Italians only began to express concern about the politics of their colonial architecture – how colonial buildings represented Italy – in the late 1920s, when a few architects began to decry it as a problem of national relevance. Before then, administrators bought existing buildings or built new ones in Eritrea and Somalia according to their most pressing needs; allowed the areas outside Tripoli’s walls to be built up very quickly; and focused on archaeology and touristic potential in their Mediterranean territories. In none of these settings did they initially attribute meaning to their buildings’ designs or discuss how to depict Italy through architecture; what they built, meanwhile, resembled what was already standing, either in the colonial setting in question, or back in Italy. Typically – to the chagrin of colonial architects later on – this resulted in non-specifically “Oriental” or “neo-Moorish” designs, or unimaginative transplants of the European building types of the day, ranging from the neoclassical to the Art Nouveau. In a similar vein, architects and administrators did not yet turn their attention to whether they should impose rules separating Europeans’ residential areas from those of natives.