Architecture 101: A Crash Course in Architectural Structures

Architecture 101: A Crash Course in Architectural Structures

Access Doors and Panels on 14th Oct 2020

Architecture 101: A Crash Course in Architectural Structures

When you look at history, you can see that builders have used architecture as a creative, functional outlet that often influences the cultural depth of society today. You can think of the lasting influence of the Egyptian pyramids and classical Greek temples that reached not only architecture but also other aspects such as fashion, jewelry, and industrial designs that we have today.

Most often, some people overlook impressive architectural designs and innovations. You don't think about the elements that make it great because truthfully speaking when you see a building. You don't mind where the design came from-- you see it as it is and be in awe of its elegant design. But what you don't know is that good architecture enhances our daily lives in many ways we wouldn't predict or expect. The best buildings can boost profits and improve productivity.

Today, Access Doors and Panels will give you this architectural timeline of major Western types of architecture that will provide you with a crash course in design and construction development. We included the architectural styles regarded by many as benchmarks in society that left a lasting legacy still existing today.

1. Ancient Egyptian Architecture

Egyptians created one of the most influential civilizations in history, dating back to 3,050 BC to 900 BC. Although the pyramids might be the structures that first come to mind when we say Egyptian Architecture, they are not the only architectural expression that Egyptians built. You might even know the Pyramid complex of Gisa as a signature building of this architecture, but that's probably the only thing you happen to know. Before the pyramids, Egyptians focused on incredibly detailed temple complexes, focusing more on aesthetic beauty and function. Egyptian Architecture, which combines incredible engineering prowess with rich symbolism, continues to be a model for modern architecture. The famous ancient Greek and Roman Architecture borrowed characteristics from each other, such as stylized column motifs in early Greece and the proliferation of obelisks.

2. Greek and Roman Architecture

Ancient Greek and Roman Architecture grouped under classical architecture classification solidified the idea of building structures against a set template. Today, the Greek order of columns such as Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, is still widely used. When we look at it, some of history's most iconic buildings come from the Greeks and Romans, such as the Acropolis complex in Athens, the Parthenon, and the Colosseum. These two civilizations were also masters of engineering because of the incredible highway systems and aqueducts that Romans built to bring commercial goods and water across their vast lands.

3. Byzantine Architecture

The Byzantine Architecture came into recognition when Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, now known as Istanbul. Although this draws on elements of ancient Roman Architecture, this architectural style has already evolved. In this architectural style, architects took more liberty with the classical orders defined since the time of the Greeks. Byzantium has a long history, but most of the iconic architecture comes from the middle period, at the time when the empire was at its wealthiest.

The early works that demonstrate the detailed mosaic decoration that would become the hallmark of the style include the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia. But the most iconic example of Byzantine Architecture that shows off the engineering prowess of the Byzantines is the Hagia Sophia with its series of domes. The Hagia Sophia remained the world's largest cathedral until 1520. Even after Byzantium fell, it influenced different cultures by its architecture such as the St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow in the year 1555 that mixes Byzantine Architecture with Russian tradition.

4. Mesoamerican Architecture

Mesoamerican Architecture, also called Pre-Columbian, refers to the constructed buildings of the native cultures of what we now know as Central America, from Central Mexico to northern Costa Rica. The most classically identified Maya architecture and the great stepped pyramids are part of this civilization. During this civilization, urban planning was guided by religious and mythological beliefs since the cultures believed that architecture was a tangible form of their faith. The structures built during the Mesoamerican culture are well-known for their massive stonework and enormous human resources for overcoming technological handicaps. Although their abilities to create things such as arches were limited, they were able to adapt to invent a corbeled arch that supported less weight while also still functional. When we think of Pre-columbian Architecture, we immediately think of the El Castillo pyramid at the iconic Maya city of Chichen Itza.

5. Gothic Architecture

Gothic Architecture dominated for hundreds of years, as evidenced in the style of some of the best-known churches in Europe. The influence of Gothic Architecture started in France and spread throughout the continent. When we talk about Gothic Architecture, we meant the combination of the pointed arch, flying buttress, and ribbed vault that allowed for excellent verticality to Gothic structures. With the increased height and reduced weight of the walls, light could pour in through stained glass windows. Although the Notre-Dame in Paris is not the first example of French-Gothic Architecture, it is still the most famous. Other cultures also spin on Gothic, such as the main cathedral of Milan that exaggerates the flamboyant features with its ornate facade.

These architectural styles still hold that much influence in today's buildings. You might even catch some of these designs used by modern architects in some buildings, so stay on the lookout with your eyes wide open! Maybe the next time you take a look at a building, you'll notice the architectural design since you now have an idea of what these architectural structures are.

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14th Oct 2020 Access Doors and Panels