• Greek : sense of the finite
• Romans : political power and organization
USE OF SCALE
• Greek use of scale is based on human
• Romans used proportions that would relate parts of
building instead of human measure
• Greek use of house as module for town planning
• Roman use of street pattern as module
to achieve a sense of overpowering grandeur
made for military government
• Greeks : as a leftover space for circulation
• Romans: street are built first; buildings came later
PLACE OF ASSEMBLY
• Greeks: market (agora)
• Romans: forum, market, theater, and arena
Rome: Urban Form Components
B‐The Republican Wall (367‐352BC)
C‐Aurelian Wall‐280 AD
• Town grew beyond the defensive walls of the
hills and spread on the lower areas;
• Intrinsic natural deficiencies: Flooding, Disease,
River pollution, drinking water problem, poor
bearing capacity, hilly topography etc.
• Man induced constraints: Large scale sewer,
Urban Form Components
• Street Systems
• City Centre
F‐Baths of Diocletian
G‐Baths of Caracalla
H‐Mausoleum of Hadrian;
J‐St. Peters built 1506‐1626
The Etruscans were the early settlers of west-central part of Italy, but later Romans
The ancient capital of Rome was near river Tiber surrounded by 7 hills.
Coastline is simple
No natural harbours.
The romans conquered by war and ruled by law
Unlike the Greeks who used stone and marble, the Romans obtained earth to make
terracotta and bricks.
The most important building that helped make the huge roman buildings was lime concrete.
It was largely used for vaults, domes, walls and roads.
The concrete was made of bricks and rubble and pozzolana(a volcanic earth) and lime.
In important buildings the face was covered with plaster.
The Etruscans and General characteristics:
Elements of Roman architecture show very significant Greek influence.
However, Roman functional needs sometimes differed, resulting in interesting innovations.
The Romans were less attached to “ideal” forms and extended Greek ideas to make them
Romans needed interior space for worship, whereas the Greeks worshipped outside.
Their solution was to extend the walls outward, creating engaged columns, while
maintaining the same basic shape.
• Building systems:
• Copied from the Greeks
• Spaces are closed by
• Use of arches
• Barrel vaults
• Use of domes
• Strong walls so that they do
not use external supports
They used half point or semicircular arches
They could use lintels above these arches
Pediments were combined with them
Material combinations in walls:
Please read through this link :
• Greek shapes assimilation:
• Architectonical orders were used more in a
decorative than in a practical way
• The use of orders linked to the wall created a
• They used the classical orders and two
Columnar and trabeated style of Greeks combined with
Etruscan’s arch and vault.
The various vaults used were: Semi Circular Vault, Cross
Vault, Cupolas or Hemispherical domes.
Capacity to span over large spaces.
Lime concrete and lime plaster was used.
Construction Techniques: Vaulting
The vaulting technique of the Etruscans was absorbed by the Romans the development of a
mature vaulting system.
The Romans created vaults of perfect rigidity, devoid of external thrust, and requiring no
Thus vaults and domes could be easily erected over vast spaces, producing impressive and
complex thermae, amphitheaters, and basilicas.
Roman vaults were the basis on which more complex and varied forms were developed in the
Middle Ages. The tunnel (or barrel) vault spans between two walls, like a continuous arch.
The cross, or groined, vault is formed by the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults,
producing a surface that has arched openings for its four sides and concentration of load at
the four corner points of the square or rectangle. Roman vault was the type used for covering
square or rectangular compartments.
From Theatre of Marcellus at Rome.
This order has a base unlike the Greek order (1/2D).
The column shaft is circular and tapers to 3/4 to 2/3 rds
to the top.
Its divided into 16-20 flutes.
Capital-½ D high.
Architrave-½ D high.
It has a Taenia at top with regula below it with six guttae under each
Frieze is ¾ D high and has triglyph and metopes.
Cornice is ¾ D high and contains either mutules or dentils
Taken from the Temple of Fortuna Virilis
Base is ½ high.
