Concept of Style in Relation to Architecture
Conceptof Style in Relation to Architecture
Thefeatures that make a structure noteworthy or identifiablehistorically, characterize an architectural style (Mehta &Medvidovic 7). Elements such as building materials, constructionmethod, and regional character help to define a particulararchitectural flair. Most architectures are categorized within acertain order of events that are dynamic with time and reflectchanging beliefs, fashions, and religions or appearances of newtechnology, materials, or ideas that make new styles achievable. Thehistory of society, therefore, leads to the emergence of new formsand they become documented under the topic of architectural history.At a given point in time, some styles become fashionable, but whenthey change, they do so gradually. Thus, architects have to adapt tonew concepts and ideas. Sometimes, the emergency of a new style mayjust be a rebellion to an existing one. For example, in recent yearspostmodernism has found its voice and it has been split into numerousstyles that have taken up other names.
Often,techniques stretch to other places where they are developed into newdesigns and those that remain at the source of origin become twistedinto newer ways. For example, in 1425 Renaissance ideas started inItaly and extended all over Europe for more than 200 years withEngland, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium Renaissances showing astyle that is recognizably the same but had been characterizeduniquely. Colonialism also helps to spread a particular design eitherby settlers moving to a new region or by foreign colonies learningfrom their home countries. The Spanish missions found in Californiabest exemplify these. They were brought in the late 18th century bySpanish priests, and their style was uniquely built. When a newfashion renders the existing method useless, attempts to revive itmay occur. For example, the revival of classicism has happenednumerous times and has been rebranded as neoclassicism, and it isdifferent every time it is revived. It took more than 100 years torevive the Spanish mission style as the Mission Revival that laterevolved to become the Spanish colonial revival. This essay intends tolook at different architectural styles, both historical and culturaland the relationship between the style and the material andtechnologies out of which the architecture is made.
Asfor vernacular architecture, things are a little different. Firstly,it is a native way of construction that local people use. Usually, itemploys intensive labor techniques and materials that are locallyavailable. Mostly, the style is used for structures that are smalllike rural cottages. The style may vary from one region to anothereven within the same country, and it takes little interest tonational styles or technologies. The development of the westernsociety has made native methods to be out fashioned as a result ofstate building standards and better building technology.
Basedin historical style, this style of architecture became prominent inEurope in the late medieval period. It was characterized by a flyingbuttress ribbed volt and pointed arch. In the cultural aspect, it isrelated to many to the structures of many churches, abbeys, andcathedrals all over Europe. Its architectural design was also used inpalaces, castles, town hall, and even places of residence.
Historically,this form of architecture as enhanced by the Hellenic people whoseculture thrived in the Greek mainland and parts of Italy. It isprominent from its temples that are found all through the regionmostly as ruins although some structures are still in shape. Thedecoration and structure of this style of architecture stand out themost. This is more evident in temples where each structure appears toseen as sculptural entity within the landscape. More often, thestructures were constructed on high ground so that the sophisticationof its proportions and the effects that light will have on itsexterior may be seen from all possible angles.
Theartistic and cultural form that was prominent in the late 19thand earlier 20thcenturies. It is a Catalan movement that aimed to create a novelconcept concerning beauty on the humankind imaginative essence. Thestyle originated in Latin America before gaining famer in Spainexemplifying postmodernist architecture through the use of electricornamentation.
Duringthe middle ages, architecture transitioned to include innovativechanges. This period involves the architecture that existed betweenthe Romanesque and gothic styles. Thus, it is the construction designthat exhibited the changes witnessed during the transition period ofthese two building designs. The style was advanced by Normans throughtheir castle construction. Thus, culturally this architecture helpspeople to comprehend is fore-runner style, the RomanesqueArchitecture.
Thisis the architecture that existed between the 14thand 17thcentury. It demonstrated the development and revival of particularitems of Roman, and Greek materials and school of thought. Thisparticular architectural style emphasizes on the regularity,symmetry, geometry and proportion of parts. The orderly arrangementof pilasters, lintels, and columns and employment of semi-circulararches, aedicule, niches and hemispherical domes took the place ofirregular profiles and complicated proportional systems of medievalbuildings.
Tempiettodi SanPietro in Montorio
Thisis a medieval Europe style that has semicircular arches as the mostprominent feature. The Romanesque style combines the features foundin the Byzantine and Ancient Roman structures. It is well known forits massive quality, round arches, thick walls, groin vaults, sturdypillars, decorative arcading and large towers. Each structure has aregular and symmetrical plan and its appearance is simple as comparedto the gothic buildings.
