Modern Architecture

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Lecture Guide – Architecture 101
Introduction to Architecture
What is Architecture
History of Architecture
Historic Elements of Architecture
Ancient Architecture
Islamic Architecture
Medieval and Gothic Architecture
Early modern and Industrial age Architecture
Modern Architecture (Overview)
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Introduction to Architecture
What is Architecture?
Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from
ἀρχι- "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both the process and
product of planning, designing, and construction, usually of buildings and other
physical structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are
often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations
are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
Architecture can be defined briefly as:
A general term to describe buildings and other physical structures.
The art and science of designing and erecting buildings and other physical structures.
The style and method of design and construction of buildings and other physical structures.
The practice of the architect, where architecture means the offering or rendering of professional
services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, or built environments
The design activity of the architect, from the macro-level (urban design, landscape architecture) to
the micro-level (construction details and furniture).
The activity of designing any kind of system, and is commonly used in describing information
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History of Architecture
Historic Elements of Architecture
The Parthenon
The earliest surviving written work on the
subject of architecture is De architectura,
by the Roman architect Vitruvius in the
early 1st century AD. According to
Vitruvius, a good building should satisfy the
three principles of firmitas, utilitas,
venustas, which translate roughly as –
• Durability – it should stand up robustly
and remain in good condition.
• Utility – it should be useful and function
well for the people using it.
• Beauty – it should delight people and
raise their spirits.
The Parthenon is located in Athens, Greece. Considered a
classic example of Greek Architecture, The Parthenon was built
to represent the gods and goddesses in abstract form. The
Greeks built their structures using mathematical proportions and
considered their buildings as a type of sculpture.
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History of Architecture
The National Gallery of Art West Wing
Building first evolved out of the
dynamics between needs (shelter,
security, worship, etc.) and means
(available building materials and
attendant skills). As human cultures
developed and knowledge began to be
formalized through oral traditions and
practices, building became a craft, and
"architecture" is the name given to the
most highly formalized and respected
versions of that craft.
Built in 1941 it is an example of neo-classical architecture. Neoclassical architecture is architecture inspired by the buildings designed
and created during Ancient Greece and Rome. Neo-classical
architecture uses some if not all of these styles in its design: symmetry,
columns, triangular pediments, and/or domes.
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History of Architecture
Ancient Architecture
In many ancient civilizations, such as those of Egypt and
Mesopotamia, architecture and urbanism reflected the
constant engagement with the divine and the
supernatural, and many ancient cultures resorted to
monumentality in architecture to represent symbolically
the political power of the ruler, the ruling elite, or the
state itself.
The architecture and urbanism of the Classical
civilizations such as the Greek and the Roman evolved
from civic ideals rather than religious or empirical ones
and new building types emerged. Architectural "style"
developed in the form of the Classical orders.
Texts on architecture have been written since ancient
time. These texts provided both general advice and
specific formal prescriptions or canons. Some examples
of canons are found in the writings of the 1st-century
BCE Roman military engineer Vitruvius. Some of the
most important early examples of canonic architecture
are religious.
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History of Architecture
Islamic Architecture
Islamic architecture began in the 7th century CE, incorporating architectural forms from the ancient
Middle East and Byzantium, but also developing features to suit the religious and social needs of the
society. Examples can be found throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Spain and the Indian Subcontinent. The widespread application of the pointed arch was to influence European architecture of the
Medieval period.
The Taj Mahal in India
The Taj Mahal, "crown of palaces", is
a white marble mausoleum located in
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was
built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan
in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz
Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely
recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art
in India and one of the universally
admired masterpieces of the world's
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History of Architecture
Medieval & Gothic Architecture
Notre Dame Cathedral
In Europe, in both the Classical and
Medieval periods, buildings were not often
attributed to specific individuals and the
names of architects remain frequently
unknown, despite the vast scale of the
many religious buildings extant from this
During the Medieval period guilds were
formed by craftsmen to organize their trade
and written contracts have survived,
particularly in relation to ecclesiastical
buildings. The role of architect was usually
one with that of master mason, or Magister
lathomorum as they are sometimes
described in contemporary documents.
Notre-Dame de Paris for "Our Lady of Paris", also known as
Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic
Roman Rite Catholic Marian cathedral on the eastern half of the
Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
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History of Architecture
Early Modern and the Industrial Age Architecture
With the emerging knowledge in scientific fields and the rise of new materials and technology,
architecture and engineering began to separate, and the architect began to concentrate on aesthetics
and the humanist aspects, often at the expense of technical aspects of building design. There was also
the rise of the "gentleman architect" who usually dealt with wealthy clients and concentrated
predominantly on visual qualities derived usually from historical prototypes, typified by the many country
houses of Great Britain that were created in the Neo Gothic or Scottish Baronial styles. Formal
architectural training in the 19th century, for example at Ecole des Beaux Arts in France, gave much
emphasis to the production of beautiful drawings and little to context and feasibility. Effective architects
generally received their training in the offices of other architects, graduating to the role from
draughtsmen or clerks.
