Classical architecture

Classical architecture usually denotes architecture which is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even more specifically, from the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius.[1][2] Different styles of classical architecture have arguably existed since the Carolingian Renaissance,[3] and prominently since the Italian Renaissance. Although classical styles of architecture can vary greatly, they can in general all be said to draw on a common "vocabulary" of decorative and constructive elements.[4][5][6] In much of the Western world, different classical architectural styles have dominated the history of architecture from the Renaissance until the second world war, though it continues to inform many architects to this day.

The term "classical architecture" also applies to any mode of architecture that has evolved to a highly refined state, such as classical Chinese architecture, or classical Mayan architecture. It can also refer to any architecture that employs classical aesthetic philosophy. The term might be used differently from "traditional" or "vernacular architecture", although it can share underlying axioms with it.

For contemporary buildings following authentic classical principles, the term New Classical Architecture is sometimes used.

Serlio 5 orders peake
Sebastiano Serlio's canon of the Classical orders, a prime example of classical architectural theory.

History

Origins

Classical architecture is derived from the architecture of ancient Greece and ancient Rome. With a collapse of the western part of the Roman empire, the architectural traditions of the Roman empire ceased to be practised in large parts of western Europe. In the Byzantine Empire, the ancient ways of building lived on but relatively soon developed into a distinct Byzantine style.[7] The first conscious efforts to bring back the disused language of form of classical antiquity into Western architecture can be traced to the Carolingian Renaissance of the late 8th and 9th centuries. The gatehouse of Lorsch Abbey (c. 800), in present-day Germany thus displays a system of alternating attached columns and arches which could be an almost direct paraphrase of e.g., that of the Colosseum in Rome.[8] Byzantine architecture, just as Romanesque and even to some extent Gothic architecture (with which classical architecture is often posed), can also incorporate classical elements and details but do not to the same degree reflect a conscious effort to draw upon the architectural traditions of antiquity; for example, they do not observe the idea of a systematic order of proportions for pillars. In general, therefore, they are not considered classical archerchitectural styles in a strict sense.[9]

Porch of Maidens
Caryatids on the Erechtheion, (Athens), an example of a Greek architectural element taken up by later classical architecture.
MaisonCarrée.jpeg
The fronts of ancient Roman temples like the Maison Carrée in Nîmes have inspired much later classical architecture, e.g. Virginia State Capitol.
Kloster Lorsch 07
Lorsch Abbey gatehouse (Germany), c. 800, an example of the architectural style of the short-lived Carolingian Renaissance, a first classical movement in architecture.

Development

S Maria Nuova (Vicenza) 20081204-1 retouched
The emphatically classical church façade of Santa Maria Nova, Vicenza (1578–90) was designed by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.

During the Italian renaissance and with the demise of Gothic style, major efforts were made by architects such as Leon Battista Alberti, Sebastiano Serlio and Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola to revive the language of architecture of first and foremost ancient Rome. This was done in part through the study of the ancient Roman architectural treatise De architectura by Vitruvius, and to some extent by studying the actual remains of ancient Roman buildings in Italy.[10] Nonetheless, the classical architecture of the Renaissance from the outset represents a highly specific interpretation of the classical ideas. In a building like the Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence by Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the very earliest Renaissance buildings (built 1419–45), the treatment of the columns for example has no direct antecedent in ancient Roman architecture.[11] During this time period, the study of ancient architecture developed into the architectural theory of classical architecture; somewhat over-simplified, one could say that classical architecture in its variety of forms ever since have been interpretations and elaborations of the architectural rules set down during antiquity.[12]

Most of the styles originating in post-renaissance Europe can be described as classical architecture. This broad use of the term is employed by Sir John Summerson in The Classical Language of Architecture. The elements of classical architecture have been applied in radically different architectural contexts than those for which they were developed, however. For example, Baroque or Rococo architecture are styles which, although classical at root, display an architectural language very much in their own right. During these periods, architectural theory still referred to classical ideas but rather less sincerely than during the Renaissance.[13]

