Press "Enter" to skip to content

U3/4-architecture through history

Architecture is a tangible manifestation of the civilization in which it is created. It is crucial to study it, not only to know that it was the first to be built, but also to grasp the customs, religion, ideology, and everything else that distinguishes the culture under study. But that’s not all: architecture allows us to understand Man’s evolution across time and thus learn about humanity’s past.

The first humans, known as Australopitecus (Austral means “south”), were nomads who didn’t need shelter and didn’t know how to use fire. They moved from Central Africa, which was an ecautorial hotspot, to the north, where they evolved into Homo Habilis (1.9-1.6 m.y.a).Homo Erectus appeared around 1,9 million years ago, and was the first human to manage fire. They were also the first to use ‘homes’ (huts around the fireplace).

ROMANS (1,100 BCE – 475 CE)

-The Roman civilization began on the Italian peninsula and swiftly extended throughout the Mediterranean.With the invention of concrete, the Romans were able to construct more complicated public constructions such as arches and domes.They placed a high value on religious structures such as temples since they were so essential to their culture. They drew inspiration from Greek temples and copied their architecture and details. The pillars and columns were the most prevalent structures seen in temples.Civil works (such as bridges, aqueducts, and sewage networks), public buildings  (thermal baths, circus. amphitheaters, and naumachia), cities (with two main orthogonal streets: CARDO and DECUMANUS), religious buildings and domes, and the Domus and the Insulae were the most characteristic buildings of the Romans age.

Saxons(9-10th Century)

After the post-Carolingian feudal anarchy, the Otonians collected Carolingian artistic and cultural reminiscences to establish the existence of a relationship with the Christian rulers. They focused on the construction of ecclesiastical structures such as abbeys and cathedrals, drawing inspiration from Roman basilicas and employing the westwerk and twin apses. The use of galleries or tribunes, as well as the alternation of supports, are examples of this architecture’s innovations (pillars and columns). They are looking for Romanesque solutions.

Islamic (Al Andalus) 8-13 century

Between the eighth and fifteenth centuries, Islamic culture and architecture flourished over the Iberian Peninsula. Many strongholds, as well as the urban structure of cities and villages, may still be seen. The use of towers and water is a common aspect of Islamic architecture. Towers serve as both defensive and observational structures. They create water courses in the gardens and introduce various scented plants. Mosques (places of prayer and gathering) and baths (Hamam) for hygienic and religious purposes are examples of new architectural types created by Islamic architecture. Through the use of light and color, the ornamentation helps to create an environment. The ornamental designs are based on geometric motifs that are repeated. Ceramics and plaster (Muqarnas) are examples of these techniques.

Romanesque  (10th – 12th Century)

It was started by the Normans.
Because of the resemblance to Roman architecture, the name “romanesque” was used in the nineteenth century.
This style expanded throughout Europe as a result of evangelizing, crusades, and pilgrimages. After the Roman Empire, it was the first European worldwide style, albeit there were many variations.

Gothic(12-15th century A.C)

Their art was also considered as the art of the barbarians. The cathedrals and the civil buildings are the most characteristic constructions of the Gothics.The effectiveness of a unique approach for strengthening the Roman vault with diagonal ribs was being investigated. The walls were able to be opened, and the temples were filled with light.They used cathedrals for testing new architectural elements like pointed arches and ribbed vaults. They realized that vertical forces are simpler to absorb than lateral forces during this time.Two types of structures could be qualified as recurrent:cathedrals and civil buildings.

Renaissance

The Church faces a major crisis, which leads to the Western Schism (the papacy leaves Rome and moves to Avignon). Merchants and bankers became protectors of art (patronage) and ordered buildings for themselves (palaces) or for the city (gates, walls, squares, ideal cities…) in the 15th century in Italy, particularly in Florence. They will be pursued by religious authorities. Optimism and faith in human capability emerge. The Renaissance man believes in his own intellectual abilities, believes that history is no longer a whole ordered by God’s hand, and exalts man and his ability to govern nature.The Renaissance man believes in his intellectual abilities, believes that history is no longer a whole ordered by God’s hand, and exalts the human being and his power over nature. As a result, symmetry and proportion were essential to the endeavor, and the human body contains a system of ideal proportions.

