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Roman Architecture

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Alicia Monteith

on 29 November 2010

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Transcript of Roman Architecture

History of Architecture How Roman Architecture Was Developed The Ancient Romans developed a very unique form of architecture steming from Ancient Greek influences, mixed with their own flare. Influences such as wealth and high population densities drove the Romans to discover new architectural solutions of their own. The use of arches and vaults together with a sound knowledge of building materials enabled them to achieve unpressidented success with the construction of imposing structures for public use. Examples of these public buildings would be the aqueducts of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla, as well as the Basilicas and Colosseum (pictured right). Roman architecture has become world renound for it's beauty and how long it has lasted. Ancient Roman Architecture The Arch and The Dome The development of the arch revolutionalized the way the Roman's could build buildings. Roman Architects and Engineers were troubled by the problem of heavy loads barring down on the columns of buildings. The arch allowed for the weight of the building pushing down on the columns, to be evenly distributed between columns. With stress decreasing, this allowed the buildings and spans between columns to increase; changing Roman Architecture forever. The Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain. The Dome permitted the construction of vaulted ceilings. Vaulted and Dome ceilings soon became the norm for large public buildings such as baths and basilicas. The Romans were the first to perfect the use of the archway in public buildings and it dominated their architectural style for hundreds of years. Interior of Pantheon So What is Roman Architecture Known For? The arch then became one of the most important building attributions to this day. The arch transformed into the vaulted ceilings. From there, the vaulted ceilings gave way to the dome. All three of these features, the arch, vaulted ceilings and dome can be found through many ancient buildings of Rome. Thousands of tourists flock to Rome each year to admire the architecture of the city. Housing It was impressive for their day and age. The houses ha private baths and washrooms. In floor heating Piped water They carried over many architectural aspects of their larger, more public buildings, into their residencial plans. Example, the arches pictured on the housing buildings to the right. Panoramic View of the Trajan's Forum in Rome Thermae A.K.A. Baths Each town in the Roman Empire had at least one thermae. They were the centers of public bathing and socialization. Above, the reminants of the Baths of Caracalla. They were a very popular bathing spot. Back in Ancient Rome, public baths were a place to go for exercise and relaxation. Kind of like a gym and spa combined in today's society. These baths were a huge part of daily life for the Roman's. They'd go there every day, for several hours. Roman's of higher class were accompanied by one or several slaves to the baths. Because of the great societal importance of these baths, Romans encorporated lavish architectural features. Visitors had to wear sandles because the heated floors were so warm. Arches, pillars and columns could be found throughout the buildings along with intricate and beautiful tiling and detailing. The most recognizable Roman architecture examples would be their Public Buildings Colosseum Built in the center of Rome, the Colosseum was a symbol of the wealth, power and strength of the Roman Empire. It took less then ten years to build and it became the epicenter of entertainment for everyone! Columns Another characteristic of Roman Architecture that has substancially influenced today's architecture, is the column. The Roman's didn't invent the column. But they did create new and unique styles well known to this day. Their columns influence many modern buildings such as banks, churches, government buildings and lavish homes. They are symbols of power and strength. Doric The oldest and simplest version of the Roman column.
Heavy fluted column with plain, saucer-shaped capital and base.
Considered to be the strongest of the types. Ionic More graceful yet not as simple as Doric.
The fluted column was more slender.
Capital known for the two "spirals". Corinthian Most eligant of the three and more intricate craftsmanship.
Buildings of great importance, such as the Colusseum, were built with these columns. Roman Architecture was sometimes based on the requirements of Roman Religion. For example, the Pantheon, a massive enigneering feat and architecture showcase, was built for religious purposes. The Architectural design of it, large dome and arched ceilings, were created to service it's religious needs. Amphitheaters A huge source of entertainment for the Roman Empire.
Architecture was an important part of the building process of the Amphitheaters because they wanted their public buildings to be appealing. Ancient Rome's Influence Today, Roman influence can be seen among many buildings such as banks, houses, government buildings, business buildings. We can thank the dome and arch for the modern influence of Roman Architecture on today's society. The arch and dome, to this day, stand strong and reliable. The arch can take a load off columns by distributing it evenly through itself, reducing the strain on the building substancially. The dome, although less common today, is still a symbol of eligance and prominence. Architects today often use the influence of Ancient Roman architecture because of the fact that the Roman Empire, although fallen, still portrays an image of power, dominance and an extremely influencial nation. They hope that by bringing in the influence, it casts that same image amung the society.
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