Meanwhile, the Industrial Revolution laid open the door for mass production and consumption.
Aesthetics became a criterion for the middle class as ornamented products, once within the province of
expensive craftsmanship, became cheaper under machine production.
Vernacular architecture became increasingly ornamental. House builders could use current architectural
design in their work by combining features found in pattern books and architectural journals.
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Modern Architecture
Modern Architecture
Around the turn of the 20th century, a general dissatisfaction with the emphasis on revivalist architecture
and elaborate decoration gave rise to many new lines of thought that served as precursors to Modern
Architecture. Notable among these is the Deutscher Werkbund, formed in 1907 to produce better quality
machine made objects. The rise of the profession of industrial design is usually placed here. Following
this lead, the Bauhaus school, founded in Weimar, Germany in 1919, redefined the architectural bounds
prior set throughout history, viewing the creation of a building as the ultimate synthesis—the apex—of
art, craft, and technology.
When Modern architecture was first practiced, it was an avant-garde movement with moral,
philosophical, and aesthetic underpinnings. Immediately after World War I, pioneering modernist
architects sought to develop a completely new style appropriate for a new post-war social and economic
order, focused on meeting the needs of the middle and working classes. They rejected the architectural
practice of the academic refinement of historical styles which served the rapidly declining aristocratic
order. The approach of the Modernist architects was to reduce buildings to pure forms, removing
historical references and ornament in favor of functionalist details. Buildings displayed their functional
and structural elements, exposing steel beams and concrete surfaces instead of hiding them behind
decorative forms.
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Modern Architecture
Introduction to Modern Architecture
As the 20th century began modern architects believed it was necessary to invent an architecture that
expressed the spirit of a new age and would surpass the styles, materials, and technologies of earlier
Their aesthetic celebrated function in all forms of design, household furnishings, ocean liners and new
flying machines
Modern architecture also challenged traditional ideas about the types of structures suitable for
architectural design
Important civic buildings, aristocratic palaces, churches, and public institutions had long been the
mainstay of architectural practices, but modernist designers argued that architects should design all
that was necessary for society, even the most humble buildings
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Modern Architecture
Points to Note
 Modern Architecture, the buildings and building practices of the late 19th and the 20th centuries
 Modern architects reacted against the architecture of the 19th century, which they felt borrowed too
heavily from the past
 Italian architect Antonio Sant'Elia resoundingly rejected traditional architecture in his Futurist
Manifesto of 1914 (Futurism)
 He called for each generation to build its houses anew and celebrated glass, steel, and concrete as
the materials to make this possible
 In the United States Frank Lloyd Wright also rejected 19th-century European architecture
 Developments in two materials—iron and concrete—formed the technological basis for much modern
 Steel for construction also became abundantly available in the 19th century
 In 1892 French engineer François Hennebique combined the strengths of both in a new system of
construction based on concrete reinforced with steel
 His invention made possible previously unimaginable effects: extremely thin walls with large areas of
 Architects in Chicago, Illinois, were the first to exploit the possibilities offered by the elevator in
combination with the new steel and concrete technologies
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Modern Architecture
Modern Architecture
Tower Bridge
Built between 1886 and
1894, bridge on the
Thames River in London,
near the Tower of
London, one of the city's
principal landmarks
It was the only movable
bridge crossing the
Thames when it was
completed in 1894. Sir
Horace Jones designed
the bridge, and Sir John
Wolfe Barry built it
150,000 vehicles cross it
every day. Over 900
times a year the roadway
parts and lifts to let tall
ships, cruise liners and
other large craft pass
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Modern Architecture
Modern Architecture
Sydney Opera House
Major performing arts center
on the harbor in Sydney,
Australia, regarded as the
finest modern building in the
country; completed 1973
Designed by Danish architect
Jørn Utzon, who won an
international competition for
the project in 1956
Distinctive sail-shaped towers
were pronounced unbuildable
by a British engineering firm,
redesigned at a lower angle
Utzon then resigned from the
project, and the building was
completed by the engineering
firm in 1973
Concert hall, theater for opera
and ballet, smaller theater for
plays, recording hall and
rehearsal rooms, and movie
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Modern Architecture
Empire State Building
Modern Architecture
New York City, skyscraper
located on 5th Avenue
Tallest building in the world
when completed in 1931 (381
Because of its elegant stepped
design it is often still regarded
as the ultimate American
Designed by the American
architectural firm of Shreve,
Lamb & Harmon in a
streamlined art deco style, the
Empire State Building consists
of 102 stories of office space
A radio and television mast
that was added in 1951
A model of the building was
used in the 1933 version of the
motion picture King Kong, in
the sequence in which the
giant ape clings to its upper
stories while fighting off
squadrons of fighter planes
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Read About Renaissance Architecture. Make a summary
of your findings and submit it next week.
Thank You for Your Time
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