Queen Victoria Was For Unity: The Union of Tradition and Modernity in the Queen Victoria Building

Jasmina Dugalic


This article examines the Queen Victoria Building through the union of tradition and modernity, in order to develop a better understanding of the site’s contradictory nature and the ideologies that inform it and social structures more generally. By comprehensively analysing the site’s architectural components and its contemporary functioning against theories of cultural identity, enlightenment, and capitalism, the Queen Victoria Building is discussed as a union of tradition and modernity exemplified. The article thus argues that rather than being two opposing concepts, tradition and modernity are inextricably linked. Tradition indeed exists in the present moment, evident in the architecture of the Queen Victoria Building and the economic operations of our societal structures, but it is through modern ideals that this perseverance occurs, with traditions constantly evolving in order to remain relevant in the present.  It is within the union of tradition and modernity that the Queen Victoria Building and contemporary society are situated, and their paradoxical natures informed.

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