History of Architecture Not Only Provides Human Term Paper

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History Of Architecture

Architecture not only provides human beings a place of shelter but also create an aesthetic aura. History of architecture tells us about its evolution in terms of utilizing spaces, volumes, planes, masses, and voids, the use of light and shadow, as well as surface decoration. Different eras starting from Neolithic period to Renaissance have provided us important and key influences. Structural iron and steel for instance was first used in the mid-19th century while later other inventions the post-and-lintel, or trabeated, system; the arch system and finally the steel-skeleton system were used.

Neolithic Architecture

Neolithic period started when people started settling in specific places instead leading a nomadic life. Soon after, a pattern of architecture developed. Initially people used stones to build structures both public and private, that is probably the reason why the era is also called Stone Age. Large stones such as large stones called Megaliths which weighed up to 4 tons and the amazing Trilithons which weighed about 45 tons. Since wheel had not been invented, man was used to pull or haul the huge building stones. However, grinding and polishing was done using tools. The most basic structure of walls and an opening for entrance as well as for the use as chimney has survived till today though in much refined, improved and advanced form.

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The history of British Castles can also be traced to the same era. Europeans made use of wattle and daub for buliding their structures. Building of tombs was also a promininent feature of that era. People in certain other regions like Anatolia, Syria, northern Mesopotamia also used mud-brick to construct houses and villages. For decorative purposes people used to paint scenes of animals and plants on their walls.

Egyptian Architecture

Term Paper on History of Architecture Not Only Provides Human Assignment

Egyptian architecture is recognized for its pyramid tombs but before building this tomb like structures they had built mainly mastabas, a kind of tomb with a flat roof like a house. Other than these temples for the gods and palaces for the Pharaohs also became hallmark of Egyptian architecture. In Egyptian architecture, to which belong some of the earliest extant structures to be called architecture (erected by the Egyptians before 3000 BC), the post-and-lintel system was employed exclusively and produced the earliest stone columnar buildings in history.

Greek Architecture

Initially small houses or huts were built with wooden walls which later changed into stone walls and bigger houses. Palaces, big stone tombs, paved roads, bridges, and dams were built in the Bronze Age in Greece. However, this progress in architecture got a set back in Dark Ages when all such structure fell apart and got destroyed. Later, the architecture surfaced again and temples became the center of attraction in the field of architecture. The Doric style temples were built in the Iron Age and the archaic period. Ionic style also developed in different areas and these two Doric & Ionic styles, the former being formal and simple while the latter being more decorative became the hallmark styles of early Greek architecture. Limestone was the main material used and the structure of those temples was rectangular surrounded by columns on all four sides and even in front and at the rear. After generations of experimentation with buildings of limited variety the Greeks gave to the simple post-and-lintel system the purest, most perfect expression. Parthenon at Athens became the well-known style of temples of Greeks temple. They used marble and other decorations on their temples and their building but use of dome or building large palaces was something that Greeks did not favor.

Public places like gymnasia and stoas though were built by them so that men can gather there. These public places were mostly spaces open to the sky and the use of arches and domes was not observed to create large interior spaces. Court houses were also built as major public architecture. The most notable of all architecture of Greeks can be considered their theaters used for public gatherings as well as performances. These open air theaters with circular seating arrangements with a center stage along with a backdrop and store room or changing room influenced the world history the most. Alexander also used architecture to leave the influence of Greeks in his conquests. Even today architects draw inspirations from early Greek theaters to build the most modern pieces architecture.

Roman Architecture

Greece was conquered by Romans around 200 -100 BC and Romans tried to prove their influence with the help of architecture. The Romanesque architecture of the early Middle Ages was notable for strong, simple, massive forms and vaults executed in cut stone. Unique Roman styled buildings were built and Corinthian architecture became more popular. Roman expanded on Greek Architecture and both have their distinct styles yet both till date are considered classics when it comes to influences in architecture. However, the elements that were missing in Greek architecture were enriched by the Romans. They built more public buildings and made use of vaults and arches. The materials used also improved considerably which helped Roman in building imposing structures. Aqueducts, the Pantheon, the basilicas and the Colosseum became the well-known architectural structures of the Romans. Elements like piped water, & under-floor heating gave public and private baths and latrines a new meaning in the empire.

The discovery of concrete helped replace stones in building walls and other supporting architecture for Romans. They built broad arches and domes and heavy structures with the support of concrete. Apart from concrete the architectural innovation that left it influence in the times to come was Mosaic. Romans used colorful chips of stone inset into cement to make special tiles which were used for decorating floors, walls, and grottoes in geometric and pictorial designs. When Roman converted to Christianity, they also started building churches and monasteries. Arches were used in building impressive churches. Well-known churches such as Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome represent the taste of Romans in architecture. The use of arches in designing the altar in churches also became well-known apart from Christian basilicas. The influence of Roman architecture became so strong that Romanesque churches sprang up all across Europe.

Byzantine Architecture

When the capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Byzantium, which was later renamed Constantinople (currently known as Istanbul), the Byzantine Empire emerged. Byzantine architecture can be considered an extension and improvisation of the Roman architecture. The major change in Byzantine architecture can be considered in the complex domes built in the era. Circular domes by means of squinches or pendentives were used in building churches in particular. Longitudinal, octagonal & centralized structures of churches evolved. Domed churches of Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene became well-known structures of Byzantine era. Hagia Sophia in particular is considered the best example in which a central space was increased covered by a system of domical surfaces and supported by vaulted aisles in two storeys. This complex structure was achieved with great architectural planning.

Another difference made by the architects of Byzantine Empire was in the form of carvings and decorations of outside walls instead mosaic as used in the Roman architecture. Varieties of patterns were used to create ornamentation of walls of churches as well as other buildings. Mosaic though was used for decorating interior surfaces while marble was used for windows and doors frames.

Byzantine era left its influences in building grand structures with the help of domes on later Islamic structures and buildings. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is considered to be the greatest influence of Byzantine architecture. Gothic architecture also found its inspiration from the same Byzantine architecture. When the Byzantine Empire was taken over by the Turks, the Islamic mosques began to appear prominently in the architectural world. The Umayyad Great Mosque of Damascus is the case in point.

Renaissance Architecture

The birth of Renaissance architecture starting in the 15th century inaugurated a period of several hundred years in Western architecture during which the multiple and complex buildings of the modern world began to emerge. Renaissance was the conscious decision of revival of certain elements of Classical Greek and Roman culture as well as architecture. The use of symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts appeared more emphatically in Renaissance architecture. Renaissance style first appeared in Florence and later expanded to Italy, France rest of the Europe. Renaissance started early with other cultural and artistic revival and activities. Architecture played its due role in Renaissance later in the period 1400 to ca. 1525 in Italy.

Renaissance architecture differentiated itself from the buildings of Middle Ages in utilizing the space in a more logical manner as compared to intuition. Circular Roman temples also became inspiration for many architects but they eventually developed their own style. Later Mannerist style was developed by Michelangelo whose giant order became well-known style in architectural style. Names like Giulio Romano and Andrea Palladio also helped in the evolution of Renaissance architecture further ahead.

Renaissance buildings were on a square plan. Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite styled columns… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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