As a reaction to late baroque and rococo forms, architectural theorists from circa 1750 through what became known as Neoclassicism again consciously and earnestly attempted to emulate antiquity, supported by recent developments in Classical archaeology and a desire for an architecture based on clear rules and rationality. Claude Perrault, Marc-Antoine Laugier and Carlo Lodoli were among the first theorists of neoclassicism, while Étienne-Louis Boullée, Claude Nicolas Ledoux, Friedrich Gilly and John Soane were among the more radical and influential.[14] Neoclassical architecture held a particularly strong position on the architectural scene c. 1750–1850. The competing neo-Gothic style however rose to popularity during the early 1800s, and the later part the 19th century was characterised by a variety of styles, some of them only slightly or not at all related to classicism (such as Art Nouveau), and eclecticism. Although classical architecture continued to play an important role and for periods of time at least locally dominated the architectural scene, as exemplified by the "Nordic Classicism" during the 1920s, classical architecture in its stricter form never regained its former dominance. With the advent of Modernism during the early 20th century, classical architecture arguably almost completely ceased to be practised.[15]

Glyptothek, Königsplatz, Múnich, Alemania02
The Glyptothek in Munich, designed by Leo von Klenze and built 1816–30, an example of Neoclassical architecture.

Scope

As noted above, classical styles of architecture dominated Western architecture for a very long time, roughly from the Renaissance until the advent of Modernism. That is to say, that classical antiquity at least in theory was considered the prime source of inspiration for architectural endeavours in the West for much of Modern history. Even so, because of liberal, personal or theoretically diverse interpretations of the antique heritage, classicism covers a broad range of styles, some even so to speak cross-referencing, like Neo-Palladian architecture, which draws its inspiration from the works of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio — who himself drew inspiration from ancient Roman architecture.[16] Furthermore, it can even be argued (as noted above) that styles of architecture not typically considered classical, like Gothic, can be said to contain classical elements. Therefore, a simple delineation of the scope of classical architecture is difficult to make.[17] The more or less defining characteristic can still be said to be a reference to ancient Greek or Roman architecture, and the architectural rules or theories that derived from that architecture.

Petrification

In the grammar of architecture, the word petrification is often used when discussing the development of sacred structures, such as temples, mainly with reference to developments in the Greek world. During the Archaic and early Classical periods (about the 6th and early 5th centuries BC), the architectural forms of the earliest temples had solidified and the Doric emerged as the predominant element. A widely accepted theory in classical studies is that the earliest temple structures were of wood and the great forms, or elements of architectural style, were codified and rather permanent by the time we see the Archaic emergent and established. It was during this period, at different times and places in the Greek world, that the use of dressed and polished stone replaced the wood in these early temples, but the forms and shapes of the old wooden styles were retained, just as if the wooden structures had turned to stone, thus the designation petrification[18] or sometimes "petrified carpentry"[19] for this process.

This careful preservation of the primitive wooden appearance in the stone fabric of the newer buildings was scrupulously observed and this suggests that it may have been dictated by religion rather than aesthetics, although the exact reasons are now lost in the mists of antiquity. And not everyone within the great reach of Mediterranean civilization made this transition. The Etruscans in Italy were, from their earliest period, greatly influenced by their contact with Greek culture and religion, but they retained their wooden temples (with some exceptions) until their culture was completely absorbed into the Roman world, with the great wooden Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol in Rome itself being a good example. Nor was it the lack of knowledge of stone working on their part that prevented them from making the transition from timber to dressed stone.

