⌚ Pompeiis Architectural Analysis

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Pompeiis Architectural Analysis



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Dionysiac frieze, Villa of Mysteries, Pompeii

A vibrant strain of Neoclassicism , inherited from Marc-Antoine Laugier 's seminal Essai, provided the foundation for two generations of international activity around the core themes of classicism, primitivism and a "return to Nature. Reaction against the dominance of neoclassical architecture came to the fore in the s with Augustus Pugin providing a moral and theoretical basis for Gothic Revival architecture , and in the s John Ruskin developed this ethos.

The American sculptor Horatio Greenough published the essay "'American Architecture" in August , in which he rejected the imitation of old styles of buildings and outlined the functional relationship between architecture and decoration. These theories anticipated the development of Functionalism in modern architecture. Towards the end of the century, there occurred a blossoming of theoretical activity.

In England, Ruskin's ideals underpinned the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement exemplified by the writings of William Morris. On the Continent, the theories of Viollet-le-Duc and Gottfried Semper provided the springboard for enormous vitality of thought dedicated to architectural innovation and the renovation of the notion of style. The generation born during the middle-third of the 19th century was largely enthralled with the opportunities presented by Semper's combination of a breathtaking historical scope and a methodological granularity. In contrast to more recent, and thus "modern", thematically self-organized theoretical activities, this generation did not coalesce into a "movement.

Mainly a theoretical work, it had an immediate impact on architecture, as the two disciplines of architecture and planning intertwined. Demand for it was so high that five editions appeared in German between and and a French translation came out in No English edition came out until For Sitte, the most important issue was not the architectural shape or form of a building but the quality of the urban spaces that buildings collectively enclose, the whole being more than the sum of its parts.

The Modern Movement rejected these thoughts and Le Corbusier energetically dismissed the work. Nevertheless, Sitte's work was revisited by post-modern architects and theorists from the s, especially following its republication in by Rizzoli, in an edition edited by Collins and Collins now published by Dover. The book is often cited anachronistically today as a vehicle for the criticism of the Modern Movement. While later architects adopted the abbreviated phrase "form follows function" as a polemic in service of functionalist doctrine, Sullivan wrote of function with regard to biological functions of the natural order. Another influential planning theorist of this time was Ebenezer Howard , who founded the garden city movement.

This movement aimed to form communities with architecture in the Arts and Crafts style at Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City and popularised the style as domestic architecture. In Vienna , the idea of a radically new modern architecture had many theorists and proponents. An early use of the term modern architecture in print occurred in the title of a book by Otto Wagner , [8] [9] who gave examples of his own work representative of the Vienna Secession with art nouveau illustrations, and didactic teachings to his students. Soon thereafter, Adolf Loos wrote Ornament and Crime , and while his own style is usually seen in the context of the Jugendstil , his demand for "the elimination of ornament" joined the slogan " form follows function " as a principle of the architectural so-called Modern Movement that came to dominate the midth century.

Walter Gropius , Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier provided the theoretical basis for the International Style with aims of using industrialised architecture to reshape society. Frank Lloyd Wright , while modern in rejecting historic revivalism, was idiosyncratic in his theory, which he conveyed in copious writing. Wright did not subscribe to the tenets of the International Style, but evolved what he hoped would be an American, in contrast to a European, progressive course. Wright's style, however, was highly personal, involving his particular views of man and nature. Wright was more poetic and firmly maintained the 19th-century view of the creative artist as unique genius. This limited the relevance of his theoretical propositions.

Towards the end of the century postmodern architecture reacted against the austerity of High Modern International Style principles, viewed as narrowly normative and doctrinaire. In contemporary architectural discourse theory has become more concerned with its position within culture generally, and thought in particular. This is why university courses on architecture theory may often spend just as much time discussing philosophy and cultural studies as buildings, and why advanced postgraduate research and doctoral dissertations focus on philosophical topics in connection with architectural humanities.

Some architectural theorists aim at discussing philosophical themes, or engage in direct dialogues with philosophers, as in the case of Peter Eisenman 's and Bernard Tschumi 's interest in Derrida 's thought, or Anthony Vidler 's interest in the works of Freud and Lacan , in addition to an interest in Gaston Bachelard 's Poetics of Space or texts by Gilles Deleuze. This has also been the case with educators in academia like Dalibor Vesely or Alberto-Perez Gomez , and in more recent years this philosophical orientation has been reinforced through the research of a new generation of theorists E.

Jeffrey Kipnis or Sanford Kwinter. Similarly, we can refer to contemporary architects who are interested in philosophy and cultural studies. Some are interested in phenomenology and neuroaesthetics , like Sarah Williams Goldhagen , Sarah Robinson , and Christian Norberg-Schulz , or specialize as philosophers and historians of science, such as Nader El-Bizri who is also a notable phenomenologist especially in Heidegger studies.