The shaft diminishes to 5/6that the top. Inter column is
Entablature 2 ¼ D high.
Architrave is 5/8 diameter ; heavy and richly
Frieze is ¾ D high, Flat and sculptural.
Cornice is 7/8 D high and ornamented.
Taken from Temple of Castor and Pollux at Rome
(7 B.C -6 A.D).
Column Base is ½ D high.
24 flutes separated by fillets.
Tapers to 5/6 D at top inter columniation is 2 2/3 D
Capital-1 1/6 D high.
Entablature : 2 ½ D
Architrave: ¾ D, three facias, separated by ornamental
Frieze: ¾ D high. Enriched with sculptures.
Cornice-1 D high
The cornice has dentils and is supported by a series of
beam like brackets called modillions.
It was a favorite order of the Romans and were largely
It was used in Triumphal Arches
It has an attic base ( upper and lower torus
moldings separated by scotia and fillets)
24 flutes separated by fillets.
The capital is combination of volutes of Ionic
and Acanthus leaves of Corinthian.
Architrave is ¾ D high
Frieze is ¾ D high
Cornice is 1 D high, supported by dentils.
Invented by Etruscans.
Named after Tuscany, taken from the famous
colonnade which reaches to the St. Peter.
Column - 7D high.
Capital is ½ D high.
Base is ½ D - plain square block and simple torus.
Entablature 1 ¾ D - Plain with no ornamentation
Architrave - ½ D
Frieze - ½ D
Cornice - ¾ D.
• 2nd Century AD 175,000 people received public assistance from
• Increased number of annual holidays 169 to 200 annually and
high proportion of holidays were devoted to games;
• Recreation centre like Circus Maximus attained dimension of
1962 feet by 654 feet provided seating for 385,000
• The colosseum was designed to accommodate about 50,000
• Baths including shops, stadia, rest rooms, library, museums
and numerous other facilities were present for public
Model of Rome in the 4th century
AD, by Paul Bigot. The Circus lies
between the Aventine (left) and
Palatine (right); the oval structure to
the far right is the Colosseum
As reconstructed in the movie Ben
The Colosseum was the largest and most important amphitheatre in the world, and the kinds
of spectacles staged there were costlier and more impressive than those held anywhere else.
There are even accounts of the Colosseum being flooded so that naval battles could be
staged before an audience of tens of thousands, although some scholars have doubted that
the arena could be made watertight or that ships could manoeuvre in the space available.
The exterior The interior seating
The central arena
87 meters long
55 meters wide
Stones Concrete Bricks
More than 1.1 million
erect this massive structure.
240 mast corbels
about 80 entrances
Women & Slaves
• Construction was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian around 72 AD. His son Titus
reigned over its completion and the official opening ceremonies, about 8 years later, in
• It got its popular name, the Colosseum, because of Nero's colossus (120 ft. high) statue
• The huge theatre was originally built encompassing four floors. The first three had
arched entrances, while the fourth floor utilized rectangular doorways.
• The floors each measured between 10.5-13.9 meters in height.
• The total height of the construction was approximately 48 meters
• The arena measured 79 x 45 meters and consisted of wood and sand.
• The Colloseum had a total spectator capacity of 45,000-55,000.
• The Amphitheatre is built of travertine outside, and of tufa and brick in the interior.
• 100,000 cubic meters of marble
• It has a total of 76 entrances and 4 additional entrances for the emperor, other VIPs and
• the entire audience could exit the building in five minutes
• The interior was divided into three parts: the arena, the podium, and the cavea.
A free standing structure having an Elliptical plan –189m X 156m
Structure height -48 m
Elliptical shape kept the players from retreating to a corner, and allowed the spectators to be
closer to the action than a circle would allow.
Area covered –24,000 square metres(6 acres)
Accommodated 87,000 people at a time.
