history of western architecture?

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history of western architecture?

Postby Lisa_new archi » Thu Nov 29, 2007 11:08 pm

...can any body tell me about the history of westrn architecture...in few words..i dnt want to go in so much detail....but i m intresting to know bit of history as well....like

1) What are the periods of westrn architecture?name atleast 9 architects, with examples of bulidings...also what were the mail features of that buildings...

2) What are the movements of westrn architecture?name atleast 9 architects, with examples of bulidings...also what were the main features of that buildings...

3) What is calssicsm? neo-calssicsm? modernism? post modernism? manerism?name atleast 9 architects, with examples of bulidings...also what were the main features of that buildings...

4) the Arts & Crafts movement, name atleast 5 architects, with examples of bulidings...also what were the main features of that buildings...

hope fully u will tell me ...plz donot post website addresess I dnt understand websites..I can also goggle this things...but I need to thier realtion to eact other like...

I hope any good architect wil help to understand them...I will be waiting for ur kind reply

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Postby TJCaine » Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:27 am


As you undoubtedly know, your question encompasses a vast amount of information. I can try to distill some of the high points of a few movements but remember that the intricacies of overlap and intertwining between them really add significant levels of subtlety and complexity to buildings and their characteristics in relation to any one style. It also depends a great deal on what building type you focus on.For example, Arts and Crafts was a great style in architecture, but it was really restricted mostly to residential work.

I am not sure how different a "period" is from a "movement". They're somewhat similar in my mind. I will take a stab at the latter portion of your list, as it is where most of my research and knowledge has been. Again, these really just scratch the surface.

Rococo (Mid 18th Century) - An image of kings. Growing out of the Baroque which began to mold and shift the orders that were redefined in the Renaissance into a more fluid, perhaps plastic forms. Heavily associated with France, though not exclusively found there, Rococo took this change as a base for its forms and then pushed its level of intricacy and flamboyant display of detail to levels that have rarely been rivaled in history. The style was truly one of excess with its cleanest, purest examples being built in French Chateaus for the monarchy or other nobility where a the complexity of each room, each floor pattern, each wainscoting was a display of wealth and power. Gilding was common. The style has its beauties to it and it's hard not to respect the craft behind it, but in my opinion runs the risk of being overbearing at times.

Neoclassicism (Late 18th - Early 19th Century) - Popular in the US, Neoclassicism was used in part to add a level of authority and authenticity to a new colonial landscape that was searching for a bit of cultural depth. The style re-investigated the classical orders to help them evolve to new types of programs, orientations and building scales--essentially how similar pieces could be used with new rules. Seeing the return of the pediment, columned porticoes, heavy entabletures, were all common of the period. It's initial draw came in government buildings such as the Virgina State Capitol Building, but certainly branched out into other genres like The University of Virginia and Monticello. (all three are by Thomas Jefferson). Also look up Charles Bulfinch of Boston repute and McKim, Mead and White. U.S. Capitol Building, the White House; examples are countless.

(I'm leaving a few out here. Beaux Arts... Victorian, Queen Anne, Italianate)

Arts and Crafts (1880's - 1900's) - Attributed largely to the guidance of John Ruskin and William Morris, Arts and Crafts grew out of the goal for an integrated design process with intense relation to site. There was a natural quality to it often incorporating wood for the interiors and details that were a departure from the Beaux Arts or more traditional icons of intricacy. The movement boasted that craft and uniqueness was being lost due to the rise of the machine so it stressed an affinity to working with one's hands (a battle they would ultimately lose.) Louis Comfort Tiffany's work was commonly found in the period. Connection to the exterior and landscape, small and intimate spaces like nook benches and cabinets, and depicting nature were all common threads of the period. One of the best examples of Arts and Crafts architecture is thought to the Gamble House, by Greene and Greene, despite it being drastically larger than the intimate environment the style was created for.

Art Nouveau (1890's - 1920's) - Originating in Europe (as most Western styles did) Art Nouveau marked the exploration of the machine and the rise of the industrial revolution, beginning to accept that new things were possible with new levels of technology. Steel and plate glass offered new opportunities for curved variations on a more traditional palette. The connection to nature in Arts and Crafts grew into a desire for a truly "organic" architecture that explored the the creation and destruction of life. It grew into a fluid style that evolved classical details into slimmer proportions. Prime examples of Art Nouveau are Victor Horta's Hotel Tassel and Hector Guimard with his Metro Station entrances--all really very beautiful.

Art Deco (1910's - 1940's) - If Art Nouveau was the acceptance of the machine then Art Deco was the honoring of it. (the style has sub-styles that I'll leave out here) Emerging from the French Exposition de Art Decoratif in 1925, the style grew into a patronage to the industrial age that brought our society to new taller, brighter, faster ends. as a result the buildings grew to highlight these aspects often with strong, unbroken verticals (Empire State Building by Shreve Lamb and Harmon, Chrysler Building by William Van Allen, Radio City Music Hall). Images depicting blimps, air planes, steam ships and trains were all common. These buildings were built to look like machines of commerce and temples of entertainment. Icons from numerous historic eras were revived and reformed into a machined counterpart such as Aztec, Mayan, Native American, Art Nouveau, the Beaux Arts. Look at the work of Raymond Hood, Hugh Ferris. In my mind, one of the best examples of Art Deco is the Niagara Mohawk Building in Syracuse, New York. Stunning Building.

