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Architectural Comparison

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Architectural Comparison Paper

Jacob Willrich

11/20/13

General Humanities

Architectural Comparison

Throughout the centuries architecture has changed dramatically. Time is not the only factor of why buildings look so different; location/culture is also a reason for buildings shape and design. Technology available is one major aspect of how buildings are designed and built. Century after century humans have came up with new ways to design structures, in the beginning they were built with sticks and stones and now they are built with man made steel and other strong substances that allows us to build roughly 1,700 feet into the air. Roman Architecture is the second longest lasting structures, only behind the Greek’s structures, that are still standing. The Roman Era was from 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. The most significant architectural structure from the Roman Era would have to be the aqueducts they built throughout their cities. These aqueducts delivered over forty million gallons of water to each of their cities. The Roman’s used arches in almost everything they made. They improved the design of them and placed arches all next to each other to form tunnels for their aqueducts. Some other architectural structures of importance from the Roman Era are the Circus Maximus, Colosseum, and the Pantheon. The Pantheon inspired more works than any other Greco-Roman monument. The Early Renaissance from the years 1300 to 1600 was devoted to the ideas of Roman structures and as well as the engineer Vitruvius Pollio. [Fiero, 2013 p. 189] It followed the gothic era, which was the most influential in the designs of this era. The most famous architect from this time period is definitely Brunelleschi, who won an award for the dome of Florence Cathedral. The dome was the largest dome since the Pantheon. African Architecture flourished from 1400 to 1650 C.E. Many of the structures are not standing anymore because of the materials that they were built out of. They used impermanent materials such as sticks, mud, and stone, which obviously do not last long over the centuries. Along with the materials they used they also did not have a need for “monumental” type architecture. However they did have one are where large structures were present. In the trade center that is Zimbabwe there was a “House of Stone” which has huge stonewalls and towers that remain which indicates there used to be a royal presence. In other areas of Africa, the Muslim dominated areas, they had very large magnificent structures. The adobe mosque of Mali almost looks like sandcastles by how they were constructed of sticks and wooden beams with sand and mud covering them. Since these materials are very impermanent the structures have been rebuilt continually since the twelfth century. The Italian Baroque architecture era was one designed to reflect the ideals of Counter-Reformation. The churches of the time featured wide naves, huge domes, and magnificent altarpieces. The most magnificent of the time is the monumental basilica of Saint Peter’s in Rome. The entire Saint Peter’s cathedral is the most known structure from the Italian Baroque era. From the cathedral itself, to the dome designed by Michelangelo, or to the piazza out front designed by Bernini all show the wonderful design from this time period. The dome on top of Saint Peter’s Cathedral is one of the most known structures of human kind because of its sheer size. Outside the cathedral the piazza designed by Bernini is a sight to see as well, with its 284 columns and 96 sculptures makes it almost better than the cathedral itself. The contemporary/modern era is one of simplistic yet intriguing designs. The era spans from the mid 1900s to today. Some of the most impressive structures of the modern era are actually the museums that hold the magnificent art from the previous eras. The Guggenheim Museum designed by Frank Gehry is probably the most known museum of our time with its very odd shape and design that it stands out. Another architect from the modern era is Alden B Dow, whose designs throughout Midland stand out to all the people who pass bye. These designs stand out so much because of the geometrical shapes they use. The basic shapes are interpreted in the most intriguing ways. [Robinson & Associates Inc, 2003] The five eras that was described are all very different in different ways. The time span was over roughly 2000 years. The Roman architecture is very elegant and impressively done with the type of technology that they had back then. As time progressed the style of architecture slowly started to get less and less complex. Modern Architecture is the most basic and intriguing of all, the way the architects used basic geometric shapes like squares and circles in such amazing ways impresses people all around the world. There is not comparison to the Pantheon, which is one of the most recognizable structures in human history. If only some of these old structures could have made it longer then we would still have something to marvel over all these years.

Reference Page

Gloria K. Fiero, (2013). Landmarks in Humanities. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Robinson & Associates Inc (2003). Growth, Efficiency, and Modernism. [ONLINE] Available at: e.g. http://www.microsoft.com. [Last Accessed November, 10 2013].

Sir Banister Fletcher; Cruickshank, Dan, Sir Banister Fletcher's a History of Architecture, Architectural Press, 20th edition, 1996 (first published 1896). ISBN 0-7506-2267-9.…...

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