In 313 Christianity was officially recognized by Constantine-I. By 326 it became official religion of the Roman Empire. Its Capital was based in Byzantium (renamed Constantinople). The empire stretched from Milan, Cologne (west to Syria), south to Greece and Egypt. They adopted roman characteristic: typology – Basilica (a rectangular assembly hall that could serve as anything from market hall to law court)
Christian Funerary Architecture was directly influenced by centralized plans of Roman Buildings.
Types of building : Mausoleum and Baptistery (octagonal).
Contrast to its exterior its interior were splendid with colors, light, precious materials, on wall marble revetments and frescoes and mosaics. Floors were covered with marble mosaics. Architraves, entablatures and screens were of geometric and foliate patterns. Altar were in gold and silvers, encrusted with jewels.
Elements : Clerestory – The roof of the aisles were lower than that of the nave.
Gallery – The aisles were sometimes surmounted by a second storey;or gallery (designated for women).
Arcade – The nave and aisles were divided by rows of columns or piers, surmounted either by arches to form an arcade.
Apse – at the end of the arcade, the apse, usually domed and articulated with a triumphal arch, the shrine or high altar of the church was sheltered by an elaborate canopy.
Windows – The windows of Early Christian basilicas added to their mystique, providing and ethereal, opaque light, either through stone plaques perforated with decorative holes, through colored glass. Ambo – The ambo was a raised platform from which the epistle and the Gospel were read. Usually made of stone, richly decorated with ornamental panels. Liturgical Furniture – The sanctuary was sometimes raised on a platform, reserved for the clergy. This was often separated from the nave by a low parapet or high screen called an iconostasis. Opus sectile – The walls and floors of many churches featured an ornate surface decoration of opus sectile-marble stones cut to form geometric patterns.
In 395 the Roman Empire was again divided. While in the east the emerging Byzantine Empire flourished,the West was subjected to constant invasion. As a results Ravenna, on Italy’s east coast, assumed increasing importance. Thus in 495-526 Court was set in Ravenna.
It had eastern Characteristic Such as Narthex, two low towers projecting sideways, an apse that is polygonal rather than hemispherical on the exterior.
It had Mosaics of Female Saints rather than scenes from Bible.
Interior – The marble veneers and capitals in the “wind-blown” style.
Campanile – It was built with thin bricks, typically used in Constantinople rather than high bricks for construction.
The Dome – is made not of brick or stone but of earthenware pots inserted into each other. This western technique created a structure so light that no buttresses or arches were required to support the dome. the whole covered by a timber roof.
The 6 th century was the high point of the Byzantine Empire. Basilica was predominant in the West while in East increasing tendency towards greater complexity and, above all, toward centralization with square domed bays being introduced into rectangular basilical plans.
Pumpkin Dome – The dome, measuring 52ft in diameter, is a pumpkin dome, with sixteen sides formed of scooped segments with ridges. Rather than being hidden in a timber roof.
Fold Capitals – The Capitals are folded with spiky tendrils that are deeply undercut so that they stand out in strong relief from the dark ground.
Pendentive – The introduction of the domed centralized plan was made possible by the pendentive – a curved triangle spanning between arches.
Best example of building in this period is “Hagia Sophia”.
In 1204 Constantinople was sacked by the Franks and the empire went into decline, losing territory to surrounding tribes.
In 1453 Constantinople was captured by the Ottoman Turks and the empire collapsed. Byzantine culture remained strong.
No new form emerged, but variations of old typologies featured an even greater elaboration of exteriors and increasingly steep proportions.
Demand for separate areas for funeral monuments let to the attachment of auxiliary spaces to exiting churches to create large, irregular complexes.
Its features : Colorism – a new emphasis on color, as red brick alternates with white ashlars. Colored stones were also introduced.
Silhouette- the tall, narrow drums of the five domes of the Holy Apostles create a dramatic silhouette, the various parts of the church seeming to climb ever higher. The tiled roofs of the domes flow over the arched windows of the drums to create a rippling eaves line that was particularly popular in Greece.
The term “Romanessque” originated in the early 19 th century in reference to the architecture of the 11 th and 12 th centuries because it revived classical precedents established by the Romans.
Its basic characteristics :
Barrel Vaults, the round arch, vaults, exuberant surface decoration and towers,
Organic quality of space, expressed in the clarity of building plans and in clear-cut structural forms.
Obligatory system- its starting point is the square module of the span, which is split in half in the lateral naves; this system also governs the proportions of the body of the church and of the transept, narthexes and atrium. On the basis of the square module, round arches can be used to connect a complex system of alternating columns and pies.
France and England.
Italy, Spain and Germany.
The Romanesque Style in Europe France and England
France : Pilgrims journeyed from all over the Continent and aided the promulgation of the emergent architectural styles. Due to this design of churches adapted to accommodate both the clergy and large crowds.
The planning of east end of churches was developed to follow either a radiating or staggered plan.
The staggered plan saw the introduction of chapels to the eastern sides of the transepts. These developments in spatial organization enabled divisions to be maintained between the worshippers and the clergy; and between the altars of saints and the high altar of the church.
England : in England it was known as Norman style and it flourished during 11 th and 12 th century.
