History in Architecture Essay

Pages: 5 (1611 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Architecture  ·  Buy This Paper

History In Architecture

Because they had been very well adapted to the surrounding environment, the primitive people did not felt the need of building houses to shelter them. However, as time passed and humans evolved, the first dwellings appeared as a result of people seeing the opportunity of enjoying more comfortable shelters. As humans evolved, their shelters have also evolved constantly and the passing of several millennia has led to the modern houses existing today.

The fact that they had to sleep on the cold ground did not seem to create too much discomfort to the people from the early ages of humanity. This was a routine for them and their bodies were adapted to withstand harsh conditions. People also knew how to escape bad weather by taking refuge in caves or in improvised tents that they built. Surprisingly, there still are tribes today which have their people living in tents.

Despite the fact that most people lived in caves and in tents during the Stone Age, there existed isolate groups that built some of the first houses in the world. While people from Asia and from Egypt turned to building dwellings at approximately 10.000 B.C., in Europe people have started changing their living spaces later, sometime between 6000 B.C. (in Greece) and 3000 B.C. (in England).

Humans are not the only ones with the building instinct, as numerous other creatures are accustomed to building themselves a shelter. When considering birds, ants, fish, and several other inhabitants of the animal world, people can see that almost all of them build shelters at some point in their existence. Closer to what the first primitive human shelters looked like, there have been several reports of Gorillas and Chimpanzees building shelters made out of branches and leaves with the purpose of protecting their families. In spite of the simplicity that shelters made by animals seem to have, people have discovered that some nests made by birds or by spiders are actually very complex. Animals build shelters mainly for protection from the environment or against predators. However, there have also been cases in which animals chose to decorate their shelter with objects that did not have any logical use for the respective structures.

Considering the fact that animals prove to have such instincts, the primitive man must have had them too, and, he most certainly was more evolved. The early cave drawings, ancient statues and pots, all contribute in proving that men showed great interest in aesthetics even from the primitive stages of the human race.

Several building techniques have been invented over time and those that were ineffective were quickly disposed of. Building techniques have varied depending on the materials used and by the customs that certain nations had. "Some civilizations are essentially temple or tomb builders, like Egypt; some are chiefly creators of vast structures for general public use, like the Romans; some are known especially for their palaces, like the Baroque European powers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries." ( Hamlin, pp. 5)

The first complex shelters that people built were round huts built out of wood and hides or out of stones. The first people to build huts chose to build them partly underground. They are named round pit dwellings. Such structures were initially conic and people later discovered that they became more effective when they had vertical walls. As hut building began to evolve, people started to arrange them in a specific pattern with the intention of making a complex building of larger dimensions.

Some of the first architectural structures known by man have been first built in the Near East. Particular buildings had several elements which made them veritable houses for their time period. Mud-brick was commonly used in the area where Turkey is today and the people of the time also used stone foundations for their houses. Upper floors were also constructed under the form of sleeping platforms set higher.

Greeks and Cretans also brought advances to hut building as they introduced huts made out of baked bricks or out of stone. People around the world started to perfect hut building as they experimented with various types of huts. The early people did not only build structures in which they were supposed to live in, as they also built large buildings most possibly intended for the worshiping of gods.

The early world of architecture is believed to have come from five individual civilizations: the central Asian area, the Mediterranean basin, central and northern Europe, eastern Asia, and the Americas.

Civilizations grew stronger and people were able to use their building experience to build more elaborate buildings. The Mesopotamians have been among the first civilized races to get involved in real architecture. Sumerians have contributed to the world of architecture with unique designs that have inspired several nations in building structures. However, Sumerians wanted to make temples even better by placing them on a higher platform. Such concepts later lead to the building of ziggurat towers like those in Babylon and in Assyria.

The Japanese were largely influenced by their climatic conditions when they built their first dwellings. The primary material used by early Japanese in their architectural structures had been wood. In spite of the fact that Japanese houses did not seem to be very complex, the Japanese carefully built their residences so that they would serve them good across all seasons. Japanese houses were built so that the air would flow through during the summer, assuring good ventilation. Japanese houses had been effective during the winter also, as they permitted the sun rays to enter the house and make it warmer.

Japanese have quickly advanced their construction methods and, after some time, one could find that houses had paper, tiles for the roofs, and various metal decorations. The Japanese turned to using stones for buildings because the older wooden buildings caught fire easily.

The Greek empire thrived subsequent to Alexander the Great's military successes. Greeks took architecture to a whole new level as they've built remarkable structures which later served as inspiration for numerous other nations. The Roman Empire had taken most of the concepts that they have used in their building style from the Greeks. Along with being inspired from the Greeks in what concerned their building style, the Romans have taken several customs and traditions from the Hellenistic world. The Greek Doric and Ionic orders have caused most of the problems which helped in the decline of the Greek Empire. The orders required Greeks to make unimaginable sacrifices in order for them to satisfy their own desires. Luxury roamed both at the Greeks and at the Romans as great buildings had been constructed with no regards to what the consequences of spending such amounts of resources.

There is tremendous variety in the details of the Doric and Ionic orders, and the early tentative experiments toward a new order with a bell-shaped capital surrounded by leaves, which had been made in the fifth century B.C., blossomed magnificently into the developed Corinthian capital, with its lavish panoply of acanthus leaves and the graceful scrolls which rise to support the corners of the abacus. (Hamlin, pp. 133-134)

Because they have conquered large parts of the world, the Greeks have left their mark in most places that were under Greek dominion. Imposing Greek statues and temples had been built across parts of Asia. Gradually, however, Greeks have lost their influence, and, with it, most of their possessions.

The Greek nation has built some notable structures such as the statue of Apollo -- the Colossus of Rhodes, and the lighthouse at Alexandria.

The Aeneid perfectly describes how the Romans got inspired in their culture and architectural styles from the Greeks. The story of Aeneid itself, written by Virgil, is inspired from the Odyssey, written by the Greek philosopher Homer.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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History in Architecture.  (2009, April 9).  Retrieved February 18, 2019, from http://ct-innovations.com/subjects/paper/history-architecture/67890

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"History in Architecture."  Essay.  April 9, 2009.  Accessed February 18, 2019.
http://ct-innovations.com/subjects/paper/history-architecture/67890.