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Copy of Influence of Greek to Modern Architecture
Transcript of Copy of Influence of Greek to Modern Architecture
Greek life was dominated by religion, and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful. They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron deity of a city for success in war.
Greek architecture is one the earliest forms of architecture style. The Greek architects perfected and refined the use of columns, primarily in temples. There are three types of column styles based on the three main Greek Orders of architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These styles of column design and architecture were adapted by the Romans, and serve as the basis of everything known as Classical architecture today. The Greeks, having the first true form of democracy which America would later adopt, has a true influence on America's buildings. For example, the White House and Capital Building have columns, and Greece was known for the columns on their temples.
Greek Inspired Buildings
It is clear Greek architecture has an influence on the design of today’s buildings, although modern architects are attempting to steer away from classical and renaissance design influence.
We may say that ancient Greek architecture has provided not only many of the staple features of modern western architecture, but it has also given the world truly magnificent buildings which have literally stood the test of time and continue to inspire admiration and awe. Many of these buildings - the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena, the volute of an Ionic capital - have become the instantly recognizable and iconic symbols of ancient Greece.
Brief History of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece was distributed around the Mediterranean and Black Seas. It was not a country, but hundreds of independent city-states which adopted Greek culture. These cities were scattered around the coastlines and islands from Spain, southern France, southern Italy, Sicily, north Africa, and Asia Minor to southern Russia. When Alexander the Great captured the Persian Empire, he and his successors promoted Hellenism in those areas too, but it was mostly a veneer, and faded quickly in the outlying areas. His empire was split up amongst his generals, who made themselves into kings (Hellenistic Kingdoms). Those kings grabbed what they could in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Rome progressively absorbed them into its empire by the end of the 1st Century BC.
The Doric architectural style was plain, sturdy, and had a cylindrical shape. Topped with a flat and plain square, Doric columns were usually engraved with vertical lines, (fluting), running through the entire column. These designs were very basic. This style was mostly found in mainland Greece and influenced colonies like Italy. Examples of the Doric style are the Parthenon at the Acropolis, and the Temple of Hephaestus.
The Ionic architectural style was more elegant than the Doric style. The columns were taller, more delicate, and more decorative. A typical Ionic column was engraved with vertical lines and topped with a rectangular, scroll-like shape. This style came from eastern Greece and was very popular during the Hellenistic period.
Examples of the Ionic style are the Erechtheum, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Athena.
The Corinthian architectural style was similar to the Ionic style because of its elaborate designs at the ends of the pillars. Corinthian style was more detailed and designs were usually based around nature, like leaves and flowers. Like the other columns, these would be vertically engraved with lines. This was called "fluting."
Examples of the Corinthian style are the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, the monument of Lysicrates, and the temple of Zeus at Athens.
How did Ancient Greek Architecture Influence Modern Architecture?
Greek architecture influenced Roman architecture, which influenced Renaissance architecture (apx 16th c.) and neo-Classical architecture (17-18th c.) in Europe, which had a world-wide influence. As in literature, philosophy, math, science, and so many areas, Greek civilization provides the basis of what comes afterward.
The Parthenon has influenced modern architecture in many ways. First, many political buildings today are made from marble or a material that looks similar to marble to represent wealth. Next, political buildings and libraries sometimes have columns to support the roofs of the buildings. Lastly, the metopes and friezes of the buildings are usually heavily decorated just like in the ancient Parthenon.
The Temple of Hephaestus and Athena was started in 449 BCE, just two years before the Parthenon. The project was sponsored by the Athenian politician Pericles and designed by an unknown architect whose handiwork can be seen throughout Attica. This temple was the first in Athens to be made of marble.
The temple of Athena Nike is a temple in the Ionic order, with four monolithic columns at the east and west fronts.
It is the smallest structure on the Athenian Acropolis, but holds no less importance than its neighboring shrines. Built to honor Athena Nike, the goddess of victory.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus was an enormous structure, (the largest temple in Greece), exceeding even the Parthenon in size. The temple of Zeus was built in honor of Zeus, the god of the sky as well as the ruler of the Olympian gods. The temple was built between 472 and 456 BCE.
In certain periods, such as the "Greek Revival" (1820s), Greek architecture was directly imitated.
Ionic columns at the Chamber of Commerce in Dougherty County, Georgia
Corinthian architecture at the Fontana di Trevi in Rome
The Coliseum in Rome, featuring all three orders of Greek architecture
A house-style cottage in the United States
The Oslo Trading Building in Norway
The White House in Washington, D.C.
The Greeks certainly had a preference for marble, at least for their public buildings. Initially, wood was most likely used for not only such basic architectural elements as columns, but the entire buildings themselves. Early 8th century BCE temples were constructed as so and had thatch roofs. From the late 7th century BCE, temples, in particular, slowly began to be converted into more durable stone edifices; some even had a mix of the two materials. Some scholars have argued that certain decorative features of stone column capitals and elements of the entablature evolved from the skills of the carpenter displayed in more ancient, wooden architectural elements.
Wood was used for supports and roof beams; plaster, used for sinks and bathtubs; unbaked brick, used for walls, especially for private homes; limestone and marble, used for columns, walls, and upper portions of temples and public buildings; terracotta, used for roof tiles and ornaments; and metals, especially bronze, used for decorative details. Architects of the Archaic and Classical periods used these building materials to construct five simple types of buildings: religious, civic, domestic, funerary, or recreational themes.
Greeks mostly used materials such as wood, unbaked bricks, limestone, marble, terracotta, and metals when it came to constructing their structures. Today, these supplies are still used by contractors who build edifices, whether they are structures signifying religion, politics, or recreation.
Baguio Central School
Originally designed by Pat Brucelas 25 November 2013