See also

References

  1. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  2. ^ Watkin, David (2005). A History of Western Architecture (4 ed.). Watson-Guptill Publications. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8230-2277-3.
  3. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  4. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  5. ^ Watkin, David (2005). A History of Western Architecture (4 ed.). Watson-Guptill Publications. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8230-2277-3.
  6. ^ Summerson, John (1980). The Classical Language of Architecture. Thames and Hudson Ltd. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-500-20177-3.
  7. ^ Adam, Robert (1992). Classical Architecture. Viking. p. 16.
  8. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1964). An Outline of European Architecture (7 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 45–47.
  9. ^ Summerson, John (1980). The Classical Language of Architecture. Thames and Hudson Ltd. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-500-20177-3.
  10. ^ Summerson, John (1980). The Classical Language of Architecture. Thames and Hudson Ltd. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-500-20177-3.
  11. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1964). An Outline of European Architecture (7 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 177–178.
  12. ^ Evers, Bernd; Thoenes, Christof (2011). Architectural Theory from the Renaissance to the Present. 1. Taschen. pp. 6–19. ISBN 978-3-8365-3198-6.
  13. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  14. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 76. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  15. ^ Summerson, John (1980). The Classical Language of Architecture. Thames and Hudson Ltd. p. 114. ISBN 0-500-20177-3.
  16. ^ Fleming, John; Honour, Hugh; Pevsner, Nikolaus (1986). Dictionary of architecture (3 ed.). Penguin Books Ltd. p. 234. ISBN 0-14-051013-3.
  17. ^ Summerson, John (1980). The Classical Language of Architecture. Thames and Hudson Ltd. pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-500-20177-3.
  18. ^ Gagarin, Michael. The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Greece and Rome. Vol. 1. Oxford [u.a.: Oxford Univ. Press, 2010. 210. ISBN 0195170725
  19. ^ Watkin, David. A history of Western architecture. 4th ed. London: Laurence King, 2005. 25. ISBN 1856694593

Further reading

Architrave

In Classical architecture an architrave (; from Italian: architrave "chief beam", also called an epistyle; from Greek ἐπίστυλον epistylon "door frame") is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns.

The term can also apply to all sides, including the vertical members, of a frame with mouldings around a door or window. The word "architrave" is also used to refer more generally to a style of mouldings (or other elements) framing the top of a door, window or other rectangular opening, where the horizontal "head" casing extends across the tops of the vertical side casings where the elements join (forming a butt joint, as opposed to a miter joint).

Classical order

An order in architecture is a certain assemblage of parts subject to uniform established proportions, regulated by the office that each part has to perform.

Coming down to the present from Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman civilization, the architectural orders are the styles of classical architecture, each distinguished by its proportions and characteristic profiles and details, and most readily recognizable by the type of column employed. The three orders of architecture—the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian—originated in Greece. To these the Romans added, in practice if not in name, the Tuscan, which they made simpler than Doric, and the Composite, which was more ornamental than the Corinthian. The architectural order of a classical building is akin to the mode or key of classical music; the grammar or rhetoric of a written composition. It is established by certain modules like the intervals of music, and it raises certain expectations in an audience attuned to its language.Whereas the orders were essentially structural in Ancient Greek architecture, which made little use of the arch until its late period, in Roman architecture where the arch was often dominant, the orders became increasingly decorative elements except in porticos and similar uses. Columns shrank into half-columns emerging from walls or turned into pilasters. This treatment continued after the conscious and "correct" use of the orders, initially following exclusively Roman models, returned in the Italian Renaissance. Greek Revival architecture, inspired by increasing knowledge of Greek originals, returned to more authentic models, including ones from relatively early periods.

Corbel

In architecture a corbel is in medieval architecture a structural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight, a type of bracket. A corbel is a solid piece of material in the wall, whereas a console is a piece applied to the structure. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger" in England.

The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or parapet, has been used since Neolithic (New Stone Age) times. It is common in medieval architecture and in the Scottish baronial style as well as in the vocabulary of classical architecture, such as the modillions of a Corinthian cornice, Hindu temple architecture and in ancient Chinese architecture. The corbel arch and corbel vault use the technique sytematically to make openings in walls and to form ceilings. These are found in the early architecture of most cultures, from Eurasia to Pre-Columbian architecture.A console is more specifically an "S"-shaped scroll bracket in the classical tradition, with the upper or inner part larger than the lower (as in the first illustration) or outer. Keystones are also often in the form of consoles. Whereas "corbel" is rarely used outside architecture, "console" is widely used for furniture, as in console table, and other decorative arts where the motif appears.

The word "corbel" comes from Old French and derives from the Latin corbellus, a diminutive of corvus ("raven"), which refers to the beak-like appearance. Similarly, the French refer to a bracket-corbel, usually a load-bearing internal feature, as a corbeau ("crow").

Cornice

In architecture, a cornice (from the Italian cornice meaning "ledge") is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns a building or furniture element – the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the top edge of a pedestal or along the top of an interior wall. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown.

