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HistoryofArchitecture(3,000BCEpresent)

EvolutionofBuildingDesign
Contents
ArchitectureandArt
Egyptian
Sumerian
EarlyIrish
Minoan
Greek
Roman
Byzantine
Romanesque
Gothic
Renaissance
Baroque
Rococo
Neoclassical
19thCenturyArchitecture
FrankLloydWright
AmericanSkyscrapers
20thCenturyArchitecture
RelationshipBetweenArchitectureandArt

StPeter'sBasilica,Rome,showing
Maderno'sfacadeandtheadapted
Dome,originallydesignedby
Michelangelo.Renaissancestyle.

EversinceAntiquity,architecturetheartofdesigningandconstructing
buildingshasalwaysbeencloselyintertwinedwiththehistoryofart,forat
leastthreereasons.First,manypublicworks(especiallyreligiousbuildings)
weredesignedwithaestheticsinmind,aswellasfunctionality.Theywere
builttoinspireaswellasserveapublicfunction.Asaresult,theyinvolved
theservicesofawiderangeof'artists'anddecorativecraftsmenaswellas
labourers.Second,inmanyofthesebuildings,theexteriorsandinteriors
actedasshowcasesforfineartpainting(eg.SistineChapel),friezeand
reliefsculpture(eg.TheParthenon,EuropeanGothiccathedrals),stained
glassart(eg.ChartresCathedral),andotherartworkslikemosaicsand
metalwork.Thirdly,publicbuildingprogramstypicallywenthandinhandwith
thedevelopmentofvisualart,andmostmajor'arts'movements
(eg.Renaissance,Baroque,Rococo,Neoclassical)influencedbotharchitecture
andthefinearts.
AncientArchitecture
Earlyarchitecturehadtwomainfunctions:(1)toconsolidatesecurityand
power(2)topleasetheGods.Thericherthesociety,themoreimportant
thesefunctionsbecame.Seealso:HistoryofArt:Timeline.

TajMahal,India(163254)
AsuperbexampleofMughal
(Mogul)architecture.
RESOURCES
Forarchitecturalterms,see:
ArchitectureGlossary.
Toseehowarchitecturefits
intotheevolutionoffinearts,
see::HistoryofArt.

EgyptianArchitecture
ThefirstgreatcivilizationtoemergearoundtheMediterraneanbasinwas
thatofEgypt(c.31002040BCE).Inadditiontoitsownwrittenlanguage,
religionanddynasticrulingclass,itdevelopedauniquestyleofEgyptian
architecture,largelyconsistingofmassiveburialchambersintheformof
Pyramids(atGiza)andundergroundtombs(inthedesolateValleyofthe
Kings,Luxor).Designwasmonumentalbutnotarchitecturallycomplexand
employedpostsandlintels,ratherthanarches,althoughEgyptianexpertise
instonehadastronginfluenceonlaterGreekarchitecture.Famousexamples
ofEgyptianpyramidarchitectureinclude:TheStepPyramidofDjoser(c.2630
BCE)designedbyImhoteponeofthegreatestarchitectsoftheancient
worldandTheGreatPyramidatGiza(c.2550BCE),alsocalledthePyramid
ofKhufuor'PyramidofCheops'theoldestoftheSevenWondersofthe
World,ascompiledbyAntipaterofSidon(170120BCE).Later,duringthe
MiddleandLateKingdoms(c.2040300CE),theEgyptiansconstructeda
seriesofpalacesatKarnak(eg.TempleofAmon,1530BCEonwards).These
structureswereadornedwithadiverserangeofartworksfewofwhich
surviveincludingmurals,panelpaintings,sculptures,andmetalwork,
depictingvariousGods,deities,rulersandsymbolicanimalsintheunique
Egyptianhieraticstyleofart,togetherwithhieroglyphicinscriptions.For
morespecificdetails,see:EarlyEgyptianArchitecture(31002181)Egyptian
MiddleKingdomArchitecture(20551650)EgyptianNewKingdom
Architecture(15501069)LateEgyptianArchitecture(1069BCE200CE).
Foracomparisonwiththepyramidarchitectureoftheearly
Americas,see:PreColumbianArt(c.1200BCE1535CE).

