Sunday, March 1, 2009

Foundations Unit Summary

The Egyptians became a foundation for architecture today. With monuments and temples, such as: Queen Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri and the Pyramids at Giza. The templeof Hatshepsut used columns, which introduced the order for columns to the Greeks and the Romans. They came up with the order of the Ionic, Doric, Corinthian, and Composite. Many of the temples built by the Romans used the Ionic order, which was the simplest order out of the four. The Ionic order allowed for the rest of the temple to be seen without the distraction of the outside columns. The Egyptians came up with an adaptive use of buildings with a focus on interiors. The Ionic order also allowed for the surroundings to be clearly seen, which was the Egyptians intent by always working with the site. They also use the idea of making the building an external shell containing integrated and finished interiors. The Greeks took this idea and ran with it by the building of the Acropolis and most importantly, the Parthenon. The Acropolis used the surroundings by the different buildings and the city in the distance. There is not much greenery surrounding the buildings, which was made up for by the elaborate paintings decorating the exterior. The Porch of Maidens on the Erechtheion, faces the Parthenon which points the viewer to the centerpiece of the Acropolis. The Propylaia and the Temple of Athena Nike also help to point viewers and guests to the Parthenon by announcing their arrival and opening at the exact spot that leads to the main point. The Romans also used the idea of emphasis on interior and exterior, by the building of the Pantheon. The Pantheon is massive in size with huge columns along the façade, which invite the viewer inward to see what is behind the shadow of the grand entrance. Once you enter the Pantheon, you are hit with the massiveness and bright light flowing from the hole in the center of the dome. The building was distinct from any other building by becoming a sundial when the sun was above and dome form that was not very common in that time due to the complicated structure. The dome and façade influenced architecture today by the building of the Capital building in Washington, DC. The most prominent idea in architecture was the difference between male and female. The Tower of Trajan represented the male form while the Aqueducts were the female form by the exhibit of the genital areas characterized in the structures. The Egyptians used the male and female form also through the dominating pyramids compared to the temples for women. The Pyramid at Giza built by Khufu was surrounded by smaller pyramids, which represented his wives and servants that did not compare to him in society. Architecture influences society by the idea of male and female dominance and the emphasis on interior and exterior. The use of columns was also a huge part of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architecture and still influences architecture today.

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