Architecture History and Development essay


The history of architecture helps us to trace the changes in this field from aspects of traditions, overarching stylistic trends, regions, and dates. The best definition for architecture is the art of designing and building which incorporates human labor skills related to construction in order to realize aesthetically designed structures. The complex function of architecture is the artisanship that has to be considered in any building to ensure and guarantee its safety and aesthetics. All aspects of architecture are base on design plan and being time conscious in order to undertake the specific structure as per the specifications. Architecture involves manipulation of the available resources and the relationship between mass, volume, planes, strength of materials and bending moments. For a structure to become successful, factors such as safety, cost, quality and time must be considered and to be more specific. Safety and quality should not be compromised to the cost of building. The paper will aim at revealing the history and development of architecture from ancient structures to the past modern structure that we have in place today.

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Ancient architecture

To start with, the most ancient arts in architecture range from Beaux Arts to Art Deco. Beaux arts refers to Fine arts and suggests for a very lavish, rich and heavily ornamented  standard style that has been used in the building of Paris in 19th century. The Beaux Arts became more popular and was practiced in 1893 Columbian Exposition which was in Chicago. This was due to advocating from Daniel Burnham reform movement “the City Beautiful Movement”. In U.S.A., the art became more influential with 19th century architects since they were trained and gained the skills at Ecole des Beaux Arts (Hitchcock, 1963). H.H Richardson together with his counterpart Richard Morris Hunt were the first to study in Ecole des Beaux Arts and after gaining the skills they opted to develop their own styles using the basics of Beaux arts. The Beaux Arts supersedes the other types of arts except perhaps the Chateauesque arts by the fact the art that expressed the values and tastes of America’s industrial barons at the time on the turn of the century. During this period, the richest and the great fortunes expressed and displayed their wealth using this art to put up ornate and very expensive structures. Beaux Arts meant encompasses Italian Renaissance, French Renaissance and Neoclassical Revivals, refers, and means more of American Renaissance during the time between 1890 and 1920 (Glancey, 2006).

The features of Beaux Arts were incorporated in Buffalo in 1901 Pan-American Exposition. The features used in Buffalo were low-pitched flat roofs that were designed after French Renaissance Revival, symmetrical facade. The structure walls surfaces were decorated using garlands, cartouches that had sculptural ornaments and floral patterns. The facades were of quoins, rusticated first storey, large grandiose compositions. The windows were frames by use of free standing columns with pedimented entablature on top. Lastly, the cornices and enriched entablature had tops of tall parapet and balustrade.

The other ancient architecture is the Art Deco. The original name for this art was Style Modern or the Modernistic style. The Art Deco was largely used in 1970 structures, and the design was coined in 1925 at the Great Paris art exhibition. The history of the Art Deco is backdated as a smart style that was used in United States, particalarly in San Francisco among other major cities in United States. The Art Deco architecture became more famous and was used due to its three main stylistic features which include intense bright colors which stand out, distinct geometric shapes, as well as its decorative shape. Apart from being Decorative, the Art Deco appeared to be very simple since it never incorporated complicated shapes. The other characteristics of the Art Deco were clean lines, symmetry and streamline. The Architecture exhibited distortion, abstraction, high intense color and simplification. The adoption of the Art Deco to be used all over the world was influenced by features like, cubism which ensured reduction of forms to the replica of their geometrical equivalents. Futurism was derived from cubism to ensure rapid dynamic motion and movements that showed hostility against the tradition forms of expressions. Expressionism ensured that the colors were intensified for expressive and emotive purposes. This type of architecture was widely used in Chicago in buildings like LaSalle National Bank Building and Adler Planetarium (Ching, 2007).

Modern Architecture

The modern structural materials and principles associate steel, glass and concrete as the skeleton frame for any construction. The modern architecture rejects non-essential building decoration and ribbon windows. The architecture advocates for flat roofing that has no ledge and metal mullions spandrel panels to separate large single plane windows.

This modern style was largely used, and it epitomized the advancement of the modern movement in Europe and United States except for buildings that were completely dominated by the American architecture of 1960s. The American architects together with their clients were more persuaded and adopted the used of this architecture as it proved to be structurally sound and visually progressive. The New York City, Worlds Trade Center towers and the Sears Tower in Chicago guaranteed advantages and heightened the international modern style in 1970s.

