The History of Architectural Design
— 29 August 2022 Posted in: Topics Tagged: topics
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— 29 August 2022 Posted in: Topics Tagged: topics
Architecture is not a new thing and it has been used since the very first house was built. Once mankind moved out of caves, and began to create his own shelter, architecture of all sorts was created.
In this article, we’ll examine how architectural design has grown over the years. Modern architecture has come a long way from those humble beginnings, but without the early years, we wouldn’t have what we know today as architectural design.
Back in 10,000 BC, give or take a few decades, people started to look at building homes that were both functional and aesthetic. This is referred to as the Neolithic period. The houses were built using basic materials from the area.
These early buildings were nothing compared to what came later, but the very fact that man learned to take sticks and stones and turn them into functional shelters was the beginning of conscious home design. After all, each house needed to have walls and a roof. Doors were placed in these dwellings to prevent predators from coming in, as well. It may not seem like much now, but at the time, it was a giant leap forward. Eventually, homes would come to have multiple rooms and more complex roofing options, but this came about slowly, over many generations.
Later, the Mesopotamiun stage arrived. This was when mud bricks were made and began to be widely used throughout Mesopotamia as building materials. At this point in history, religion was beginning to grow and thrive and huge temples were built. These involved ziggurats which were built up mounds with steps leading up to a temple at the summit. They were considered to link the earth and heaven and could end up being up to 12 metres tall.
Apartments and banqueting halls were built into Assyrian palaces and this type of architecture led the way into the next level of building design.
Ancient Egyptian Architectural Design
When you think of Egyptian architecture, you likely think of the pyramids. These stunning tombs are still impressive to this day, but not only because of their size. The fact that the pyramids were built using only slave labour has astonished historians for many years.
Originally, pyramids were built as stepped designs, but over the years, Egyptians began to add smoothed sides and used limestone to create a more polished, shining white exterior to the tombs.
However, ancient Egyptians also built homes that, while far less impressive, were still quite stylish at the time. Squared buildings with multiple levels and flat roofs were considerably popular at the time. Temples also featured squared off designs, but used pillars and statues to create more stunning designs.
Considered the first urban civilisation in the Indian subcontinent, Harappa which is now Pakistan and the western states of India, still impresses people. The cities were designed carefully and built with elaborate drainage systems, freshwater systems and their buildings were brick from the local clay. However, instead of drying the bricks in the sun, they baked them, taking this into the Chalcolithic period. One city held up to 60,000 people, so they were far more developed in creating cities that were fully functional.
Of course, you can’t look at the history of architecture without focusing on ancient Greece. Aside from their unique civilization at the time, this culture was known for its incredible buildings, many of which still stand somewhat today. Between 850 BC to 300 AD, Greek culture exploded.
The Greek buildings of Parthenon and Erechtheion are still widely revered as some of the more important examples of Greek architecture. This is when buildings became more of an art form than anything. No longer merely functional, Greek architects took the time to consider how the buildings would look and planned elaborate optical illusions to ensure the buildings looked perfect and balanced.
Theatres were created at this time, as well, with designs making it possible to hear the actors from any point in the theatre. Rules for architecture were also created during this time and they formed orders, which were known as the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. Most architects today recognise these orders by their columns. The Doric one is simple and wide, while the Ionic is narrower, like the Corinthian. However, the Corinthian column is topped with leaves and scrolls. The Ionic columns feature four scrolls.
Sculptures were also used extensively during this time and this style continued for many generations.
Like Greece, ancient Rome has its place in architectural history. Even today, house styles may reflect some of the early Roman designs. Many architectural companies have studied the lines of the ancient temples and taken inspiration for their design services.
The Romans were set on conquering the world and this meant their method of architecture was used throughout their conquered nations. Roman designs were used even into early modern architectural times.
Columns and impressive domes were popular for the builders of the time. These are still seen in many Roman Catholic churches. One excellent example of this is the Arch of Caracalla in Algeria. The design has paired columns around it and entablatures with divine busts, as well as medallions.
Romans also developed their engineering levels and quickly expanded their materials for construction. They created aqueducts, rounded arches and they added the Tuscan order (similar to the Doric, minus the fluted columns) and the Composite, which mixed Ionic and Corinthian orders.
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was the first architect to create a written work on architecture. His treatise was called De architectura and it became the only book from that time on architecture, as well as the first one on the theory of architecture.
Every culture has its own additions to the world of architecture, but many of them were more isolated than the Roman empire. From Asia to the Americas, people built elaborate temples, homes and completely unique spaces. Palaces ranged from the point-domed palaces of Africa and the cone-like houses in Lunda to the stepped pyramids of the Mayans and the wooden longhouses and teepees of Native Americans.
Gradually, as world exploration became more common, people were able to learn from other cultures and incorporate different styles into their designs. This led to the Romanesque style that was built in the 10th to 12th century. These churches were almost entirely built by stonemasons. While it wasn’t terribly sophisticated, it was sturdy and involved thick stone walls and rounded arches.
From there, Gothic architecture emerged, with its pointed arches, spikes, and flying buttresses. The world of modern architecture was beginning to emerge.
Modern architecture continues to change and develop. We’ve found many more ways to build and design and there are always architects who want to push the limits and design something extra special. This has resulted in some very impressive buildings.
Over the years, the world has seen taller and taller buildings as technology catches up to the abilities of the imagination. From stone to wood and concrete, there are so many options for building that you can surely design and create anything you like. Many of today’s buildings draw on elements from the past.
When you work with an architectural company, you can let them know which house styles you like. Their design services are meant to create a space that you enjoy and will love to live in.
Are you interested in building something special? You can hire Spatial Design Architects to help you create the perfect building for your particular needs. They have the necessary experience to pull from your inspirations and give you the design you dream of.
Contact us now to book your appointment.