History of Architecture
History of architecture is a vast subject, but is an indispensable and invaluable key to understand architecture. Architecture has always been very close to civilization's development. In fact, we can see architecture as a mirror, reflecting civilizations changes, advancements and hopes throughout history. The same applies to other forms of art and culture, but architecture, since it is not only a form of art but also catering to fundamental human needs, can sometimes be a deeper portrait of what happened in a certain place at a certain time.
By studying history of architecture, we not only study history of civilizations, but, since architecture is a coherent chain of events, styles, tendencies, beliefs and techniques, we also gain a direct understanding of how and why architecture is made today, and clues to how architecture can be tomorrow.
This section covers the time period ranging from earliest forms of civilization to the beginning of the classical period. Forms of architecture presented here sometimes spanned over very large periods of time, and took place in very different points of the globe. We can see these early periods as bases on which the subsequent periods will be built.
- Prehistoric architecture starts from the neolithic period
- Babylonian architecture
- Mesopotamian architecture
- Etruscan architecture is the premises of what will become roman architecture
- Egyptian architecture, which can be described as the mother of architecture, began around year 3000 BC, with the first pharaonic dynasties, and dies when Egypt gets conquered by Rome around year 300 BC
Traditionally, history of architecture is mainly based on western (European) architecture, because western civilizations have throughout the history conquered or influenced almost all other territories, and today, history of western architecture is part of almost all courses of history of architecture around the globe, and can be considered as the classical "trunk" of World architecture. Commonly, history of architecture is divided in the following principal parts:
- Greek architecture, which began round year 1500 BC with the first pre-hellenic civilizations of Minos and Mycaenae, passes through classical hellenic apogee and dies with the rise of the roman empire
- Roman architecture, which began roughly around year 500 BC and ends up in decadence until the 6th century
- Byzantine architecture, which is a sequel to the roman architecture, in an environment where it could survive longer
- Romanesque architecture, which raises around 10th century after a long period of middle-age darkness
- Gothic architecture, which evolves from the Romanesque period, around 12th century
- Renaissance architecture, which follows the important paradigm changes of the Renaissance, in the 15th century
- Baroque architecture, which follows the catholic counter-reformation begins in the 17th century
- Neoclassical architecture, or the multiplicity of neo- styles appearing during the age of Enlightenment
- Modern architecture, began round year 1920, which somehow ends what is commonly considered history of architecture, since what comes after modernism is probably what we are doing today. After modernism, we enter in another discipline called Theory of Architecture.
Architecture in Africa and the Middle-East
Architecture in the middle-east shares common bases with western architecture.
Architecture in Asia
- Indo-islamic (Mughal) architecture
- Indian architecture
- Chinese architecture covers the history and theory of ancient Chinese architecture, from its initial phase in China to the influence it has exerted in Korea and later Japan to the east, and Vietnam to the south.
- Japanese architecture
- Christian Norberg-Schulz, a famous specialist on history of western architecture, wrote a series of highly important books on the subject, mainly focusing on understanding the links between aspirations of human societies and their translations in architecture.
- Philip Johnson: is a postmodernist architect who has designed a nuclear cooling tower in Rehovat, Israel, the Glass House, the Crystal Cathedral, and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass building, and the Four Seasons Restaurant inside the Seagram Building in New York. He has also done work for Sony and Transco.
The subpage links to maps of ancient ruins.