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Architecture is a term that means either the science of the design of structures such as houses, places of worship, office buildings, or the profession of an architect. A person must study at an institution of higher education to become an architect. Architecture can be about small designs such as a garage or large designs such as a whole city. Architecture often overlaps with civil engineering, and architects and civil engineers often work together.
In the past people built huts and wood houses to protect themselves from the weather. For safety, they were often close together. Great civilizations like the Ancient Egyptians built large temples and structures, like the Great Pyramids of Giza. The Ancient Greeks and Roman s made what we now call Classical Architecture. The Romans, working over 2000 years ago, copied the arch from the Etruscans, who copied it from the Mesopotamians. The stone columns, which still hold up so many important buildings, like the Parthenon in Athens, were simply copied from the first wooden posts.
Classical Architecture was very formal; it always obeyed laws. It used symmetry, which really means balance, and it used proportion which means keeping shapes in certain ways. The Golden Mean was a rule (or law) which said, (to put it very simply) if you are making a room, or any other thing, it will work best if you always make the long side 1.6 times longer than the short side. There are many laws in Classical Architecture, like how high the middle of an arched bridge needs to be (which depends on how wide the bridge needs to be). These laws were learned from thousands of years of experience and they are as true today as they were 2000 years ago.
In some parts of the world, like India, the architecture is famous for carving the stone on temples and palaces. Different architectural styles were made in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.
Later, people in Western Europe in the Middle Ages made Romanesque architecture, then Gothic architecture. Gothic buildings have tall, pointed windows and arches. Many churches have Gothic architecture. Castles were also built at this time. In the East of Europe, churches usually had domes. People were copying the Classical Architecture from the past, but adding their own ideas and decoration.
Then, in the 18th Century, the Industrial Revolution happened and people began to invent machines to make things quickly and cheaply. Many factories and mills were built during, or after this revolution. 100 years later, in the Victorian era, architects like George Fowler Jones and Decimus Burton still followed the Gothic style, to build new churches. Up to this point, buildings were limited in size and style by the strength of the wood and masonry used to construct them. Gothic cathedrals were among the largest buildings because the gothic arch when combined with buttresses allowed stone buildings to be built taller. For example, the cathdral in Ulm, Germany is over 500 feet tall. However, building with stone has its limits, and building too tall could result in collapse, an example of which is the Cathedral of Beauvais, which was never completed. Towards the end of the 19th Century, architects began to use the newer, cheaper materials like metal girders and reinforced concrete to build. An example is the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Buildings can now be built taller than ever before. We call them skyscrapers. This new technology has made us free from traditional limitations, and because of the new possibilities presented by these materials, many traditional methods of construction and ideas about style were reevaluated, replaced, or abandoned.
Modernism is the name for the architectural style which developed because of these new building technologies, and its beginnings can been seen as early as 1890. Modernism can also refer to a specific group of architects and buildings from the early to late 20th century, and so may not be the proper term to use for many building built since then. Many famous buildings existing today, especially skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building in New York could not have been built using traditional methods.
Related pages [change]
- List of buildings
- List of notable architects
- Cathedral architecture
- Structural Engineering
- Building code
- Sustainable design
- Building materials
- Pattern language
- World Heritage Sites
- "Becoming an architect". www.architecture.com. http://www.architecture.com/EducationAndCareers/BecomingAnArchitect/Becominganarchitect.aspx. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
Other websites [change]
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