SumerianArchitecture
Meanwhile,inMesopotamiaandPersia(c.3200323BCE),theSumerian
civilizationwasdevelopingitsownuniquebuildingatypeofstepped
pyramidcalledaziggurat.ButincontrasttothepyramidsoftheEgyptian
Pharaohs,zigguratswerenotbuiltastombsbutasmanmademountainsto
bringtheSumerianrulersandpeopleclosertotheirGodswhosupposedly
dwelthighupinmountainstotheeast.Zigguratswereconstructedfrom
clayfiredbricks,oftenfinishedwithcolouredglazes.Formoredetails,
see:SumerianArt(c.45002270BCE).ForotherculturesofancientIraq,
see:Assyrianart(c.1500612BCE)andHittiteart(c.16001180BCE).Foran
overallview,see:Mesopotamianart(c.4500539).Seealso:PrehistoricArt
Timeline.

EarlyIrishArchitecture
TowardstheendoftheStoneAge,ceremonialmegaliths(structuresbuilt
fromlargestones)liketheKnowthmegalithictomb(c.3300BCE)
andNewgrangepassagetomb,begantoappearinNorthernEurope(Thisform
ofMegalithicartisexemplifiedbytheStonehengestonecircle.)Either
arrangeduprightintheopen,orburiedandroofedovertoforma'dolmen',
theseheavystonestructuresarebelievedbymostarcheologiststohavehad
areligiousorritualisticfunction,andinsomecasesthealignmentoftheir
stonesrevealsasophisticatedknowledgeofastronomy.Thecomplex
engravingsunearthedatNewgrangemarkthebeginningofvisualartsin
Ireland.Formoreaboutancientandmedievalbuildings,please
seeArchitecturalMonumentsofIreland.Foroldertypesofhistoricalsite,
seeArcheologicalMonumentsofIreland.

MinoanArchitecture
ThefirstEuropeanartofClassicalAntiquitywascreatedbytheMinoans,
basedontheislandofCrete.Minoanarchitectureutilizedamixtureofstone,
mudbrickandplastertoconstructelaboratepalaces(eg.PalaceofKnossos
c.17001400BCE)aswellasdomedburialchambers(tholos)hiddeninthe
hills.Manyofthesebuildingsweredecoratedwithcolourfulmuralsand
frescopaintings,depictingmythologicalanimalsymbols(eg.thebull)and
events.UnfortunatelymostMinoanarchitecturewasdestroyedby
earthquakesaround1200BCE.CretewasthentakenoverbytheMyceneans

frommainlandGreece,fromwhereaunifiedGreekcultureandcivilization
emergedafewcenturieslater.

GreekArchitecture
ThehistoryofartandarchitectureinAncientGreeceisdividedintothree
basiceras:theArchaicPeriod(c.600500BCE),theClassicalPeriod(c.500
323BCE)andtheHellenisticPeriod(c.32327BCE).[Seealso:Aegeanart.]
About600BCE,inspiredbythetheoryandpracticeofearlierEgyptianstone
masonsandbuilders,theGreekssetaboutreplacingthewoodenstructures
oftheirpublicbuildingswithstonestructuresaprocessknownas
'petrification'.Limestoneandmarblewasemployedforcolumnsandwalls,
whileterracottawasusedforrooftilesandornaments.Decorationwasdone
inmetal,likebronze.
Likepaintersandsculptors,Greekarchitectsenjoyednoneoftheenhanced
statusaccordedtotheirsuccessors.Theywerenotseenasartistsbutas
tradesmen.Thusnonamesofarchitectsareknownbeforeaboutthe5th
centuryBCE.Themostcommontypesofpublicbuildingsweretemples,
municipalstructures,theatresandsportsstadiums.
ArchitecturalMethodsofAncientGreece
Greekarchitectureusedsimplepostandlintelbuildingtechniques.Itwasn't
untiltheRomanerathatthearchwasdevelopedinordertospangreater
distances.Asaresult,Greekarchitectswereforcedtoemployagreatmany
morestonecolumnstosupportshorthorizontalbeamsoverhead.Moreover,
theycouldnotconstructbuildingswithlargeinteriorspaces,withouthaving
rowsofinternalsupportcolumns.Thestandardconstructionformat,usedin
publicbuildingsliketheHephaesteumatAthens,employedlargeblocksof
limestoneoralightporousstoneknownastuff.Marble,beingscarcerand
morevaluablewasreservedforsculpturaldecoration,exceptinthegrandest
buildings,suchastheParthenonontheAcropolis.
GreekBuildingDesign
Thetypicalrectangularbuildingdesignwasoftensurroundedbyacolumnson
allfoursides(eg.theParthenon)ormorerarelyatthefrontandrearonly
(egtheTempleofAthenaNike).Roofswerelaidwithtimberbeamscovered
byterracottatiles,andwerenotdomed.Pediments(theflattenedtriangular
shapeateachgableendofthebuilding)wereusuallyfilledwithsculptural
decorationorfriezes,aswastherowoflintelsalongthetopofeachside
wall,betweentheroofandthetopsofthecolumns.Inthelate4thand5th
centuriesBCE,Greekarchitectsbegantodepartfromthestrictlyrectangular
planoftraditionaltemplesinfavourofacircularstructure(thetholos),
embellishedwithblackmarbletohighlightcertainarchitecturalelementsand
providerichcolourcontrasts.
ThesebuildingswerefamouslyadornedwithahugerangeofGreek
sculpturepedimentalworks,friezes,reliefsandvarioustypesoffree
standingstatueofafigurativenature,depictingmythologicalheroesand
eventsinGreekhistoryandculture.
PrinciplesofGreekArchitecture:ClassicalOrders
ThetheoryofGreekarchitecturearguablythemostinfluentialformof
classicalGreekartwasbasedonasystemof'ClassicalOrders'rulesfor
buildingdesignbasedonproportionsofandbetweentheindividualparts.
Thisresultedinanaestheticallypleasingconsistencyofappearance
regardlessofsizeormaterialsused.TherewerethreeordersinearlyGreek
architecture:theDoric,IonicandCorinthian.TheDoricstylewascommon
inmainlandGreeceandlaterspreadtotheGreekcoloniesinItaly.TheIonic
stylewasemployedinthecitiesofIoniaalongthewestcoastofTurkeyand
otherislandsintheAegean.WheretheDoricstylewasformalandaustere,
theIonicwaslessrestrainedandmoredecorative.Thethirdstyle,
Corinthian,camelaterandrepresentedamoreornatedevelopmentofthe
Ionicorder.Thedifferencesbetweenthesestylesismostplainlyvisiblein
theratiobetweenthebasediameterandheightoftheircolumns.Doric

