Architecture: what it is, concept, styles and brief history

"Architecture is petrified music." The phrase of the German writer Goethe (1749-1832) synthesizes one of the primordial functions of the architecture: to make art, but a different type of art, where bricks and cement are the raw material.

The word "architecture" derives from the junction between the Greek words "arche", meaning first or principal, and "tékton", which means construction.

Nowadays, architecture can be defined as the relationship between man and space, or rather, how it interferes in the environment, creating favorable aesthetic and functional conditions for habitation, use and organization of environments.

Already to realize that today's post is all dedicated to this ancient art form is not it? So we invite you to embark with us in this post and get to know more about architecture and all its history, discovering more about this artistic way of building and living that shaped our history in the past, leads our life in the present and already indicates the foundation for the future. Come and see:

Brief history of architecture and concept

Architecture concept

Architecture is a type of visual art very well known to mankind over the millennia and presently present in the life of every inhabitant of this wonderful blue planet. Architecture shapes the lives of all of us. It is responsible for creating spaces - public and private - capable of uniting, at the same time, functionality, aesthetics and comfort.

It is not possible to say exactly when and where architecture arose in the history of mankind. But from prehistoric times it is already possible to notice the man's concern to shape the space in which he lived, so that he felt more secure and comfortable.

In the early days of architecture, the building blocks were clay, water and sun: the three ingredients needed to create the raw bricks - which are now used, especially now with the sustainable trend in architecture. The earliest brick houses that are known are dated to 7000 BC in the region between the Middle East and Central Asia. In addition to clay, stone and wood were also often used for constructions.

But it was not only houses that the ancient architecture lived, in fact, much of what survived to the present day are temples, tombs and palaces erected mainly for the purpose of worshiping gods. In this respect, architecture and religiosity have gone hand in hand for a long time.

Architecture in the ancient world

Architecture evolves along with humanity, as far as the technological aspect is concerned, as well as in the social and cultural aspect. The great architectural works of the past tell the story of man, his way of life, his beliefs and his way of living in society. Get to know the three main civilizations that have stood out in architecture and serve as inspiration to this day:


Architecture: what it is, concept, styles and brief history

The Egyptian civilization originated about four thousand years before Christ with the political union of the peoples who inhabited the Nile River. Egyptian architecture, as well as that of prehistoric peoples, was marked by great temples for the gods, in addition to the famous tombs for the pharaohs.

It was the Egyptians who developed the stone-building technique. This was because clay bricks did not represent a durable material for them, which went against all the thinking of this people who believed in the idea of ​​the eternal and immutable.

But one of the major contributions of the Egyptians to architecture was the use of wooden fittings to stack stones, which ruled out the need to use mass to hold them together. With this technique it was possible to construct huge temples of stones with very heavy coverings. The pyramids are there today to show the strength of Egyptian architecture and ingenuity.


Greek Architecture

Greek architecture to this day is known as classical architecture. The Greek buildings were mathematically perfect. Although most of his works had a religious motive, the Greeks were masters of rationality. Everything they built was based on calculations, rules, proportions, and perspective.

Marble was the main material of the Greek constructions, and it was used in a similar way as the Egyptians' fitting technique. Greek temples and cities have survived the times and today they have become objects of appreciation to those who admire the beautiful and the history of architecture.


Roman Architecture

The Romans were strongly influenced by the Greeks, but they brought a differential to architecture: the arches. The Roman architecture is marked by temples, monuments, sculptures and arches inspired by the practical spirit and warrior of the Romans. However, the concern with the beautiful has not been ruled out, such evidence of this is the Colosseum and the Arc de Triomphe.

The Romans also had to adapt their building materials to the reality of the place where they lived. It was they who created the construction technique that mixed volcanic sand with limestone and broken tiles.

This mixture, ancestral relative of the cement, was responsible for erecting, for example, the dome of the Pantheon, a monumental work with 43.2 meters of height and no pillar of support.

Architectural Styles

Over the centuries, architecture has been consolidating itself as art and has taken on its own styles, just as it happens in the plastic arts and music. Check below the main architectural styles:

Classic style

The classical style originally refers to all construction inspired by the Greco-Roman architectural traditions. That is, in this style, symmetry, solidity, and the use of rigid and structured materials, such as marble and stones, prevail.

Classical architecture is also marked by sober, luxurious and functional constructions, with man and his social relations as the main characteristic.

Medieval style

Medieval Architecture Notredame Cathedral

The architecture in the Middle Ages comprises ten centuries of history, going from the fifth century to the fifteenth century. During this period were born unique and unmistakable styles such as Gothic, Romantic and Byzantine. These styles bring in common Christian inspiration, since throughout the period the efforts of construction were directed toward cathedrals and churches.

One of the greatest symbols of the Gothic style is the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, built between the years of 1163 and 1250. The gigantic churches with pointed towers were a human attempt to touch the heavens and establish contact with the divine.

Quite different from classical architecture, for example, which had its main inspiration in man and his socio-political relationship, even with works directed to the gods.

Renaissance Style

Renaissance architecture

The Renaissance style emerged shortly after the medieval period, in the late 14th century until the mid-16th century, and goes against everything that had been put up until then. Man, reason and anthropocentrism, the idea that man is the center of everything, are the main characteristics of this style. It was at this time that the author of the work re-signed his creation - which was not the case in the Medieval era. It stands out in this period names admired until today like Rafael and Leonardo da Vinci, but the main names of the Renaissance architecture are Vignola, Alberti, Brunelleschi and Michelangelo.

The perspective and the design become the great differential of the architectonic projects of that period. The most famous works of the Renaissance are the dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and the dome of Florence in Italy.

Modern style

Architecture: what it is, concept, styles and brief history

Despite the term "modern", modern architecture is not as modern as that. This style came to dominate architecture in the early twentieth century, breaking completely with previous styles. This time, it is not the temples, the cathedrals or churches that are the main highlights of the architecture, but the buildings and gigantic skyscrapers as a way to mark the new way of life of the twentieth century man.

Modern architecture is marked by functionality above all else, nothing more than adornments and works with exaggerated decorations. Straight lines and simplicity are the motto of this style. The modern style also values ​​concepts such as socialization, integration and coexistence, so it is very common to see modern works with large spans and free areas.

Another strong hallmark of modern architecture is sustainable and environmentally friendly concept work, which should become permanent, one example being the "30 St Mary Ax", a 180-meter-tall building in London that has half the energy consumption of a conventional building.

The Bauhaus, a German school founded in 1919, was the landmark of modernism in architecture and today influences architects and artists around the world.

Contemporary style

Contemporary Architecture Walt Disney Concert Hall

Contemporary architecture comprises the last decades of the twentieth century and continues to the present day. This style of architecture is characterized by two different aspects: one appropriates modernist concepts and presents re-readings and new proposals based on what has already been conceived. The second strand disrupts the whole modern movement and proposes something entirely new, this way of thinking architecture has come to be known as deconstructivist architecture.

The fact is that contemporary architecture still cracks and its main representatives, like Frank Gehry, have their works criticized even by the members of the contemporary movement.

The main features of modern architecture are the irregular, distorted and fragmented formats, organic forms and the strong appeal for the use of sustainable and ecologically correct techniques and materials. In addition, green architecture is one of the main arms of contemporary architecture.

Be it modern, romantic or classic, architecture is a legacy of humanity to the planet. Fundamental to a more harmonious and fulfilling life, architecture becomes ever more essential in order to promote a more sustainable and ecological world, making man not only a mere occupant of the space in which he lives, but making him a conscious and responsible being by the planet that inhabits. Architecture then becomes the key to this balance.

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