Post Modern Architecture

Postmodern architecture represents a revival of period neo-eclectic styles which are asymmetrical and variety of sleek designs for elevating commercial structures. This architectural style is the advancement and allusion ancient architectural styles. The style rejects the modern form of architecture adopting the return of historical and traditional precedents and has some interest in the history and heritage. Postmodern style has contributed to historic preservation movement as well as the movement on new urbanization. Historical features seem to be exaggerated and postmodern architecture tends not to replicate it as in modern styles (Lowry, 1962). Instead, the postmodern architecture tends to make fun out of the traditional arts. This architecture collects a wide variety of historic styles, simplifies and blends them to come up with an organized and logical structure. Chicago has become recognized globally due to its exponential growth with avant-garde designs, which have turned Chicago to a modern city. Chicago’s architecture schools and the world class architectural Mecca has proved to offer perfect and inspiring skills to students with ambitions for continuity of skyscrapers evolution (Frampton, 1992).

Architecture in Chicago, the past and the present has reflected history and influenced the use of American architectural style. The buildings in Chicago are recognized due to their originality despite other antiquities. In the year 1885, the Home Insurance Building, which is the first steel framed building rising high in the sky, was built in Chicago creating a way to skyscraper era. Louis Sullivan, an American first modern architect upon realization of skyscrapers came up with new style of architecture design to emphasize on the vertical nature of the buildings. This new form of architecture was referred by historians as “The Commercial style” and later “The Chicago School” (Pevsner, 1960). Another new architecture of structural systems of frame tubes was emerged by Fazur Khan and ushered in the renaissance of skyscraper construction. Khan revealed that frame tubes constituted a three-dimension space structure composed of more shear walls that are joined to form vertical tube-like structural system that has a capability to withstand and resist against lateral forces from any direction using cantilever principles (Murray, 1985).

Different architects have contributed to the building of landmark buildings with varying features and styles all over the world. This has, therefore, contributed towards advancement and development of architectural techniques in the world today. With colleges and universities majoring in architecture, the development of this field will keep on evolving as the technology advances.

Theories about Architecture, Applications and development

The theories of architecture regard it as a sturdy matter, which compose of the fields that have both knowledge and practice. There are many theories of architecture, even though in this paper I will put more concern on discussion of theories of architectural experience and output in relation to development. The focus and understanding of the theories of architecture facilitate the acquisition of architectural experience and perception. Moreover, these theories give the conceptual bas to architectural research thus enabling researchers to explore more knowledge and understanding with sound argument (Hartt, 1969). Nevertheless, the concepts of architectural theories are complex as they involve interconnections of dynamic knowledge from wide realms of knowledge. The theories of architecture are as discussed below.

The Theory of Architectural Experience Relationship

In this theory, the relationship between architecture interest in the perception and objects of architecture. It further describes attitude people have towards architecture on the basis they are consumers of architecture artwork or just have an interest in architectural work. One cannot conclude that there exists a defined architectural experience as it is evident the whole concept constitutes a mixture of conceptions and perceptions by different groups of people. This implies that the experience is both multiple and changeable. Clearly, an architectural experience is credible and valid when peoples’ perceptions are definite and homologous and a way that eliminate multiple interpretation. In such a situation, only that sensible development can be achieved in various fields that involve research and application of knowledge of architecture.

Architecture is part of daily life embedded in a distinct physical frame that motivates development. The theory of architectural experience gives reasons for the need of a perfect relationship between us and our surrounding. The theory emphasizes on various attitudes we develop whenever we interact with the environment. From these attitudes, we are able to perceive the environment in ways that allow development through generation of multiple ideas on comfortable interaction (Lu, 2001).

Architecture Designing Theory (Output Theory)

The theory was developed with an intention of reducing loopholes in the ancient years of architecture. The argument was that real architectural tasks could not be accomplished on only relying on theories. Therefore, it was important to develop a technical formal means of based on the available theories. This theory helps in formulating technical platforms and protocols that facilitate achievement of architectural artworks such as buildings, bridges and other complicated structures (Kostof, 1985).

The theory contends that for the creation process to be a success there is a need to assimilate logical and analytical methods. Furthermore, the design theory helps architects to define the tasks of their artwork correctly bound to realistic time frame. The method also focuses on defining challenges and problems with the aim of achieving easy and unbiased interpretation. This theory is pivotal for achievement of realistic development as it gives a broad and technical perception of in the field of architecture.


Architecture is considered as significant field of our lives as it provides the basic platform for a comfortable life and development in the construction industry as well as in sustenance of our environment. Therefore, understanding the theories of architecture, its history and development, gives efficient and reliable experience in research exploration and developments.

Architecture History and Development essay

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