Friday, March 27, 2009

Alternatives Unit Summary

The Middle Ages was the time of the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Renaissance was a time of rebirth and reformation. Designers and architects were exploring new boundaries and breaking rules set by previous styles and architects. Religion was a major motivating source, which is why most architecture was for religious purposes, such as: St. Peter’s church, which was larger motivated by Christianity. The Renaissance began moving outside in courtyards for political purposes. The Ospedale Innocenti celebrated the public square and gave an idea to what designers were addressing in Renaissance building. The Palazza Rucellai collapsed the history and design of the Coliseum and applied it to their design by the use of the columns and levels. The Renaissance also brought in the idea of different views. Compared to the façade views used before, the Renaissance designers began showing a whole second façade along the sides of the buildings. This allowed for more dimensionality in the designs and also to give depth to the buildings other than the interior.
Along with the Renaissance came the abstract and functional idea of Villas. Villas became the working farms to raise food to feed Venice. They were organized around a central circular space. The Villa Giulia was a landscape, garden scape, and building scape linked together to form one space. The interiors and furniture used in the Villas were to bring order out of chaos and to bring things from the past and embed them in the present.
Many architects and designers began testing boundaries and breaking rules. Michelangelo Buonarroti painted the Capella Sistina at the Pope’s request, but began using the idea of disintegrating the wall in the paint so that it provides an illusion of no walls and transforming the viewer into a new space. In the Laurentian Library Vestibule, Michelangelo pushed the columns into the wall, then cut out the space around then to let them be columns for decoration and support. This was much different from the past idea of columns that had to be seen all around with decoration and mainly used for support. He also used the idea of a cascading waterfall for the stairs to give the idea of pouring forth knowledge from the library.
Borromini was a Baroque architect that began thinking outside of the box by trying to fit the St. Maria Pace into a courtyard where there was no room to place a church. He also tried to cram as much fluidity in the St. Ivo as possible while embedding the Trinity into the design itself. Bernini was also a Baroque architect who designed the Trevi fountain by using the idea of water flowing throughout the entire fountain structure.
These designers thought outside their boxes created by architects and architecture before them by taking their ideas and making them their own. The Renaissance was a time to renew architecture from the ideas that were established by the Greeks and Romans years before and applying that to new construction. The Renaissance and Baroque came together by bringing new ideas and adding ornate detail to the designs. These styles helped in establishing architecture for today and the future by giving way to thinking outside the box.

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