Evolution of Architectural Design

from the Past to Present

Architectural Design-Romanesque

Architectural design is a broad subject but studying it is necessary to get an insight on architecture in general. Architecture is a signpost of civilization and development. It speaks of history, changes, progress, and evolution. It is not only an artistic expression but it also fulfills a basic need. It reflects the advancement of a certain civilization at any point in time. Exploring architectural design is like exploring the history of mankind. Through architecture, it is possible to trace history, beliefs, styles and techniques of different periods and tribes. It will also explain how architecture has evolved into what it is today.

Architecture in the prehistoric times was in the form of stone circles and megaliths. One of its examples is the Stonehenge in England. Its ruins are still wrapped in mystery waiting to be uncovered. Egypt is one of the birthplaces of architecture. The pyramids are some of the greatest in architectural design of the ancient and modern times. Classical architecture emerged in 850 AD up to 476 AD. The Greek civilization and the great Roman Empire produced buildings and patterns following clear-cut standards. From the period of 500 AD to 1200 AD, the Romanesque architecture exhibited the great power of the Roman Empire through rounded arches.

The Renaissance period produced magnificent architectural wonders like the Villa La Rotonda. It gave way for symmetrical and proportioned forms inspired by classical Greece. The Baroque architecture ushered in a lavish and ostentatious ornamentation and irregular shapes. This style can be seen in ancient churches. The Versailles in France and St. Petersburg integrated the elements of the Baroque architecture. At the end of Baroque period, Rococo architecture started getting more attention. It was lighter and more graceful than the Baroque style and was characterized by sweeping curves.

Architectural Design-Baroque

When the Europeans ventured into the New World, they brought with them their own brand of architecture that was known as the American Colonial Architecture. The meeting of European style and Native American style created various American architectural techniques. The Greek Revival Architecture in 1790 AD to 1850AD made use of giant columns and pediments prominent in the earlier Greek style. Antebellum residences in America were built using this style. The 20th century architecture applies different styles that have resulted into diverse and dramatic creations. Art Modern, Modernism, and Postmodernism are some of the styles heavily used in the present era.

Evolution of Architectural Design

From the ancient years until the turn of the 20th century, architectural design have gone through a series of massive makeovers. But the changes that have happened over the centuries only boost the creativity that people now know exist even before the time of steels and architectural computer software. Many modern architects draw inspiration from ancient architecture and infuse some old elements into their works.

Architectural Design-Greek Revival

Today, modern home projects are influenced by old constructions. The Greek Revival is a variation of the classic Greek architecture. Huge columns are used and arranged in Doric, Ionic or Corinthian order. Transom can be seen on top of front doors and entablature adorns the top of columns. The Egyptian Revival is derived from Egyptian architecture from the earliest civilizations. This kind of architecture was prominent during the 1920s but had never progressed into a larger scale. Movie houses, prisons, and some churches were some of the buildings that used this kind of style during this period. This style was characterized by flat roofs and smooth finishes. The entrances were reminiscent of the gates of Egyptian temples.

Architectural Design-Gothic Revival

Gothic Revival was popularized in the 1830s. From castles to cottages, Gothic Revival dominated this era. It can be recognized by its steep roofs and gingerbread trimmings. Home entrances with Gothic Revival style feature carriage porches and glass windows adorned with colorful patterns. Mission Style differs from the rest because of its sheer simplicity. Stucco, plaster and red tiles are used to build walls and roofs. Arches surround the inner structure supported by pillars. Towers and mini-balconies are prominent elements of Mission Style. Art Deco is another architectural design that was seen during the 1930s. It accents vertical heights. Recessed walls, mosaic tiles, and stylized decoration are characteristics of Art Deco.

Famous Buildings as Architectural Design

Architectural Design-Saint Denis Church

Magnificent architectural landmarks often put a country on the map. They define the artistry, history, and advancement of the place. The St. Denis Church is one of the architectural marvels of the olden times and set the stage for Gothic architecture. Many French cathedrals use this church as an inspiration for their construction. The Chartres Cathedral which was reconstructed after the fire that engulfed France was built in Gothic Style. The Forbidden City in Beijing is among the top as architectural design in Asia. It is almost untouched and holds more than a million artifacts.

Architectural Design-Taj MahalThe Louvre in Paris established classical architecture in France. The original plan molded the overall construction of the Louvre in the following years. The Palladio's Basilica in Italy was the creation of Andrea Palladio, a Renaissance architect. He transformed the building by infusing Doric and Ionic columns and stirred a newfound interest in classical Rome. Another great architectural design is the Taj Mahal in India. This structure eloquently expresses power, wealth and love. It combines many elements found in Asian architecture that were translated into this grand marble tomb.

Big Names in Arhitectural Design

Architects made many marvels possible. Their creativity can transform simple materials into historical structures. There are a great number of famous architects, both from the ancient and modern times, who have contributed their skills to create cities and build astonishing works of art.

Adolf Loos - he was one of the pioneers of modern architecture. His constructions are known for their simplicity, planar and traditional conceptions.

Frank Lloyd Wright - he received no formal training in architecture yet managed to emerge as one of America's most respected architects. He revolutionized the Prairie House style and introduced unusual shaped structures.

I.M. Pei - he is responsible for building more than fifty structures all over the world, from skyscrapers to housing. He stirred controversy when he built the Louvre Pyramid in 1985.

Le Corbusier – he came out with the Bauhaus style in arhitectural design. His 5-point theory was the foundation of some of his buildings. Roof gardens and independent pillars are defining characteristics of his creations.

Photo Credit:

(Flickr/Fred Hsu), (Flickr/Karen), (Flickr/Saquan Stimpson) , (Flickr/Ananth)