80 arches on each of the first three levels,
Outer wall material –travertine stone which were set without mortar; they were held together
by 300 tons of iron clamps.
Doric order in 1st storey-12.4m high
Ionic order in the 2nd storey, -11.8m high
Corinthian order in the 3rdstorey, -11.8 m high
• 240 mast corbels were positioned around the top of the attic. They originally supported
the velarium(retractable awning), that kept the sun and rain off spectators.
• 80 entrances at ground level, 76 of which were used by ordinary spectators. Each entrance
and exit was numbered, as was each staircase. The northern main entrance was reserved
for the Roman Emperor and his aides, whilst the other three axial entrances were most
likely used by the elite. All 4 axial entrances were richly decorated with painted stucco
reliefs, of which fragments survive. Many of the original outer entrances have disappeared
(collapsed due to earthquake).
• Spectators accessed to their seats via vomitoria (passageways that opened into a tier of
seats from below or behind)
Arena and hypogeum
• The central arena (oval shaped) is 87m X
55m , surrounded by a wall 5m high, above
which rose tiers of seating.
• Arena is Covering an elaborate underground
structure called the hypogeum.
• A two-level subterranean network of tunnels
and cages beneath the arena where
gladiators and animals were held before
contests began. vertical shafts provided
instant access to the arena for caged
• Substantial quantities of machinery also
existed in the hypogeum. Elevators and
pulleys raised and lowered scenery and
props, as well as lifting caged animals to the
surface for release. There is evidence for the
existence of major hydraulic mechanisms
and according to ancient accounts, it was
possible to flood the arena rapidly,
presumably via a connection to a nearby
• Roman bathing, which consisted of the Roman baths (or thermae) and also balneum
• Early Romans used baths, but seldom, and only then for heath and cleanliness
• Existence in 25 BC with the first thermae built by the Emperor Argippa
• Most Romans bathed in local neighborhood balneum, with an average of 5 bath houses
• Popularity of these balneum led to the creation of the thermae
• Each emperor tried to improve upon the design, grandeur, and popularity of the ones
• In order to create popularity, the fees to bath were practically nonexistent
• The best and most grand bath complexes were found within Rome, as it served as the
capital of the empire
• The success of the bath complexes owes much to the technological advances of the Greeks
and early Roman
• The improvement of the aqueduct, the architectural usage of vaulted ceilings, and the
hypocaust heating system allowed these great complexes to be as magnificent as they
• Romans were able to achieve this by heating the marble floor, which was raised on small
columns or stacks of tiles to allow hot air from a fire to circulate underneath
• Walls were also heated by earthenware pipes in the walls to ensure a hot and steamy
• Bathers had to wear special shoes to prevent their feet from getting blisters from the floor
• It took two to three days to heat a thermae, but as the baths were kept in constant use,
the fire was never allowed to die
• The baths in Rome served as an entertainment center, holding sports centers, swimming
pools, gardens, libraries, areas for poetry and musical performances, restaurants, and
sleeping quarters for visitors
• The baths were opened daily from sunrise to sunset and open to all . The thermae could
seat 1,600 bathers at one time
• Most commoners went only once a day, but the Emperors or luxury bathe as many as 7-8
• Typical Roman would start out with some easy exercise in the palaestra (exercise yard),
attend to the bathing, anoint themselves with oil, and then eat some food
• At the baths, even in the most corrupt of their civilization, the Romans tried to live up to the
old maxim: "mens sana in corpore sano’ – a healthy mind in a healthy body
Thermae: Public bath (larger than a
private bath) with a men's section
and a woman's secetion, which is
why there are two separate
hypocausts ( E, F, G: underground
A) atrium: principle entrance,
promenade and where the bath
keeper (balneator) was located
B) apodyterium: room for
C) frigidarium: cold bath
D) tepidarium: warm room
E) caldarium: hot bath
F) thermal chamber
G & H) women's bath
K) servants atrium
Baths of Caracalla
27 acres complex (11 hectares).
