Architecture refers to the planning, designing, and construction of buildings and is often referred to as works of art or cultural symbols. As ancient civilizations developed independently in scattered pockets across the world, they were often identified by their surviving architectural achievements.
Throughout the course of history, building architecture has been changing and represents the arts and culture of different eras. Each style provides the building blocks for the next cultural era with every society leaving a living legacy behind. Here’s a look at some of the outstanding architectural styles that have been evolving over the centuries.
Ancient Egyptian Architecture
Egyptian civilization not only produced marvels like the pyramids but also exquisitely detailed temples, combining incredible engineering with rich symbolism through a timeline of 3050 to 900 BC.
Greek and Roman Architecture
Designated under the umbrella of classical architecture, these early engineers created massive buildings with huge columns during the timeline of 850 BC to 476 AD. Some of the outstanding masterpieces included the Acropolis Complex, the Colosseum and the Pantheon in Rome.
This drew elements from Roman architecture and flourished from 527 AD to 1453 AD. Their iconic mosaic artworks include the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Hagia Sophia shows off the engineering prowess with its domes.
This era, also known as pre-Columbian includes Central America. It’s closely associated with Mayan architecture with its stepped pyramids and famous for its use of heavy stonework and enormous manpower to make up for technological limitations. Existing around 2000 BC to 1519 AD, a classical example is the El Castillo pyramid.
This Christian-influenced era ranged from 1150 to c. 1530 and is best showcased by the Notre-Dame in Paris with a combination of pointed arches, flying buttress and ribbed vaults.
Much of the US was created based on this ideal, including the White House and the Lincoln memorial. The timeline for this simplistic style was from 1730 to 1925.
Art Nouveau Architecture
With giant leaps in technology, curving lines, and aesthetics, a direct contrast to the earlier formalism, became the norm from 1890 to 1914 with Hotel Tassel being a signature example.
This is an umbrella term for styles that flourished from 1900 to 1960s. They included the use of glass, steel, and concrete and redefined society with their ranch-style homes and steel-enforced skyscrapers.
There was a change from austere lines back to ornamentation and decoration during the 1960s to 1990s with an apex example being the Guggenheim Museum with its undulating titanium skin.
Starting in the late 20th century, there was an integration of new technologies with art and ethical values to reinvent newer styles for a higher quality of life for city dwellers. It still carries on today…