Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Week 1: looking in and outward, humans materially encounter the cosmos, construct inhabitable signs and symbols as objects, spaces, buildings and places.
Week 2: circles, groves, and stacks as humanity’s first elements and principles of design throughout a world populated by diverse human expression.
Week 3: The buildings atop the Acropolis in Athens serve as archetypes for all western architecture and design, elsewhere, humans expand groves and stacks.
Week 4: diverse building types abound in the west. Empires stand tall throughout the world. Trade routes bring people, good,s ideas, into proximity.
The first week in class, we studied previous civilizations and their initial quest for constructing inhabitable, ceremonial and ritualistic spaces. The Stonehenge, ca 3000 BCE in Salisbury, England is a great example of this exploration (Ching). The plan for the Stonehenge is a perfect circle and the individual stones reference constellations. It is also believed that the site was used for ritualistic ceremonies and as a precise astronomical observatory for marking events on the prehistoric calendar. The use of a circle as a design element is also very interesting and it marks a very scared spot in its center. Circles are also a symbol for equality and unity.
During our third week, we also discussed the prototype (Tuscan, the smallest), archetypes (Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian), and hybrids/composite (Ionic/Corinthian combined) orders . The archetype for all western civilization's building type comes from ancient Greece. The Acropolis temple complex of Athens was an homage to the Greek goddess Athena who won the battle against Poseidon for the patronage of the city. The temple complex sits on a limestone hilltop overlooking the agora and was a ritualistic experience which guided the priests and selected individuals (others were not allowed) toward the Parthenon. The Propylaea was the entrance to the temple, the Erechtheum, incorporated different mythical narratives of the founding of Athens into a single composition, the small temple of Athena Nike was an homage to Athena the victor (Ching). The temple buildings guided the ritual procession toward the Parthenon and followed the design elements of entrance (Propylaea), open space as the court, and the hearth (Parthenon).
During the final week of our unit summary, we focused on the elements of architecture in the Roman Empire; principles of “commoditie” --how does the building function, “firmness” --how does the structure perform, and “delight”--aesthetics & seeing the structure. The ancient Romans used cardo and decumanus in their building plans. Also, the roads and water were the first steps to developing a Roman city and made it easy for the Romans to control their vast empire. The idea of “all roads lead to Rome” was evident throughout the empire; unlike in Rome, the same city grid was used universally throughout the Roman territories. However, the surface treatment of the structures varied at local level. The Roman cities were defined by the roads, aqueducts, baths, basilicas, temples, arches, columns, market, forum, amphitheater, colosseum, and the dome. The Pompeiian ruins showed that Roman buildings were highly chromatic unlike what is visible on the buildings today. We also studied other diverse building types throughout the world. The trade routes brought people and ideas into proximity.
Ching, Frances D.K. 2011. A Global History of Architecture. New Jersey. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Roth, Leland M. 2nd ed. 2007. Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning. Oregon. Westview Pres
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011