Accommodate up to 2000 people per time.
Main building at the center and covered by a thick wall consists of libraries and gym
and also gardens.
6 feet height for loading purpose.
Main building have upper level for service and heating and lower level for water
Heating reservoir by Aque Marcia Aqueduct.
The bath was known because of the rich interiors of marble seats, mosaic walls and
floors as well as fountain and statue.
Baths of Caracalla :building
dimensions and materials
Precinct maximum: 412x393 m
Internal: 323x323 m
Central Block overall: 218x112 m
Swimming Pool: 54x23 m
Frigidarium: 59x24 m, height . 41 m
Caldarium: 35M diameter height . 44 m
Quantities of materials
Pozzolanna: 341,000 m³
Quick lime: 35,000 m³
Tuff: 341,000 m³
Basalt for foundations: 150,000 m³
Brick pieces for facing: 17.5 million
Large Bricks: 520,000
Marble columns in Central block: 252
Marble for columns and decorations:
GROINS THREE ROUND ARCH
following the curve on the
underside of an arch)
PIERS (A small, relatively thin
column, often used for
decoration or to support
Halls of justice and commercial exchanges
•Basilikos–kingly, royal etc.
•Emphasise on importance of law and business in Old Rome
•Link between Classic and Christian architecture
•Nave roof was raised to accommodate windows
•Knowledge of roof truss
Such buildings usually contained interior colonnades that divided the space, giving aisles or
arcaded spaces at one or both sides, with an apse at one end (or less often at each end),
where the magistrates sat, often on a slightly raised dais.
The central aisle tended to be wide and was higher than the flanking aisles, so that light
could penetrate through the clerestory windows.
One can determine a basilica apart from other structures by its dome. The oldest known
basilica, the Basilica Porcia, was built in Rome in 184 BC by Cato the Elder during the time he
was censor. Other early examples include the one at Pompeii (late 2nd century BC).
Basilica of Trajan : Main features
The Basilica Ulpia was composed of a great central nave with four side aisles with clerestory
windows to let light into the space divided by rows of columns and two semicircular apse,
one at each of the ends with the entry to the basilica located on the longitudinal side. The
columns and the walls were of precious marbles; the 50 meter (164 ft) high roof was covered
by gilded bronze tiles.
It was the largest in Rome measuring 117 by 55 meters (385 x 182 ft)
The many rows of columns separating the side aisles are a traditional means of structure for
basilicas. This method of structure can be traced back to Egyptian hypostyle Halls
Later, it was used as the architectural prototype by Constantine as the basis for the layout
of the new Christian churches. The Basilica Ulpia was used as to model for Constantine
completion of the Basilica of Maxentiu
• There were two basic types of housing found in the
• domus– single family occupation;
• building blocks divided up to number of
• Around 400 AD, 1797 domus against 46,602 flats
• Domus were built with a courtyard with
a series of rooms facing towards it;
• Possible hazard was fire
• Use of tiles in the roof as incombustible
roof material and open space provision
between buildings of around 2’ feet
4”inches was mandatory;
Housing • Royal palaces were built on high grounds
and separate working class districts were
planned on downstream banks of river;
• Flats were built up to 3 floors;
• Height restriction for flats was
imposed to limit of 70ft. And
further reduced to 60 ft.
• Flats were open to the outside,
formed a quadrilateral around a
central court , had doors,
windows, staircases opening
both to the outside and inside;
• Running water was not supplied
to the upper floors;
• Elevated Aqueduct
• Fresh Water Reservoir
• Cloaca Maxima‐the first of the
great open sewers built in 578 BC
later covered with 11ft dia.
semicircular stone vault in 184 BC
• Water supply depended on River Tiber
• Aqueducts and reservoirs were built to
overcome the problem of river water
pollution due huge sewer discharge
• Water supply was limited to 94
gallons/per/day due to rising population
Sewers and Water Supply