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Stylistic Periods

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For a very long period of time, people have been involved in construction of buildings. In that process of building these structures, the builders had to construct something that reflected their culture inform of arts and designs (Richard, 2005). Below we are going to discuss some of the ancient to modern forms of architecture. Palladian Revival-This was a European form of architecture influenced by Andres Palladio who was a Venetian. As the name “Palladian” suggest this form of buildings design was as a result of Palladio architectural concepts.

The design of the buildings was based on perspective and symmetry while its cultural style was that of a classic temple from the ancient Greeks. In the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century the Palladian architecture was majorly used in Europe to design municipal and public buildings (Henry, 1992). This form of creation was later to be rivaled by the Gothic revival which we will be seeing later in this paper. It should be noted that, the pediments, proportion and symmetry of this form of architecture is still evident in many modern buildings today (Giovanni, 2003).

Neoclassicism- It’s associated with divergent movements in the field of visual arts, theatre, music and architecture which were founded on the western classical art and culture. In terms of architecture it was characterized in form of order and simplicity. The cultural themes of these designs were mostly political and it involved themes like bravery and war. Been based on the principles of simplicity and symmetry it made people to consider it anti modern by the end of the 19th century. Cities like Munich and St Petersburg are a clear example of the influence of neoclassical architecture.

Gothic Revival- It’s an architectural movement that began in the 1740s in England. This form of architecture was the reason behind the fall of Palladian Revival form of architecture. This form of style had the cultural characteristic of been imbedded and associated with philosophical movements especially during the reawakening of the Anglo-catholic religious non-conformism. This style had an intrinsic appeal to the people. These buildings were designed on the art of survival. The cultural aspect of this form of architecture is that it was infused in the Christian values and the existence of these architectural designs was destroyed by industrial revolution.

Industrial Revolution- Industrial revolution had some major impact on how buildings were designed and constructed. This was the reason behind the downfall of architectural designs like the Gothic revival. For buildings under this time were founded using the cheapest available materials and use of machines to construct them. Thus artistically in this form of architecture, the building lacked a sense of imagination and style but relied heavily on meeting the building functionalities. That is, it concentrated on meeting the functions more than the styles. Culturally the crystal palace become the basis for its design for transparency symbolized openness and lack of boundaries. The industrial revolution led to the involvement of modern art in the creation of buildings since the invention and availability of new materials gave the architects and engineers a reason to come up with new creative designs that include the cultures of people living within the area.

Arts and Crafts- This was an international design movement that has its origin in England. Architecturally the arts and craft movement advocated the use of traditional materials and craftsmanship, romantic or folk styles of decoration. In terms of designs, arts and crafts advocated the use of object that were simple in form and could preserve the quality of materials used. By the end of 19th century, the way buildings were painted, graphic were designed, metalwork ceramics and jewelry was made had their influence from the arts and crafts movement (George, 1999). Socially this movement was influenced by the Ruskin social criticism which related the social health and morals of a nation to its architecture and designs. Thus arts and crafts designs was mainly used and applied along people’s cultures.

Art Nouveau- This is a style of art, especially the decorative arts that was famous around the 1890s. Art nouveau means new art in French and it was mostly promoted by the youths. Its designs are inspired by nature, that is, it’s characterized by use of floral and other plants in the decorating act. In this form of design artists could work on anything from architecture to furniture and especially making art part of the people lives (George, 1999).

Art Deco- This was an electric artistic and design style that influenced all areas of design, starting from architecture, interior design, fashion, visual arts, and graphic arts to film. Art deco was used to represent elegance, glamour, modernity and functionality. Its designs are based on mathematical geometric shapes and thus make it to be considered modern. It’s characterized by use of aluminum, chrome and inlaid wood materials, plus the use of geometric curves and natural curves to make it look stylish (George, 1999).

 Modernism- This form of architecture can be attributed to the availability of better machines and materials. Its philosophy was based on creating a building ‘as the ultimate synthesis of the apex, art, craft, and technology’. Buildings in this era were defined by its environment and natural world as the main aim was to promote harmony between the habitants of the surrounding environment (Morgan, 1994). The modern architects wanted to design buildings in pure forms, disassociate them with history and increase their functionality details. The buildings were meant to expose their structural elements instead of hiding them behind decorations.

Post-Modernism and Deconstructive- Post modernism has a view point away from modernism. Its belief is that the apparent realities in designs should be based on social construct. This form of architecture emphasizes on motivation, language and power relations when dealing with designs. This architectural form rejects the notion of perfect in its design details. While deconstructive is an enhancement of postmodern architecture (Morgan, 1994). Its main characteristics are that it consist the idea of fragmentation and manipulating ideas of a structure surface. Geometry formed a key component in its designs.  

Stylistic Periods

In this part of paper we will be looking at the similarities and differences between modernism and post modernism form of architecture based on their characteristic, technology, cultural forces and design philosophy. Modernism began in the 1890s till around 1945 while post modernism started at the end of the Second World War especially 1968. It should be known that modernism is based on using rational and logic in their designs while post modernism was based on an irrational process as a reaction to modernism. On their design philosophy the modernist architects considered their designs to original and authentic while the post modernist had the advantage of advanced technology making deigns a hyper-reality (Richard, 2005).

It should be known that the architectural designs which were popular in the modernism era were replaced by the architectural styles in the post modernism times. Their main similarity is that no matter these forces having been in competition both had a sense of direction with a flow of artistic movement headed towards change within the technological age. That is, they were both produced in terms of technological changes and possibilities. Modern architects could not have designed postmodern work but what these two forms of work do is shaping the world of architecture for the better (Morgan, 1994).

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