Sofaer Building

In Japanese, Gekkõ translates literally as “moon-shine”.

Gekko is located on the ground floor of the beautiful Sofaer & Co. building in downtown Rangoon. It was completed by Isaac and Meyer Sofaer in 1906. Both brothers were Baghdad-born, Rangoon-educated Jews. As well as owning many commercial properties in Rangoon, Isaac and Meyer were successful traders in their own right with interests in wines & spirits amongst others. Isaac was the architectural designer and Meyer made a success of the trading business by getting exclusives for luxury goods and supplying expats with imported groceries and spirits.

The Sofaer & Co. building was at the epicenter of the city in the early 1900s. It once housed a Reuters telegram office and shops selling a wide variety of international provender – German beer, Scotch, Egyptian cigars, a Filipino hairdresser and English sweets.

The ceramic encaustic floor tiles, a mosaic pattern of green, gold, burnt sienna and lapis lazuli, were shipped from Manchester, England and the steel beams that support the ceiling are from the Lanarkshire Steel Company in Scotland.