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Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and Post-modern periods of architecture

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  1. 1. ARCHITECTUREAncient ArchitectureFeatures of Ancient Chinese Architecture Flexible Structure The ancient buildings use wood as chief material. And the components are mainly columns, beams, and purlins, which are connected by tenons and mortises. As a result, the wooden structure is quite flexible. There is also a unique design only found in China named Dougong (a system of brackets inserted between the top of a column and a crossbeam), which is one of the most important character in ancient Chinese architecture. Wonderful and Elegant Appearance The ancient Chinese architectures are greatly praised for the elegant profile and varied structure, for example, the overhanging eaves, upward roof corners, and different shapes of roofs. The unique outside has not only fit and satisfid the practical functional need of building, but also exhibited its wonderful appearance. It is a good model of a combination of practicality and beauty.Regular LayoutIn China, buildings such as palaces, temples and folk houses are basically in a combined complex. Thebuilding complex can be divided into buildings centered on different courtyards and then into singlerooms. Most of the buildings strictly follow the axis-centered principle with symmetrical wings. So thebuildings look symmetrical on the left and right sides. Such layout of ancient Chinese architectures hasreflected the aesthetic standard of harmony and symmetry in ancient China.Gorgeous OrnamentsArchitects in ancient China pay special attention to the ornaments either from a whole or in a specificpart. They use different colors or paintings according to the particular need or local customs. Somebuildings use multiple colors to make strong contrast. Others use soften color to make it simple butelegant. Besides the stress on the colors, ancient buildings attach the same weight on decorations,furnishings inside and ornament outside. Carved beams, painted rafters, various patterns, inscribedboards, couplets hung on the pillars, and wall paintings are used to add to the colorful and beautifulstyle. Stone lions, screen walls, ornamental columns, as well as flowers are used in the outside of abuilding to make ornaments. [1]
  2. 2. ARCHITECTUREMedieval Architecture Valère Castle in Sion, Switzerland, built from the 12th to 13th century. Western European architecture in the Early Middle Ages may be divided into Early Christian and Pre- Romanesque, including Merovingian, Carolingian, Ottonian, and Asturian. While these terms are problematic, they nonetheless serve adequately as entries into the era. Considerations that enter into histories of each period include Trachtenbergs "historicising" and "modernising" elements, Italian versus northern, Spanish, and Byzantine elements, and especially the religious and political maneuverings between kings, popes, and various ecclesiastic officials. Surviving examples of medieval secular architecture mainly served for defense. Castles and fortified walls provide the most notable remaining non-religious examples of medieval architecture. Windows gained a cross-shape for more than decorative purposes: theyprovided a perfect fit for a crossbowman to safely shoot at invaders from inside. Crenelated walls(battlements) provided shelters for archers on the roofs to hide behind when not shooting. [2]
  3. 3. ARCHITECTUREPost Modern Architecture Kyoto Station. Postmodern architecture is an international style whose first examples are generally cited as being from the 1950s, and which continues to influence present-day architecture. Postmodernity in architecture is generally thought to be heralded by the return of "wit, ornament and reference" to architecture in response to the formalism of the International Style of modernism. As with many cultural movements, some of postmodernisms most pronounced and visible ideas can be seen in architecture. The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound.Classic examples of modern architecture are the Lever House and the Seagram Building in commercialspace, and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright or the Bauhaus movement in private or communalspaces. Transitional examples of postmodern architecture are the Portland Building in Portland and theSony Building (New York City) (originally AT&T Building) in New York City, which borrows elements andreferences from the past and reintroduces color and symbolism to architecture. A prime example ofinspiration for postmodern architecture lies along the Las Vegas Strip, which was studied by RobertVenturi in his 1972 book Learning from Las Vegas celebrating the strips ordinary and commonarchitecture. Venturi opined that "Less is a bore", inverting Mies Van Der Rohes dictum that "Less ismore". [3]
  4. 4. ARCHITECTUREModern Architecture - Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers: Nagoya, Japan This stunning structure by architectural group Nikken Sekkei really does set the standard for educational architecture. Located on busy Main Street in Nagoya, Japan, the Mode-Gakuen Spiral Towers were designed for three schools that represent the school of fashion design, computer programming, and medical support. The concept of the towers are derived from the enthusiasm of students from three schools, twining and rising up to the sky then departing to the real world. Three buildings of class rooms around the spiral core are called “Wings”. The towers wing-like shape, narrow at the top, changes the rotation axis as they rise and create an organic curve. Spiral Towers appears to change shape slightly when viewed from different angles, giving an elegant yet dynamic impression. The towers are highlighted with many ecological features, such as a double-glassed air flow window system and a natural air ventilation system. The central core of the building is a highly rigid cylindrical structure. Like the central pillar in a house, this structure securely protects the building against twisting and earthquakes. This cylindrical structure is called an inner trusstube and comprises concrete-filled, steel tubular columns, with braces deployed around the core. [4]