With the victory of William the Conqueror at Hastings, England welcomed a new style. They were characterized by their vast scale, which surpassed anything previously seen in England and vied with contemporary continental models.
Italy : Italy as a whole was relatively conservative and did not witness the scale of activity found in France , England and Spain. Italy’s rich stylistic inheritance was exploited to the full by Romanesque architects, who continued to use diverse features, such as cupolas on raised dome, the basilical plan, separate campaniles and baptisteries, and marble facing of exterior elevations.
Spain : it was product of several distinct traditions. Spain’s long history of occupation by the Moors had produced highly idiosyncratic Christian-Islamic styles known as Mozarabic and of which were combined . This often produced a hybrid style, based on French models but continuing earlier tradition in the use of Islamic decoration.
Germany : in the 11 th and 12 th centuries drew on the forms established under Charlemagne and the Ottonian rule and adapted them to create some of the first buildings in a truly Romanesque idiom. Germany is also credited with introducing twin towers to the west façade of churches.
The cradle of Gothic architecture is generally acknowledged to be northern France. The essential elements of gothic architecture had all been used in Romanesque buildings, but not together.
Basic characteristics: Pointed arch, much larger windows, less massive piers, ribbed vault, flying buttresses, and rampant arch.
The manner of decoration also changed, with figured and narrative elements appearing not only on portal and capitals but also on ribbed vaults, bundled piers, and pinnacles.
The plan of the hall church- with three or five naves, called “stepped” when the central nave is elevated –conveys the sense of a single great space lit directly by light falling from the window in the lateral naves.
Stylistic definitions : International Gothic- plurality of stylistic diffusion.
Courtly Gothic – underscores its ties to the courts.
Flamboyant Gothic – alludes to the sinuous lines of decoration, evocative of twisting, darting flames; it also alludes to the abundant decorative motifs inspired by foliage and flowers.
Rayonnant Gothic – refers specifically to the rays emanating from rose windows.
France , England. Spain and Portugal , Germany and Italy.
France – gothic style served as a sort of calling card from the European world to the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean.
By the end of 12 th century French architects and builders had so thoroughly grasped the technical possibilities of the pointed arch as to create forms of striking impact.
The Flamboyant Gothic of the 15 th century was distinguished by an exceptional proliferation of ornamentation.
England – influenced by France, England was to formulate a specific national style with its own terminology.
As a result around 13-14 th century it developed “Decorative style” and “Perpendicular style” ‘,featuring ribbing carved with grooves and double curves, typified by daring vertical structures, combined with surprising formal inventions.
Spain and Portugal – they were relatively slow to embrace the Gothic style, introduced by the Cistercians in the 13 th century. Manueli-no style, named after king Manuel I
Germany and Italy – first thirty years of 13 th century showed the influence of French Gothic. Architects during this period were Elisabethkirche, Cologne Duomo and Parles.
The most short – lived of all Gothic styles of Europe, Italian Gothic was also the most hesitant. For secular buildings, the Gothic language was more enthusiastically embraced, particularly for the numerous balconies and arcades so suited to the benign Mediterranean climate.
Renaissance architecture in Italy is characterized by harmony, clarity and strength. The new style was fully bound up with Renaissance interest in aspects of antiquity, such as Literature, philosophy, and mathematics, rulers and patrons realized the importance of both architecture and urban planning as means of promoting notions of an ordered society.
The Early Renaissance – it was around 15 th century and its salient features are balance and harmony. One of its finest example is The Pazzi chaple in florence, other Architects – Giuliano da Sangallo, Michelozzo.
The high Renaissance – the course of Renaissance architecture in the 16 th century was distinguished by a supreme confidence in new means of expression. The results was a greater dynamism and plasticity, as seen in Bramante’s building Santa Maria delle Grazie. The ornamental “rowels” and the great concave panels on the lower part of the apse bear witness to a new spatial sensitivity.
Late Renaissance – great attention was focused on a philological revival of the ancient orders, on the other hand bold, scenographic effects were increasingly emphasized. Interior decoration included much stucco work and wood carving.
Baroque architecture originated in17th century Rome, where it developed as an expression of the newly triumphant Catholic church.
Breaking with the somewhat static intellectual formulas of the Renaissance, baroque architecture was first and foremost an art of persuasion.
A new dynamic architectural vocabulary emerged, often based on the repetition, breaking up, and distortion of Renaissance classical motifs. Broken pediments , giant orders, and convex and concave walls were all used relatively freely by Baroque architects leading to very personal styles.
Typical of baroque style is a decorative exuberance that finds expression in bold inventions and a progressive accentuations of plastic, dynamic masses. Curved lines and elliptical floor plans were predominate.
Domes grow increasingly bold and grand monumental structures offer surprising theatrical effects.
Rome was the radiating center of the baroque style.
The Rococo style was essentially a decorative movement that developed in the early 18 th century in the town houses and hotels of the Parisian nobility.
Nicolas Pineau, and germain Boffrand were among the designers who succeeded in reflecting the more intimate scale and comfortable arrangement of room by decorating them with light, frivolous and colorful schemes in which panels and door frames dissolved and walls merged with the ceiling.