A projecting cornice on a building has the function of throwing rainwater free of the building's walls. In residential building practice, this function is handled by projecting gable ends, roof eaves, and gutters. However, house eaves may also be called "cornices" if they are finished with decorative molding. In this sense, while most cornices are also eaves (in that they overhang the sides of the building), not all eaves are usually considered cornices – eaves are primarily functional and not necessarily decorative, and a cornice has a decorative aspect to it.

The projecting cornice of a building may appear to be heavy and hence in danger of falling, particularly on commercial buildings, but often it may be very light, made of pressed metal.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is one of the halls in the Los Angeles Music Center (which is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the United States). The Music Center's other halls include the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, and Walt Disney Concert Hall.The Pavilion has 3,156 seats spread over four tiers, with chandeliers, wide curving stairways and rich décor. The auditorium's sections are the Orchestra (divided in Premiere Orchestra, Center Orchestra, Main Orchestra and Orchestra Ring), Circle (divided in Grand Circle and Founders Circle), Loge (divide in Front Loge and Rear Loge), as well as Balcony (divided in Front Balcony and Rear Balcony).

Driehaus Architecture Prize

The Driehaus Architecture Prize, fully named The Richard H. Driehaus Prize at the University of Notre Dame, is a global award to honor a major contributor in the field of contemporary vernacular and classical architecture, commonly referred to as New Classical architecture. The Driehaus Prize was conceived as an alternative to the predominantly modernist Pritzker Prize.

It was initiated by fund manager and philanthropist Richard Driehaus and established in 2003 by the Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust. It is presented annually through the classical-teaching School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, United States.

The most recent prize winners of 2018 are Marc Breitman and Nada Breitman-Jakov, who received the award during a ceremony on March 24 in Chicago. The 2017 laureate was Robert Adam of ADAM Architecture.The jury also awards the Henry Hope Reed Award (given in conjunction with the Driehaus Prize) to an individual working outside the practice of architecture, who has supported the cultivation of the traditional city, its architecture and art through writing, planning or promotion. The 2018 Reed Award is given to the German chair of the Society for Rebuilding Dresden's New Market (GHND), Torsten Kulke.

Entablature

An entablature (; nativization of Italian intavolatura, from in "in" and tavola "table") is the superstructure of moldings and bands which lies horizontally above columns, resting on their capitals. Entablatures are major elements of classical architecture, and are commonly divided into the architrave (the supporting member immediately above; equivalent to the lintel in post and lintel construction), the frieze (an unmolded strip that may or may not be ornamented), and the cornice (the projecting member below the pediment). The Greek and Roman temples are believed to be based on wooden structures, the design transition from wooden to stone structures being called petrification.

Fluting (architecture)

Fluting in architecture consists of shallow grooves running along a surface.

The term typically refers to the grooves running vertically on a column shaft or a pilaster, but need not necessarily be restricted to those two applications. If the hollowing out of material meets in a point, the point is called an arris.

John Adams Building

The John Adams Building is the second oldest of the four buildings of the Library of Congress of the United States. It is named for John Adams, the second president, who signed the law creating the Library of Congress. The building is in the Capitol Hill district of Washington D.C. next to the Library's main building (the Thomas Jefferson Building). It opened to the public on January 3, 1939, and was long known as The Annex building. The annex was built in a restrained but very detailed Art Deco style and faced in white Georgia marble. It is located on Second Street SE between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street in Washington, DC.

Neo-Historism

Neo-Historism, also known as Neo-Historicism, comprises artistic styles that draw their inspiration from recreating historicist styles or artisans. This is especially prevalent in styles used in revival architecture. Through combination of different styles or implementation of new elements, Neo-Historism can create completely different aesthetics than former styles. Thus it offers a great variety of possible designs.

It is a sub-trend of New Classical architecture.

Neoclassical

Neoclassical or neo-classical may refer to:

Neoclassicism or New Classicism, any of a number of movements in the fine arts, literature, theatre, music, language, and architecture beginning in the 17th century

Neoclassical architecture, an architectural style of the 18th and 19th centuries

Neoclassical sculpture, a sculptural style of the 18th and 19th centuries

New Classical architecture, an overarching movement of contemporary classical architecture in the 21st century

in linguistics, a word that is a recent construction from New Latin based on older, classical elements

Neoclassical ballet, a ballet style which uses traditional ballet vocabulary, but is generally more expansive than the classical structure allowed

The "Neo-classical period" of painter Pablo Picasso immediately following World War I