Theindustrial revolution was the primary element that altered the courseof architecture. The validity of long-established concepts regardingthe appearance and function of buildings was lost. In England, thisled to protests from people like William and Ruskin Morris whoco-founded the Arts and Crafts Movement. They held that anything thathad been made of machine lacked any cultural significance.Inspiration from the medieval past made them persuade top artisans toinvolve themselves in the designing of artifacts that are ordinary tothe domestic surroundings.
Inthe year 1851, the construction of the Paxton’s Crystal Palace inLondon marked the start of modern architecture (Mehta &Medvidovic 32). The palace was constructed from prefabricated unitsof glass and iron. Architects thought that the building’s beautycould clearly expose the new materials’ structural properties. Theabundance of glass iron and steel rendered masonry old fashioned. In1889 during the Paris Exposition, the new materials were used in theconstruction of The Eiffel Tower and The Halle Des Machine. Theinfluence of technology started to affect the way buildings weredesigned. High rise buildings were erected using steel cages thatwere attached to walls and floors, and they had passenger lifts tomake them user-friendly.
Historicismerased the illusionary limits that existed between the past, thepresent, and the future and new doors to endless creativity wereopened (Greenberg & Michael 34). Artists found a new freedom toexplore the world of artistic designs and styles withoutchronological constraints.
Thereare different types of historicism first, there is adaptivehistoricist art that interweaves historical materials with elementsconsidered to be new at the time of creation. Secondly, there isderivative historicist art whose foundation is based on one or morehistorical models that are clearly noticeable. Thirdly, here is purehistoricist art that expresses the style of a period that was muchearlier than when it was designed. Lastly, eclectic historicist artblends from two or more historical periods. The term pure historicismis very relative because new interiors, buildings and landscapes thatwere designed and constructed using historical styles mostly employedmaterials, technologies, and methods that were not present when thestyle under consideration appeared. Currently, it is still possibleto come up with structures that are genuine reinterpretations ofalready established stylistic traditions putting in mind that theelements that alter these traditions are the ones that also seek torejuvenate them.
Initially,neo-classical forms were prominent in European cities. And there aimwas to remember the virtues and glories of the classical times. Thenromanticism made architects to revive Islamic or gothic forms. Ashistoricism developed, the evolution of decorative arts andarchitectural designs was deterred. The origin of historicism wasmeant to oppose the academies that had been influenced byromanticism. Its other major aim was to revive genuine roots ofnationalities that existed during medieval times and to also distancethemselves from the influence of the Italians.
Asrelates to architecture, functionalism is a dictate which guidesarchitects to to come up with building designs on the basis of thepurpose that building is intended. However, regarding to modernarchitecture the concept of functionalism is confusing and verycontroversial to the profession. The strongest influence offunctionalism was experienced in Netherlands, Germany, andCzechoslovakia.Functionalism’s place in building can be retraced tothe vitruvian triad in which, ‘utilitas’(utility), stood alongwith ‘firmitas’ (firmness) and ‘venustas’ (beauty) as one ofarchitectures three goals. The viewpoints that functionalism heldwere basically classical to a number of gothic revival architects.Thediscussion on aesthetics and functionalism is more often presented asa choice that is mutually exclusive when in reality a number ofarchitects endeavor to satisfy all the three vitruvian goals.
Architectureand Building Materials
Theimportance of building materials in the field of architecture cannotbe under estimated. The site where a structure will be build and itsnatural surrounding help in determining the choice of buildingmaterials to be used and the type of structure to be put up. Also,the materials that will be used help to determine the form and typeof structure. The endurance and the visual aspects of design areglorified by the concept of building materials. Not on do buildingmaterials provide meaning to a building, they also enhance itsaesthetic quality-Firmitas(structure) and venustas (beauty).
Inthe field of architectural visualization, using building materials inthe process of designing a structure, symbolizes its existence(Greenberg & Michael 78). To a great extent, it helps toascertain the relationship between structural stability and visualquality in architecture. The type of building materials that arechosen by an architect generalize the form of architecture that hasbeen practiced in the construction of the structure. The techniquesof construction that an architect focuses on are based on the designtheme.
Thebuilding materials that are used on a structure have been known toplay a role in naming the structure for instance a monument. Therewas a time when an entire structure was constructed using just asingle building element. Currently, things have advanced to the levelwhere different elements can be used to construct different parts ofthe same structure.
Greenberg,Allan, and Michael George. TheArchitecture of Mckim, Mead, and White: 1879-
1915.Lanham, Md: Taylor Trade Pub, 2013, pp. 7-98
Mehta,Nikunj R., and Nenad Medvidovic. "Composing Architectural Stylesfrom Architectural
Primitives".ACMSIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes,vol 28, no. 5, 2013, pp. 12-347.
Associationfor Computing Machinery (ACM),doi:10.1145/949952.940118.
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