History of Architecture explained by pillars
The history of architecture is as old as civilization itself. A subject as big as the history of mankind. I decided to break it down to easier small parts.
A living space has got four elements. Roof (and floor), support for the roof and walls to keep the elements out.
The first supports for primitive roofs must have been tents supported by a pole. Unfortunately history is remembered in more permanent structures. One of our oldest man made structures to survive today is that of Stonehenge. It comprises of vertical free standing stones with a horizontal support . A basic pillar and lintel structure.
I am fascinated by the idea of the renaissance man. The kind of person who can do anything. Michaelangelo, who started of as a painter but branched into architecture, sculpture, poetry and architecture. Leonardo Da Vinci, the painter of the worlds most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was sought after as a war strategist, designer of things ahead of his time like parachutes, diving boats and explosive devices, to name but a few.
In our time with major technological advances on every front it is difficult to be the best in your own field, let alone other fields of expertise. It is hart warming to still find such people. In architects I found some modern renaissance men. Especially in the field of furniture design.
Chairs is one of the most essential of household and interior decorating furniture. The end of the nineteenth century saw a big change in how people saw their surroundings. Changes in social structure caused people to discover their own worth and allowed people of all social levels to surround themselves with beautiful things. The industrial revolution with mass production made costs of many products come down. New technology made designs possible that were previously not even draemt of. All this caused an explosion of design in chairs.
The first development in chair design came from the father of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris. Morris was a designer, artist, poet and novelist. His life motto was that one should surround yourself with objects that is both useful and beautiful. The arts and Crafts movement emphasized the use of handcraft and material of high quality.
There are a few names of special places that conjures up magic in my brain. Names like Casablanca and Zanzibar. Mont Saint Michel sound like dreams come true to my ear. As a child I read about this island stronghold surrounded by sea, only reachable at low tide. According to the story the tide came in at the speed of a horse at full gallop. This sounded like true science fiction at the time. I was surprised to learn that the difference between high and low tide can be as much as 14 meters here. From the ramparts one can watch the process of the tide coming in. Over the wide sandbanks one can see the ocean streaming in. Continue reading Mont Saint Michel
Architecture fascinate me. The city of Paris is heaven for anyone interested in architecture. From Roman ruins up to the most modern, up to date buildings can be seen.
On my last visit the architect Jean Nouvel’s buildings cought my interest. Years ago I was fascinated by the windows of the Instetut du Monde Arabe in the french city. It is located on the banks of the Seine just upstream of the Notre Dame. It was designed by Jean Nouvel.
Art Deco is an art movement that became popular after World War 1. The first appeared with the World Exhibition in 1900 but came popular from 1920 onward. Like most architectural styles it is a combination of styles (Arts an crafts movement, Machine age style as well as Neo Classisism)
Very often one sees an interesting architectural feature but seldom find the reason why we see this in so many houses. Old houses often features beautiful fanlights. It is so called because it is fan shaped. Usually situated above entrance doors to houses.
Victorian architecture means it is buildings built in the United Kingdom and former British colonies, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901). The Industrial Revolution played a big role in the developing of this style, especially in the colonies. Most of the buildings typical of the style was built between 1840 up to the early twentieth century.
In the centre of Berlin is the Museum Island. Four of the worlds biggest museums can to be found here. Because of my love for Greek ancient history and culture the Pergamon museum was my first stop on a visit to the great German city. The museum houses the Altar to Zeus from the city of Pergamon in the now modern Turkey.
The Pergamon Altar dates from the 2nd century BC, with a 113 meters long sculptural frieze depicting the struggle of the gods and the giants, and the Gate of Miletus from Roman antiquity.
If you stand in front of the Eiffel tower and look across the Seine you see a monumental building, the Trocadero. The wing on your right houses the museum of Architecture of Paris.
Replicas of parts of some of the finest cathedrals and monuments of France is housed inside. Yes, this is a museum of replicas. Detail of parts of buildings is painstakingly reproduced for research and restoration purposes. The end results ends up here. On first reading this I decided against visiting the museum. Who wants to see replicas if Europe is filled with the real thing?