Architecture: Ancient Greece
Architecture and the differing styles of buildings is fascinating; the way two buildings can essentially serve the same purpose and yet be built completely differently is a point of interest for many. As is the evolution of style through the ages, from the ancient columns and distinctive style of the ancient creations to the sleek, "fit for purpose" designs of the current day, the evolution of style is seriously impressive.
Architecture and the differing styles of buildings is fascinating; the way two buildings can essentially serve the same purpose and yet be built completely differently is a point of interest for many. As is the evolution of style through the ages, from the ancient columns and distinctive style of the ancient creations to the sleek, “fit for purpose” designs of the current day, the evolution of style is seriously impressive.
Today we’re going to be taking a look at the ancient European architecture found in Ancient Greece and through the Roman Empire. Although they have their differences, the styles are generally considered similar enough to be spoken about together.
The main type of building that people tend to remember are the temples; usually huge, sprawling structures that were largely left open plan, with statues, columns and plenty of decorative aspects. However, the style of building did vary greatly between temples, domestic buildings and commercial buildings.
Homes back then had far fewer facilities than the properties that we know and love now. For example, the baths were kept separately to the home, and bathing was a communal affair that was undertaken outside of the home. There were very few rooms in the housing of the majority; with the earliest containing no more than two. The style of the buildings was very simple, often open plan (which is thought to have inspired the style of the temples, which in some cases were built later), and served only its basic purpose.
One of the most famous buildings that Ancient Rome has to offer is the Colosseum. Now nothing more than a ruin, the once grand and proud Colosseum was the heart of Ancient Rome’s entertainment. Construction began in 72AD, began by Emperor Vespasian, and spawned what is now believed to be one of the greatest feats of architecture, modern or ancient.
Something that can be said for both Ancient Grecian and Ancient Roman architecture is that they definitely built and designed to impress. The buildings, with perhaps the exception of the domiciliary buildings, are immense, with features that make them impressive to behold even now, so imagine how they must have looked in their prime? Grecian columns and Roman mosaics are found everywhere in ancient architecture, and the sheer scope of the buildings is incredibly impressive, given the basic methods they had to employ to build it.
We can still find inspiration from this beautiful style of architecture in some of the buildings today; for example, the White House in Washington DC and its prominent column features on the front; and the Oslo Trading Building in Norway. Although buildings these days are largely more downplayed, the features that are still employed work to make even today’s architecture absolutely beautiful.
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