architecture(exemplifiedbyGreekstructures,liketheParthenonandthe
TempleofHephaestusinAthens)wasmorepopularduringtheClassicalage,
whiletheIonicstylegainedtheupperhandduringthemorerelaxedperiod
ofHellenisticArt(c.32330BCE).
FamousBuildingsofAncientGreece
FamousexamplesofancientGreekarchitectureinclude:theAcropolis
complex(550404BCE)includingtheParthenon(447422BCE),theTemples
atPaestum(550BCEonwards),theTempleofZeusatOlympia(468456
BCE),theTempleofHephaistos(c.449BCE),theTempleofAthenaNike(427
BCE),theTheatreatDelphi(c.400BCE),theTholosTempleofAthena
Pronaia(380360BCE),andthePergamonAltarofZeus(c.166156BCE).
Seealso:SculptureofAncientGreece.

RomanArchitecture
UnlikethemorecreativeandintellectualGreeks,theRomanswere
essentiallypracticalpeoplewithaflairforengineering,constructionand
militarymatters.Intheirarchitecture,asintheirart,theyborrowedheavily
fromboththeEtruscans(eg.intheiruseofhydraulicsforswampclearing
andintheconstructionofarches),andalsotheGreeks,whomtheyregarded
astheirsuperiorsinallvisualarts.However,withoutRomanartwithits
geniusforcopyingandadaptingGreekstylesmostoftheartistic
achievementsofGreekantiquitywouldhavebeenlost.
ArchitecturalPrioritiesofAncientRome
RomanarchitectureservedtheneedsoftheRomanstate,whichwaskeen
toimpress,entertainandcaterforagrowingpopulationinrelativelyconfined
urbanareas.Drainagewasacommonproblem,aswassecurity.This,
togetherwithRome'sgrowingdesiretoincreaseitspowerandmajesty
throughoutItalyandbeyond,requiredpublicbuildingstobeimposing,large
scaleandhighlyfunctional.ThisisexemplifiedbyRomanarchitectural
achievementsindrainagesystems,aqueducts(eg.theaqueductatSegovia,
100CE,andover11aqueductsinthecityofRomeitself,suchasAqua
ClaudiaandAnioNovus),bridges(eg.thePontduGard)roads,municipal
structureslikepublicbaths(eg.theBathsofCaracallaandtheBathsof
Diocletian),sportsfacilitiesandamphitheatres(eg.theColosseum7280
CE),evencentralheatingsystems.Numeroustemplesandtheatreswere
alsobuilt.Later,astheirempirespread,theRomanarchitectsseizedthe
opportunitytocreatenewtownsfromscratch,designingurbangridplans
basedontwowidestreetsanorthsouthaxis(thecardo)andaneastwest
axis(thedecumanus).Thetowncentrewaslocatedattheintersectionofthe
tworoads.Theyalsobuiltupwardsforexample,Ostia,arichportcitynear
Rome,boastedanumberof5storeyapartmentblocks.
ArchitecturalAdvances:Arches&Concrete
Romanarchitecturewasassistedbymajoradvancesinbothdesignandnew
materials.Designwasenhancedthrougharchitecturaldevelopmentsinthe
constructionofarchesandroofdomes.Archesimprovedtheefficiencyand
capabilityofbridgesandaqueducts(fewersupportcolumnswereneededto
supportthestructure),whiledomedroofsnotonlypermittedthebuildingof
largeropenareasundercover,butalsolenttheexterioranimpressive
appearanceofgrandeurandmajesty,asinseveralimportantsecularand
Christianbasilicas,likethePantheon.
