Episode 10: Is This Building European? Architecture, Europe and Empire

What can architecture teach us about contemporary debates about national identity, Europe, and empire? Is early Roman architecture part of the legacy of Europe’s ‘common heritage’ as much as Roman law and politics? What makes a building look ‘Roman’, ‘German’, ‘Finnish’ or ‘European’? Juhana Heikonen will help us understand all these questions and more, drawing on his expertise as an architect and collaborator with the Law, Governance and Space project hosted at the University of Helsinki.

You can listen to the episode on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Pocket Casts, and Radio Public.

References in the episode

Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose, 1980), Penguin Books.

Ildefonso Falcones. La Cathedral del Mar, 2006, Random House.

Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth, 1989, Macmillan.

Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, 1895, Penguin Books.

Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art, 1972, Routledge.

Jane Ridley, Edwin Lutyens: his life, his wife, his work, 2003, Chatto and Windus.

Shashi Tharoor, Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, 2017, Hurst Publishers.

Mika Waltari, Sinuhe the Egyptian, 1945, Bonnier AB.


Juhana Heikonen

Architect (MSc. (Arch.), Aalto), MA (Art history, Helsinki), D.Sc. (Arch., Aalto)

Dr Juhana Heikonen is a post-doctoral researcher in Law, Governance and Space: Questioning the Foundations of the Republican Tradition. He has a background in architectural and urban history and their relating CAD/GIS methodology, with a special emphasis on the Roman late antique architecture, especially the role of the domus as an early model of early Christian architecture. In the SpaceLaw project, he collaborates with the topographical analyses in Rome.

Emilia Mataix-Ferrándiz

Dr Emilia Mataix-Ferrándiz is the host of the EuroStorie Podcast. She is a postdoctoral researcher in subproject 1, Law and the Uses of the Past. She is a legal historian and classical archaeologist whose research focuses on management of cultural heritage and its political and social impact, maritime archaeology, ancient law and legal anthropology.

Zoë Jay

Dr Zoë Jay is the host of the EuroStorie Podcast. She is a post-doctoral researcher at EuroStorie in subproject 1, Law and the Uses of the Past. She has a background in international relations and political science, and her research focuses on European politics and culture, human rights, and the politics of international law and institutions.


Episode no: 10
Date recorded: 18 March 2021
Release date: 8 June 2021
Episode production, recording and editing: Zoë Jay and Emilia Mataix-Ferrándiz
Music: Antonio Lopez Garcia
Transcript: Karla Schröter
Web content: Maria Erma
Banner image: Tuomas Heikkilä
Banner photo: Unsplash/Jakob Braun