Others, like Beatriz Colomina and Mary McLeod, expand historical understandings of architecture to include lesser or minor discourses that have influenced the development of architectural ideas over time. Studies in feminism in architecture, and in sexuality and gender as potent cultural expressions, are also considered an integral part of the latter 20th-century theoretical discourse, and are associated with such persons as Dolores Hayden, Catherine Ingraham, Jennifer Bloomer and Sylvia Lavin.

The notion that theory entails critique also stemmed from post-structural literary studies in the work of many other theorists and architects, such as Mark Wigley and Diana Agrest, among others. In their theories, architecture is compared to a language which can be invented and re-invented every time it is used. This theory influenced the so-called deconstructivist architecture. In contrast, network society innovators, especially Silicon Valley software developers, have embraced Christopher Alexander 's emphasis on The Timeless Way of Building based on pattern languages that are optimized on-site as construction unfolds.

Since , architectural theory has also had to face the rapid rise of urbanism and globalization. By developing a new understanding of the city, many theorists developed new understandings of the urban conditions of our planet E. Rem Koolhaas 's Bigness. Interests in fragmentation and architecture as transient objects further affected such thinking e.

In the past decade, there has been the emergence of the so-called "Digital" Architecture. Several currents and design methodologies are being developed simultaneously, some of which reinforce each other, whereas others work in opposition. One of these trends is Biomimicry , which is the process of examining nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements, to emulate or take inspiration from them in order to solve human problems. Another trend is the exploration of those computational techniques that are influenced by algorithms relevant to biological processes and sometimes referred to as Digital morphogenesis.

Trying to utilize Computational creativity in architecture, Genetic algorithms developed in computer science are used to evolve designs on a computer, and some of these are proposed and built as actual structures. Since these new architectural tendencies emerged, many theorists and architects have been working on these issues, developing theories and ideas such as Patrick Schumacher's Parametricism. Contemporary architecture's theoretical world is plural and multicolored. Furthermore, it squares the circle. The length of the four arcs equal the four diagonals of the half-square. And, as mentioned, it gives the octagon , the shape universally used for baptistries and baptismal fonts.

We've done some interesting constructions. But what does this have to do with actual Roman Buildings? We'll show here that measurements of certain Roman buildings have show a preference for certain ratios, and that these ratios are found in the same constructions we have just done. Calter Photo Let's first go to southern Italy in the first century of the current era, to the coast south of Naples. Here Mount Vesuvius Italian Vesuvio, from Oscan word fesf, "smoke" rises to a height of feet, the only active volcano on the European mainland.

On August 24 in the year AD 79 Vesuvius, the top of the mountain was blown off and the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae were buried, not by lava, but by ashes and mud. About people were killed. Calter Photo The mud went westward towards Herculaneum and the ash rained southeast and buried Pompeii, which lay undisturbed beneath the ashes for more than years. When excavations were started in The wet ashes and cinders had formed a hermetic seal about the town, preserving many public structures, temples, theaters, baths, shops, and private dwellings. Calter Photo That same day Herculaneum was buried by mud about 65 ft deep. It is named for the person who, according to legend, founded the city; the mythical Greek Hercules.

Like Pompeii it was a popular resort area for wealthy Romans. Excavations of the ruins were begun at about the same time as at Pompeii. The diggers found many villas, a theater, marble and bronze sculptures, paintings, and a library of papyrus rolls in what was named the Villa of the Papyri , copied as the Getty Museum in Malibu. It was a typical house for the average patrician. The ground plan drawn by Donald and Carol Watts shows the dimensions of the layout, in Oscan feet. The Oscans were an early Italic people who lived in Campagna, the region around Naples. They built the original walls and towers of Pompeii and might have founded Herculaneum.

The dimensions found in the ground plan are:. Another site studied by the Watts' is at Ostia, near Rome. There they found the ground plan to totally conform to the sacred cut construction. We refer you to their Scientific American article, in the bibliography, for more detail. Did the Romans really use this stuff? The measurements at Pompeii and Herculaneum are fairly convincing, and those at Ostia quite compelling, that these proportions were used at least in those cases. We saw that the desirability of using a system of proportions, rather that picking each dimension with no regards to the others in a structure, was clearly stated by Vitruvius.

But its hard to say if the use of these particular proportions based on the square was more widespread, because we have no written record verifying their use. Here, Vitruvius is vague. There are pragmatic reasons to use a worked-out system of proportions. It saves time and energy to have standard proportions. It requires fewer decisions for home buyers. It gave them something that was safe, standard, and conforming to the general tastes.

Perhaps builders had style books, the way we do now. It was an easy way to insure proportional relations without having to do calculations. All the constructions can be done with straightedge and compass, both done with stretched cord, so it was easy for an on-site layout. Just drive pegs and swing arcs. Chitham, Robert. The Classical Orders of Architecture. Morris Hickey Morgan.

New York: Dover Publications, Inc. Watts, Donald J. Watts, Carol Martin. Fucecchio, Florence: Edizioni dell'Erba, pp. Vesuvius in the Background Calter Photo "Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members, as in the case of those of a well shaped man. Slide Vitruvius Cover Vitruvius.

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