scant remains frames the technology transfer process within the context of Dutch construction of the time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe First Construction History Society Conference, Queen’s College, Cambridge, 11-12 April 2014
Place of PublicationCambridge
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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