Tuesday, February 15, 2011

IAR221- Unit Summary #1 FOUNDATIONS

Back in 3500 BCE the foundations of architecture began. It was humanity’s realization that objects, spaces, buildings, and places have important meaning and use for everyday life and communication in a verbal and nonverbal way(culturally and subculturally) that they began to put emphasis on the spots that meant most to them. It’s where these important spots were that the use of circles, groves, and stacks, became incorporated into architecture, bringing great meaning and purpose to these structures. It’s what they used to help emulate the world and its features. One of the oldest and most worthy examples of this is Stonehenge, the circular stone sacred spot, which mark a location and emulates the sun and moon. The pyramids at Giza are another location worthy of mentioning when looking at emphasis on a structure using stacks. The pyramids stacking symbolize mountains, hierarchy, importance, and the separation of categories. It also points upward facing the heavens. These three shapes lead to contrast, emphasis, unity, harmony, balance and proportion in architecture. Since these shapes now achieve their goal in marking spots and giving meaning, they then become used as a way to guide humanity about in a specific order.

 Stonehenge - http://crystalhatchlings.com/EasterEggs/Stonehenge.htm

 Pyramids at Giza - http://www.globetourguide.com/2009/04/pyramids-of-giza-of-egypt.html

Arrangement, type, and style are all useful words when describing order in architecture. What is the arrangement of the buildings? The type of materials used? And the style added to make it unique and purposeful? The Acropolis in Athens represents order in the most perfect representation. To guide the viewer, through the three main parts of the Acropolis, the porch, court (Erectheion), and hearth (Parthenon) the use of groups and stacks were used. As the viewer, we are guided from the porch to the erecthion where the ionic and female sculpture columns direct us towards the angle view of the Parthenon (the hearth) and “momma” of the spot. The scale, columns and stacking give this main structure its attention and contrast to the buildings surrounding it. Perhaps the five orders of architecture help this. These five orders are: Tuscan, Doric, ionic, Corinthian, and composite; the first being a prototype and the last a hybrid. The proportioning of buildings at the acropolis helps one start to incorporate the space as a whole, see power of the figure(s) or meaning represented, experience, principles, precedent, size, order, scale, technology of the time, and surface attention and detail within architecture. Though the Acropolis is a good example of the use of order, the ways in which people order varies based on the given culture and society in which they exist. The Xianyang palace and terracotta warriors are a perfect contrast and comparison in looking at order to the Acropolis. The Xianyang is concealed, focused on emperor and representing politics and brokenness (in a valley), while the Acropolis shows praise, strength, power, and flow (on top of a hill). Both use the same forms of order and emphasis on the ten elements to make their location one of a kind.

The order of the Acropolis - http://www.planetware.com/map/athens-acropolis-map-gr-acro.htm

Order and the ten elements lead to architecture and structures stability, surface, and form through commodity, firmness, and delight. Is the use of circles, groves and stacks properly placed, and do they have meaning? Does it create a sense of space and a positive effect? This leads directly into everyday places and how they hold to the earlier foundations that architecture is built upon. Do ones baths, markets, colosseums, and basilicas stand strong with the foundations? In fact, some do even in combining past foundations together like a circle getting a square. Foundations of architecture are never ending; it’s continually represented in buildings and structures today.

The Colosseum - http://www.colosseum.net/listingview.php?listingID=1

The plan of St. Peter's Basilica - http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2010/07/architect-dino-marcantonio-on-christian.html

Modern use of architectural foundations in the music building at UNCG - http://www.flickr.com/photos/digitalprojects/

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