What is Architecture?

Architecture is the art and profession of designing buildings. The word Architecture (Greek) has a historical meaning:
 May

refer to a building style of a particular culture or to an artistic movement such as Greek, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture.

What is Architecture?

Architecture has many artistic qualities but must also satisfy practical considerations. Example: Office Buildings

building cannot just be aesthetically pleasing.  Needs to accompany the comfort and efficiency levels for people in it.  If the building does not fulfill comfort, it fails architecturally.

Architectural Style

Architectural style is a way of classifying architecture largely by morphological characteristics:
Form  Techniques  Materials

Architectural style is a way of classifying architecture that gives emphasis to characteristic features of design, leading to a terminology such as “Gothic” style.

Neolithic Architecture

Also known as “Stone-Age” architecture contains some of the oldest known structures made by mankind. Distinguishable by Paleolithic and Mesolithic making and use of stone tools. Neolithic cultures have been shown to have existed in southwest Asia as early as 8000 B.C. to 6000 B.C. The peoples of the Americas and the Pacific region remained at the Neolithic level up until the time of European contact.

Neolithic Architecture

Neolithic Architects were great builders who used mainly mud-brick to construct houses and villages. Houses were plastered and painted with ancient scenes of humans and animals. Many of the more famous Neolithic structures were remarkably made by enormous stones.




Egyptian Architecture

Due to lack of wood most Egyptian architecture was made with mud-brick and stone. Minerals included sandstone, limestone, and granite, which were generally used for tombs and temples. Most ancient Egyptian towns have been lost because they were situated in the cultivated and flooded area of the Nile Valley.

Egyptian Architecture

Temples and tombs have survived:

Built on ground unaffected by the Nile flood  Constructed of stone.

Egyptian architecture is based mainly on its religious monuments such as Pyramids. All monumental buildings are post and lintel constructions, with flat roofs constructed of huge stone blocks supported by the external walls and the closely spaced columns.

Temple of Ramesses II



Neoclassical Architecture

Neoclassical style produced by the neoclassical movement during the 18th century. Neoclassical, or "new" classical, architecture describes buildings that are inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.

Neoclassical Architecture

A Neoclassical building is likely to have some (but not necessarily all) of these features:
Symmetrical shape  Tall columns that rise the full height of the building  Triangular Pediment  Domed roof

Examples: U.S. Capitol Building, White House, Slave plantations


Roman Architecture

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Adopted from Greek classical architecture. Constructed new structural principles based on the development of the arch and a new building material, concrete. First to utilize two forms of roof design, the arch and vault. Vault is an arched roof or ceiling (dome). Eliminated use for columns to support roofs. Columns used mainly for sculptural decoration.

Roman Architecture

Romans built more kinds of structures than any earlier civilization. In addition to houses, temples, and palaces, Romans constructed aqueducts, public baths, shops, theaters, and outdoor arenas.


Pont du Gard

Gothic Architecture

Mainly flourished in western Europe from the 1100’s to 1400’s. New systems of construction allowed for architects to design churches with thinner walls and lighter piers. Piers extended several stories high and into the roof area making individual columns like ribs on an open umbrella. Ribbed vaults are most distinguishable characteristic of Gothic architecture.

Gothic Architecture

Other styles included pointed arches, stained-glass windows, flying buttresses. Flying buttresses were brick or stone arched supports built along outside walls. Emphasizes vertically and a skeletal stone structure. Pointed arch was introduced for both visual and structural reasons. Channels weight onto the bearing piers or columns at a steep angle. Gothic cathedrals could be highly decorated with statues and paintings.




Renaissance Architecture

Beginning between the early 15th and the early 17th centuries in different regions of Europe. The Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts Orderly arrangement of arches, niches replaced the more complex proportional view of medieval buildings. Renaissance buildings have a square, symmetrical, planned appearance.

Renaissance Architecture

Facades (front of building) are symmetrical around their vertical axis. The columns and windows show a progression towards the center. Domestic buildings are often surmounted by a cornice. Windows may be paired and set within a semicircular arch. Roofs are fitted with flat or coffered ceilings. They are not left open as in Medieval architecture. They are frequently painted or decorated.





St. Peter’s

Modern Architecture

Building styles with similar characteristics, primarily the simplification of form and the elimination of ornament. Dominant architectural style, particularly for institutional and corporate building, for several decades in the 20th century. Use materials such as iron, steel, concrete, and glass. The most commonly used materials are glass for the facade, steel for exterior support. Modern architecture seen in most skyscrapers.

Modern Architecture

Modern architecture is usually characterized by:▪

a rejection of historical styles as a source of architectural form (historicism)  an adoption of the principle that the materials and functional requirements determine the result  an adoption of the machine aesthetic  a rejection of ornament  a simplification of form and elimination of "unnecessary detail"




Art Deco Architecture

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Popular design movement from 1920 until 1939. Popular themes in art deco were trapezoidal, zigzagged, geometric, and jumbled shapes, which can be seen in many early pieces. materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, lacquer, etc. Bold use of stepped forms, and sweeping curves, symmetry and repetition,. Art Deco style celebrates the Machine Age through explicit use of man-made materials (particularly glass and stainless steel)


Post-Modern Architecture

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Began as American style whose first examples are generally cited as being from the 1960s Diverse aesthetics, styles collide. Postmodernists feel buildings fail to meet the human need for comfort both for body and for the eye. Most post-modernists works are small buildings such as houses and stores. BASICALLY, ANYTHING GOES!




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