The evolution of architectural styles through time
Updated: Dec 23, 2022
The architecture of today has been influenced by various well-defined trends and traditions throughout history. These can be seen in various locations around the world, including the UK and Europe. With our current knowledge and expertise in a wide range of architectural eras and trends, we can ensure that restoration and repair work preserves the integrity of a structure.
By considering the evolution of architecture, we are able to identify the most prominent and influential architectural trends and styles that have emerged throughout history.
Design has undergone numerous developments in various contexts, including changes over time and the incorporation of technology. These changes are driven by a variety of factors, such as the needs of a particular time or situation. The design of the present and future is shaped by the experiences and knowledge gained from the past and present, which helps us to evolve and improve our design.
ON THE CONCEPT OF TIME :
Vitruvius believed that the invention of the fireplace played a significant role in the formation of communities and the development of language. The story of architecture is thought to have started with the fireplace, which served as a central gathering place, a source of warmth and light, and a means of protection from the elements.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the use of fireplaces predates the construction of dwellings by many thousands of years. The earliest forms of architecture can be traced back to the Lower and Middle Paleolithic periods, between 1 million and 100,000 years ago.
The division that led to the development of nomadic architecture occurred around 100,000 years ago. This era of architecture is characterized by the basic nomad's hut, which is typically circular in plan. The hearth is located at the center of the hut, creating a connection to the archaic phase. The ritual significance of the hearth is evident in the customs of modern Asian nomads.
During certain ceremonies, a birch tree is erected on the site of the hearth, projecting out through the smoke hole of the yurt. It is considered the axis mundi, the center of the world, connecting the spiritual realms above and beyond. The Gilyak people of eastern Siberia view the hearth as a gateway for communication with the spiritual realm.
3. DOMESTIC :
The beginning of the domestic phase is marked by the rectangular building plan, which coincides with the rise of agriculture around 12,000 years ago. This is thought to be the earliest known transition from circular to rectangular plans. The domestic type is still prevalent today, with barns and farmhouses with pitched roofs being common in rural areas worldwide.
The domestic model also dominates suburban areas. While modern dwellings may be equipped with air conditioning and rely on the television as a central gathering place and on supermarkets for sustenance, the inhabitants often still seek a connection to the land and the rhythms of the seasons through a rustic aesthetic.
The monumental style, which can be seen in classical and neoclassical architecture, has continued to be a major influence on contemporary architecture. Even buildings that are generally considered "modern," which often feature the use of glass, steel, and concrete and a lack of ornamentation, can be seen as expressions of the monumental style. These buildings also reflect the mental and conscious structure of society, as demonstrated by the symmetry of their plans and facades.
5. INTEGRAL :
The integral type of architecture breaks down the traditional perspective and symmetry. It is connecting, angular, and seeks transparency in both space and time. Both modern and postmodern architecture can be classified as integral, though they may appear different on the surface. However, contemporary design approaches reveal a desire for transcendence.
The integral type is constantly evolving, like an exceeding reality. Currently, fungal mycelium can serve as a model for decentralized, organismic architecture that embodies the goals of the integral character.
ON THE CONCEPT OF LIFE :
1. LIFE :
Most of us have read history books in school that describe the evolution of humans from primitive creatures to intelligent beings. In the past, humans lived in the jungle with wild animals and had to protect themselves from the harsh weather and predators in order to survive. Initially, they sought out natural dwellings, such as rock-cut caves and dolmens, for shelter.
Early humans did not have a permanent home and had to wander in search of food. When rock-cut caves were not available, they used reeds to construct huts and saplings to create tents covered in bark.
Over time, early humans began to experiment with different building materials to create more advanced homes. Today, we are aware of the impressive structures being built around the world, including mansions, palaces, and skyscrapers.
2. LOVE :
The Taj Mahal is an iconic and internationally recognized symbol of love and devotion. Located in Agra, India, it is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shahjahan in the mid-17th century as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The name Taj Mahal means "Crown of Palaces," and it is indeed a stunning example of Mughal architecture, with its white marble structure, intricate carvings and inlaid with precious stones.
The Taj Mahal is situated on the banks of the Yamuna River and covers an area of about 17 hectares. The central dome of the Taj Mahal is surrounded by four smaller domes, and there are four minarets at the corners of the building. The entire structure is built in a symmetrical layout, with the main entrance on the south side, leading to the main chamber where the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan are located.
3. HOPE :
How might hope have contributed to the development of architecture? Hope is a spiritual concept and when we pray, we hope for positive outcomes. Prayer has played a significant role in the development of architecture, as seen in the construction of various religious buildings such as temples, mosques, and churches around the world. The development of shrines can be observed globally.
The ancient Egyptians built the great pyramids as tombs for royal individuals, preserving their bodies as mummies with the hope that they would achieve immortality and return to life someday.
4. DEATH :
Death and its effects on architecture can be seen in the construction of tombs and other grand structures meant to honor and remember notable figures.
As examples, the Raj Ghat in Delhi was created as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, and the Indian National War Memorial was built to honor fallen soldiers.
ON THE CONCEPT OF TECHNOLOGY:
In the past, architecture and design students and professionals often spent a lot of time creating physical 3D models or detailed drawings of concept buildings or interiors. Today, technology has made it easier to use computer-based design software to create highly detailed digital 3D renderings. This eliminates the need for physical models and speeds up the design process. Additionally, design software allows for the detection of mistakes before they occur in the real world, potentially saving time, money, and resources in materials and labor.
1. BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING :
A building information model (BIM) is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or construction project. It is a comprehensive, data-rich model that includes not only the geometric and spatial information of the building, but also various other types of data such as materials, quantities, and specifications. BIM is used to design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure projects in an efficient and coordinated manner.
One of the main benefits of BIM is that it allows for better collaboration between different teams and stakeholders involved in a construction project. It provides a single source of truth for all project-related information and allows for easier communication and coordination between design, construction, and facility management professionals.
2. DESIGN SOFTWARE :
Design software helps to facilitate better communication between all stakeholders, including the design team, business owners, and any other interested parties. If mistakes are made during the design process, computers make it easier to fix errors or start over without the need to clean up physical models as in traditional design methods.
The goal of all parties involved in the construction of a new structure is to save money, time, and resources. Using computers to create models rather than building physical models by hand helps to streamline the design process, making it easier for architects to communicate their ideas.
ON THE CONCEPT OF GEOMETRICAL EVOLUTION:
When examining the history of geometry as a tool for generating form in architecture, it becomes evident that using geometrical principles to shape architectural form can be a nuanced tool for architects. This does not equate to strict adherence to formal rigidity.
Geometry and architecture have long had a close relationship, with early builders turning to geometrical principles to solve practical problems. Today, there are many different geometries to choose from, made possible by the development of mathematics.
These modern geometric concepts have given architects new ways of thinking about architectural form and spatial organization, using new mathematical approaches in design. Contemporary geometry can be useful in understanding the geometric relationships within buildings, but it differs from traditional geometry in that it allows for a transformation of space from static to dynamic and composite.