Humanities 101 Modern Cultures and the Arts Architecture
Tower of London The Tower of London is located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. Original construction of the tower began in the later part of 1066 by William the Conqueror. The tower is a complex of buildings built within two concentric circular walls. The White Tower that we know as the Tower of London was originally constructed as a palace and was later white washed to give it its white appearance. The Tower of London was constructed in the Romanesque style of building architecture. There are four towers, three of which are square and one is rounded. The towers are each topped with vaulted domes. It is constructed primarily of stone with wooden supports. There are several spiral staircases located within. The exterior windows have rounded arches and are trimmed in lighter stone which helps to focus your attention. For structural support they have incorporated the use of slight buttresses to add stability to the rather tall walls.
Canterbury Cathedral The Canterbury Cathedral was founded in 602 AD by Augustine of Canterbury and is located in Canterbury England. The Cathedral it self has been rebuilt numerous times to do fires, earthquakes, and other disasters. The cathedral is constructed in a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic styles and is highly decorative. The Gothic aspect shows most in the ornate statues and decorative pieces that make up the cathedral. The cathedral is primarily constructed of stone with wood used for support where needed. Tall vaulted ceilings and ornate columns line much of the interior. They have incorporated the use of both rounded and pointed arches for windows and support structures as well as vaulted ceilings that all help to support the rather tall walls. The use of flying buttresses on the outside of the structure helps to stabilize these tall walls and ceilings by redistributing the lateral and vertical loads. There are a total of three separate towers located at the cathedral with a total of twenty one bells.
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey is located in Westminster England. Original construction began in the 960’s AD. The abbey as it is today is the site used for the coronation and weddings of British monarchs, as well as a final resting place for many monarchs throughout history. The cathedral is also used to house many historical artifacts. Constructed in a Gothic style of architecture the cathedral is decorated with stained glass windows. Stone construction is the primary means of construction. Pointed vaulted arches and decorative columns line the inside as well as vaulted ceilings. Buttresses line the outside of the structure for added stability. Pointed arches can be found throughout the interior and exterior of the cathedral. Decorative statues as well as some ornate stone are used on the exterior.
PetronaTowers The Petrona Towers are sky scrappers located in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998, there ending construction date, to 2004. The height of buildings is measured to the tallest structural part of the building, in this case it would be there spires. Because of the depth of the bedrock underneath them they are constructed on the world’s deepest foundations. Each tower uses repetitive geometry as well as blocks to form an eight point star shaped pattern. Because of the high costs to import steel the buildings are primarily constructed of ultra high strength reinforced concrete. This concrete helps in the sway reduction of the building due to its astonishing height. The building is primarily supported by 75 foot concrete cores with outer widely spaced super columns. The two towers feature a sky bridge that connect them and acts as a safety device in case of fires. The outer glass and stainless steel shades help to reflect the intense amount of light.
Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal was built around 1632 AD in Agra India. It was constructed by Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife and is regarded as a symbol of eternal love. It was constructed using the Mughal style of architecture which is a blending of Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural styles. The tomb is the central part of the structure and it consist of symmetrical buildings with pointed arch shaped doorways and is topped by a large, often called and onion dome. The base structure forms an uneven octagon and each side has vaulted arch ways. The building is constructed of stone but the use of marble can be seen throughout.
Himeji Castle Himeji Castle was constructed in 1346 AD and is one of the most well preserved pieces of Japanese castle architecture still around today. It was originally built as a castle with defensive fortifications but would often function as a military command post as well as a center for political life. The use of unique peaked roofs and original architectural style make this a very unique structure. The castle is constructed of stone and wood located on a unique piece of property. The main tower is connected to the three smaller towers by passage ways and corridors. The tallest tower is roughly 150 feet tall with seven stories, only five of which are visible while the other two are located under the 35 feet of stone used as the base. The main tower is supported by two large wooden columns that are supported by some 17 feet of foundation.