After that we slip into the International Style, and there are plenty of people that can talk about that. Hopefully it will give you a start.
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Postby Lisa_new archi » Fri Nov 30, 2007 9:02 pm

I will be more tank full to you..if you tell me about this...actually I want to know about history from 1400....() Early Renaissance ()High Renaissance ()Manersim ()Barouque () Roccoco () NeoClassism () Romantic Classism...I want to WHo were the Mian Architects of each period , the work they did, main buildings and diifercnce of design btween them..
I know it so hard to give me complete details..but i will appreciate if u can give me required details...

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Postby lekizz » Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:30 pm

That is an enormous amount of information you ask for. Enormous. It will be difficult for anyone to give you all that information here. Few people will have time to explain it all. TJCaine made an amazing effort but, as you can see, he only scratched the surface.

Is there any reason you cannot buy a book on Renaissance architecture, or borrow one from your library? Books are good because they will have plenty of pictures - it is far easier to look at pictures than to explain things with words. Architecture is mainly a visual thing, people usually look at buildings, not write about them.

Or maybe read Wikipedia, the online encyclopeadia, which is an okay place to start looking for the basics. You can obviously understand websites, or you wouldn't be able to find this forum, would you? :wink:
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Postby Richard Haut » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:32 am

Why won't anybody describe six hundred years of architecture in a couple of sentences ? Because it is too complicated.

As Lekizz says, find a book on the Renaissance. That will tell you how it evolved and lead you through to the Mannerist phase.

Then learn about the Counter-Reformation which will explain the rise of Baroque.

These were not design fads - they were part of major religious, philosophical, scientific and cultural movements.

However, if what you are seeking is the context before studying more deeply then look at an encyclopaedia.

To simply know some names and a few buildings from each period is not enough - you have to know something of the history around them.

Lisa: you are going to have to do some work ....
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Postby P.C. » Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:28 am

Number of hits , Google search ;

Results 1 - 10 of about 3,200,000 for Early Renaissance. (0.18 seconds)

3,200,000 !!!
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Postby Lisa_new archi » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:04 pm

thanks for suggesstions. i searched on internet..anf found it very usefull..but honestly it is hard to understand...

but as u know I have not any any architectural background ...but i m intrested to know about it....its history...

if u people can help me in understanding.....Renassaince, high Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque and Roccoco ...by telling me the name of architects of each period the work they did , what are the features of thier works in terms of desgin....and what is the diffrence among the period...I want help form you people ...beacuse I found it really hard to
study and understand the difficult words...so kindly..if u people can tell me one by one about it...so it would be great help...
i hope u people will undertand me...and my problem.thanks
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Postby Richard Haut » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:18 pm


if what you need is the context, then the following from Wikipedia may help:


it is well laid-out and refers through to related subjects.
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Postby usarender » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:34 pm

How could architects be reasonably expected to deliver this amount of history in response to a thread on this forum? Many books would be needed to explain this, and do not see how it could be explained in a few replies in this topic. Why such a huge request for information? Cannot it be researched and is it not studied in architectural schools?
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Postby P.C. » Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:09 pm

Yes I understand you has a problem with that, but I guess there are a few who can deliver a reasoable description of arts and architecture, atleast understand it as what it is and where it can bring us. What you shuld have answered , are that that is not something to be read but lived ,experimented and realised. Why do you think I allway's asked you to deliver something better than what I gave away for free , I did that becaurse if you can not, you shuld not try replace this most important vision with Nothing, or nothing and a vain emagination.

If you has nothing but that what you proved to offer, stand down or Deliver.
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Postby John Henry Architect » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:42 pm

TJCaine offered a great recap. Very nice.

If you simply go to the largest public library in your town, you will be able to find hundreds of books on this subject.

Like PC wrote, architecture has to be experienced in person as most images in books offer only an image that often cannot be imagined in the true scale, the effect of light, movement through the space, sound, texture, weight, perspective, even smell.
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Postby usarender » Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:10 pm

No need to read into that guys words to realize that guy is trying to pick a fight, again. What I wrote is obvious and those words he writes are further attempts to ridicule others. It is people like this that are attempting to destroy these forums.
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Postby Veronica » Thu Feb 28, 2008 5:31 am

it seems that you want to know everything you can about architecture without making the effort to read.
The history of architecture is really fascinating if you don't think about it as something that you have to learn but allow yourself to learn it in historical context and then it all comes together, same as with history of art.
Changes happen in a context and they are to be understood in this way.

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Postby karo » Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:31 pm

What you are asking is huge.
You should deal with each period one by one.
I found a great article on Renaissance architecture which give you dates,location, the architectural changes of the movement and some main architects.
Here is the link: Renaissance-architecture
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Postby priyankarewatkar » Sat May 14, 2011 2:42 pm

hi...i think History of Architecture by Sir Banister Flecture is a very good resourceful book ..same as ur question the book is huge..:)...the sentences are simple....nd easy to understand....all is given in detail and very precise....But you need to read patiently to get the intricacies ......!! :)
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