Architecture Short History of Architecture Term Paper

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Paul's Cathedral, the work of England's most renown architect Christopher Wren (1632 -- 1723). Wren, a mathematical genius and highly-skilled engineer, built and designed this massive building, highlighted by its magnificent dome, after the Great Fire of 1666 which destroyed the old structure. According to Nikolaus Pevsner, St. Paul's Cathedral "is a splendid skyline composition with the two foreground towers acting effectively as foils to the great dome. The upper levels are quite differently designed than the lower levels which are Palladian" (256). Thus, Wren's skillful artistry and eclecticism brought these foreign features into a monumental unity, while the building itself serves as a prototype for later structures in both Europe and Colonial America.

Between 1785 and 1789 in the American colonies, future President Thomas Jefferson (1743 -- 1826) expressed his adoration for the Classical past of ancient Rome and Greece by going beyond architects who had incorporated only elements of ancient architecture in their buildings. Jefferson took "the complete Roman temple form as his model for the Virginia statehouse at Richmond, based on the Roman temple at Nimes which he saw while serving in France as American ambassador" (Gympel, 256). Certainly, Jefferson's choice was based on his admiration he had for Roman architecture which embodied the pure beauty of antiquity while symbolizing idealized Roman Republican government.

In 1835 in
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London, another magnificent building was designed by Charles Barry (1795 -- 1860) and A.W.N. Pugin, being the new Houses of Parliament which replaced the old structure after being burned in 1835. Like Jefferson, Barry preferred the Classical style, yet Pugin convinced him to incorporate late English Gothic into the building. However, the Houses of Parliament is not genuinely Gothic, despite its picturesque tower groupings. Generally, this building "has a formal axial plan and a kind of Palladian regularity beneath its Tudor details" (Copplestone, 325), similar in nature to Wren's design of St. Paul's Cathedral more than a hundred years earlier.

Not surprisingly, Neoclassical and Gothic architecture dominated the early 19th century, but exotic styles of all kinds, mixed with ingredients borrowed from the East, also appeared. By mid century, Renaissance and Baroque were added to the inventory, especially in France with the Paris Opera House, designed by Charles Garnier and constructed between 1861 and 1874.

In contrast to these buildings, the movement known as Realism gradually replaced sentimental and romantic designs in favor of the purpose and function within a building. With the assistance of the Industrial Revolution, architects began to use iron which allowed engineering advances in the construction of larger, stronger and more fire-resistant structures. The tensile strength

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In 1835 in London, another magnificent building was designed by Charles Barry (1795 -- 1860) and A.W.N. Pugin, being the new Houses of Parliament which replaced the old structure after being burned in 1835. Like Jefferson, Barry preferred the Classical style, yet Pugin convinced him to incorporate late English Gothic into the building. However, the Houses of Parliament is not genuinely Gothic, despite its picturesque tower groupings. Generally, this building "has a formal axial plan and a kind of Palladian regularity beneath its Tudor details" (Copplestone, 325), similar in nature to Wren's design of St. Paul's Cathedral more than a hundred years earlier.

Not surprisingly, Neoclassical and Gothic architecture dominated the early 19th century, but exotic styles of all kinds, mixed with ingredients borrowed from the East, also appeared. By mid century, Renaissance and Baroque were added to the inventory, especially in France with the Paris Opera House, designed by Charles Garnier and constructed between 1861 and 1874.

In contrast to these buildings, the movement known as Realism gradually replaced sentimental and romantic designs in favor of the purpose and function within a building. With the assistance of the Industrial Revolution, architects began to use iron which allowed engineering advances in the construction of larger, stronger and more fire-resistant structures. The tensile strength

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