Neoclassical economics, a general approach in economics focusing on the determination of prices, outputs, and income distributions in markets through supply and demand

Neoclassical realism, theory in international relations

Neo-classical school (criminology), a school in criminology that continues the traditions of the Classical School within the framework of Right Realism

Neo-classical theology, another name for process theology, a school of thought influenced by the metaphysical process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead

Neoclassical transport is an effect seen in magnetic fusion energy reactors

Neoclassical architecture

Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, and the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.In form, neoclassical architecture emphasizes the wall rather than chiaroscuro and maintains separate identities to each of its parts. The style is manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulae as an outgrowth of some classicising features of the Late Baroque architectural tradition. Neoclassical architecture is still designed today, but may be labelled New Classical Architecture for contemporary buildings.

In Central and Eastern Europe, the style is usually referred to as Classicism (German: Klassizismus, Russian: Классицизм), while the newer revival styles of the 19th century until today are called neoclassical.

New Classical architecture

New Classical architecture is a modern movement in architecture that continues the practice of classical and traditional architecture. It can be considered as the modern continuation of the Neoclassical movement and other revivalist movement that may or may not fall to the umbrella term; Classical architecture. The design and construction of buildings in these traditions is continuous throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, even as modernist and other post-classical theories of architecture have been more dominant. Since New Classical architecture is not an architectural style and can appear in various forms, contemporary classical buildings might be also, although not correctly, be described with the terms Traditionalism, Neo-Historism (or Historicism/Revivalism), or simply Neoclassical Architecture, implying the continuation of a specific historical style.

Outline of classical architecture

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to classical architecture:

Classical architecture – architecture of classical antiquity, that is, ancient Greek architecture and the architecture of ancient Rome. It also refers to the style or styles of architecture influenced by those. For example, most of the styles originating in post-renaissance Europe can be described as classical architecture. This broad use of the term is employed by Sir John Summerson in The Classical Language of Architecture.

Pavilion

In architecture, a pavilion (from French pavillon, from Latin papilio) has several meanings. In architectural terminology it refers to a subsidiary building that is either positioned separately or as an attachment to a main building. Often its function makes it an object of pleasure.In the traditional architecture of Asia, palaces or other large houses may have one or more subsidiary pavilions that are either freestanding or connected by covered walkways, as in the Forbidden City, Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, and in the Red Fort and other buildings of Mughal architecture.

In another more specific meaning applied to large palaces, it refers to symmetrically placed subsidiary building blocks that appear to be attached to each end of a main building block or to the outer ends of wings that extend from both sides of a central building block – the corps de logis. Such configurations provide an emphatic visual termination to the composition of a large building, akin to bookends.

Pilaster

A pilaster is an architectural element in classical architecture used to give the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function. It consists of a flat surface raised from the main wall surface, usually treated as though it were a column, with a capital at the top, plinth (base) at the bottom, and the various other column elements. In contrast to a pilaster, an engaged column or buttress can support the structure of a wall and roof above.

Proportion (architecture)

Proportion is a central principle of architectural theory and an important connection between mathematics and art. It is the visual effect of the relationships of the various objects and spaces that make up a structure to one another and to the whole. These relationships are often governed by multiples of a standard unit of length known as a "module".Proportion in architecture was discussed by Vitruvius, Alberti, Andrea Palladio and Le Corbusier among others.

Revivalism (architecture)

Revivalism in architecture is the use of visual styles that consciously echo the style of a previous architectural era.

Modern-day revival styles can be summarized within new Classical architecture.

Stripped Classicism

Stripped Classicism (or "Starved Classicism" or "Grecian Moderne") is primarily a 20th-century classicist architectural style stripped of most or all ornamentation, frequently employed by governments while designing official buildings. It was adapted by both totalitarian and democratic regimes. The style embraces a "simplified but recognizable" classicism in its overall massing and scale while eliminating traditional decorative detailing. The orders of architecture are only hinted at or are indirectly implicated in the form and structure.Despite its etymological similarity, Stripped Classicism is sometimes distinguished from "Starved Classicism", the latter "displaying little feeling for rules, proportions, details, and finesse, and lacking all verve and élan". At other times the terms "stripped" and "starved" are used interchangeably.

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