Leon Battista Alberti: Among other cities, he built works in Florence, Rimini, and Mantua. Its structures are full of clear goals and delicate formal resources dedicated on proportion, which is the essence of architecture.

Filippo Brunelleschi:Architect, mathematician, sculptor, and humanist, to name a few. His purpose was to construct architecture in a logical manner. He was always looking for lighter buildings. On top of that, he was responsible for the design of Florence Cathedral’s dome.

Mannerism

The drive for greater formal expressiveness began with the introduction of a new sensualism, introducing subtle tensions to the conventional rational formal rigidity.Preserving classical architectural rules and elements, as well as changes and deviations.It was invented in the sixteenth century.i

Michelangelo Buonarroti:Sculptor, painter, and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti He is a symbol of the transition from Renaissance to Mannerism, a movement that incorporates classical components but modifies them. For example, it replaced the circle with an oval.

Baroque (17th-18th Century)

The name barrueco (imperfect pearl) was coined by French reviewers in the 18th century as a disparaging phrase. It arose as propaganda and celebration of power, in the development of national states, and in the reaffirmation of the counter-reform church, and it was linked to the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the Church. It also demonstrated an interest in the natural world.It was the result of the reaffirmation of the power of religion after the Catholic Counter-Reformation, which supposed a step back after Humanism.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini:Italian architect, sculptor, and painter Gian Lorenzo Bernini.He is the sculptural heir to Michelangelo and the fundamental model of architectural Baroque in Europe. He had the patronage and protection of seven popes, for whom he created various works that were well-received.

Francesco Borromini: All his work was based really simple geometric figures like circles, triangles… 

church of saint ignatius of loyola

Rococo

This is more of an artistic fashion trend than a current one. The superficiality, ostentation, and ornamentation characterize works from this period are all present.This design detaches from the structure and focuses on adornment and decortions, creating a contrast between romantic interiors and unclean exteriors.

Neoclassicism 18th Century – (19th)

Following the excesses of the baroque and Rococo periods, a major shift toward rational architecture occurred. It was one of the first styles to be widely adopted over the world. This time is marked by a variety of aesthetic approaches. A movement toward objective knowledge of history as a scientific subject emerged with the Enlightenment and the growth of human inquiry. Beginning of excavations at Pompeii, Ercolano, and other sites, as well as the printing of treatises on ancient art. There was a significant shift toward a more rational architecture.The most representative architects of this period were Etienne-Louis Boullée and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux

19th century:

The western world’s industrialisation resulted in an increase in population and a migratory tendency towards cities, which had become insufficient. Industrialisation architecture is linked to new construction typologies.Also as a response to Romanticism, realism was born, representing reality as it was, followed by impressionism and post-imressionism.

20th century:

It is characterized by clean lines, curves, and undulations inspired by nature and oriental art, with geometric formal simplification towards two-dimensionally.

Modernisme :arose in Catalonia around the close of the nineteenth century and the start of the twentieth.

Casa Milà

Expressionism : Expressionist architecture is designed with the intention of expressing the spirit by altering the rational form.

Cubism: Break down the barriers between the inside and outside worlds.
Machine technology, as well as horizontal and oblique lines that represent speed and movement, play an important role in futurism.

Constructivism: The outcome was architecture centered on simplicity, with pure lines and geometric forms, diaphanous, shared spaces, and equal use of light and poor materials, all of which reflected communist philosophy.

Neoplasticism: Translates into an infinitely extending orthogonal composition using planes, straight lines, and pure colors in quest of a balance between essence and matter, as well as purity.

Modernism: In Germany, abstract aesthetics were translated into rationalism, which sought to achieve functionality, industrialization, seriality, and economy through simple volumes, plain planes without decorations, straight lines, pure colors ), The MODERN MOVEMENT came into being.

Architecture in the Present Day: The necessity to measure oneself against the change brought about by the masters of the Modern Movement was one of the most prevalent elements of the 1950s and 1960s: faced with their significant contribution, the duality is either continuity or revision.