Developmentsinmaterialswerealsocrucial,aschronicledbytheRoman
architectVitruvius(c.7810BCE)inhisbookDeArchitectura.Thisis
exemplifiedbytheRomaninventionofconcrete(opuscementicium),a
mixtureoflimemortar,sand,water,andstones,inthe3rdcenturyBCE.This
exceptionallystrongandconvenientsubstituteforstonerevolutionized
Romanengineeringandarchitecture.Astilecoveredconcretebeganto
replacemarbleasthemainbuildingmaterial,architectscouldbemore
daring.BuildingswerefreedfromtherectangularGreekdesignplan(withits
undomedroofsandlinesofpillarssupportingflatarchitraves)andbecame
lessgeometricandmorefreeflowing.

LiketheirEgyptianandtheGreekpredecessors,architectsinancientRome
embellishedtheirpublicbuildingswithawiderangeofartworks,
including:Romansculpture(especiallyreliefs,statuesandbustsofthe
Emperor),frescomurals,andmosaics.
FamousBuildingsofAncientRome
TwoofthegreateststructuresofAncientRomeweretheColosseum(the
ellipticalFlavianamphitheatreinthecentreofRome)andTrajan'sColumn(a
monumenttotheEmperorTrajan).SituatedtotheeastoftheRomanForum,
theColosseumtook8yearstobuild,hadseatingfor50,000spectators.
Historiansandarcheologistsestimatethatastaggering500,000peopleand
over1millionwildanimalsperishedinthe'games'attheColosseum.Trajan's
Column,locatedclosetotheQuirinalHill,northoftheRomanForum,was
finishedin113CE.Itisrenownedforitsmagnificentandhighlydetailed
spiralbasreliefsculpture,whichcirclestheshaftofthemonument23times,
andnarratesTrajan'svictoryintheDacianWars.Theshaftitselfismade
from20hugeblocksofCarraramarble,eachweighingabout40tons.It
standsabout30metresinheightand4metresinwidth.Asmallerbutno
lessimportantRomanmonumentwastheAraPacisAugustae(139BCE).
ImpactofPoliticsandReligiononRomanArchitecture
In330CE,aboutthetimeStPeter'sBasilicawascompleted,theRoman
EmperorConstantineIdeclaredthatthecityofByzantium(laterrenamed
Constantinople,nowIstanbulinTurkey),wastobethecapitaloftheRoman
Empire.Later,in395CE,followingthedeathofEmperorTheodosius,the
empirewasdividedintotwoparts:aWesternhalfbasedfirstinRomeuntilit
wassackedinthe5thcenturyCE,thenRavenna(SeeRavennamosaics)and
aneasternhalfbasedinthemoresecurecityofConstantinople.Inaddition,
Christianity(previouslyaminoritysect)wasdeclaredthesoleofficialreligion
throughouttheempire.Thesetwindevelopmentsimpactedonarchitecturein
twoways:first,relocationtoConstantinoplehelpedtopreserveandprolong
Romanculture,whichmightotherwisehavebeendestroyedbythebarbarian
invadersofItalysecond,theemergenceofChristianityprovidedwhat
becamethedominantthemeofarchitectureandthevisualartsforthenext
1,200years.

ByzantineArchitecture(330554CE)
ByzantinearchitectsincludingnumerousItalianswhohadmovedtothenew
capitalfromItalycontinuedthefreeflowingtraditionofRoman
architecture,constructinganumberofmagnificentchurchesandreligious
buildings,duringtheeraof