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Abrams (1994) comments that pyramids, temples and palaces were constructed by ancient civilizations. The Maya civilization of Mexico and Central America built their architectures using simple stones and wood. Human strength was used to build these. One interesting and maybe, supreme feature of architecture at big archaeological sites like these is that the extent and quality of these constructions have an intense impact on the observer. These are the natural landscape structures and architectural designs. Another example of natural architecture and spatial design comes from ancient India when the Rajarajeshwara Temple was built in the district of Kannur in Kerala. With highly intricate carvings and sculptures on each wall of the temple, this temple had the highest tower among all the temples of its time. The top stone weighed a massive ninety tonnes and modern technology did not exist at that time to place it on the top. Sripada (2014) has mentioned that an incline of two and a half miles was constructed to roll the ninety tonnes stone to the top of the temple. The village from which the incline started is still called ‘Charupallam’, meaning the ‘Village of the Incline’ in South India. The incline was dismantled after the completion of the temple. This essay will look at the different types of architectures developed through time.
Unnatural architecture and spatial design, on the other hand, refers to architectural types which are not anywhere close to nature. These are characterized by an understanding of an ideal world, innovation and a reinvention of how humans would exist, labour and mingle. Walsh (2020) has explained twelve of these modern architectural styles. They are the following. Bauhaus, or “Construction House” in German, is an architectural style founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius. The Bauhaus Museum Weimar is an example of this type of architecture (Chernick, 2019). It is a template for many other modern architectural schools and is characterized by functionality, ornamentation and abstract shapes. De Stijl was founded in 1917 and means “The Style” in Dutch. It is characterised by shapes, black, white and primary colours and simple horizontal and vertical elements. Constructivism emerged in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and involved technology, innovation and futurism (World of Level Design, 2008). Expressionism began as an architecture movement in Europe in the 20th century (Yoniarto, 2011). It uses steel, brick and glass to render biomorphic, organic and emotional forms. Functionalism, which began in the 1930s as a distinct form of architecture, believes in purpose-based designing of structures and buildings. An example of functional architecture is the Barcelona Pavilion built in 1929 (Waghulde, 2017). Minimalism evolved from the Bauhaus and De Stijl forms of architecture and makes use of straightforward designs instead of ornamentation and decoration. The Church of Light in Japan, architected by Tadao Ando is an example of minimal architecture (Stewart, 2018). International Style involves simple geometrical shapes and no ornamentation. Metabolism includes modularity, prefabrication, flexibility and strong core infrastructures. Brutalism emerged in the 1950s and is distinguished by monolithic structures, rigid geometric styles and unusual shapes and are usually clad in broken unfinished concrete. Postmodernism tried to replace modernism and aimed to revive traditional and historical architecture and philosophy. High-tech merged technology and building design. Deconstructivism, which came into prominence in the 1980s, is distinguished by absence of coordination, consonance, continuity and symmetry. A bent monument trapped inside a twisted frame, built by Vladimir Tatlin is an example of deconstructivism architectural style (Stouhi, 2020). Pacheco (2020) has described L’Arbre Blanc, which is a housing project in France by Sou Fujimoto Architects, as a natural-unnatural form of architecture and spatial design. Many a times, it can be seen that natural landscape architecture and spatial spatially designed structures tend to blend in with the nature around them. Gibson (2017) points to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, a waterfall holiday home he had built for himself, as a remarkable example of natural architecture. The same is not the case with unnatural architecture as can be seen all over the world today in its metropolitan cities and skyscrapers.
Architecture is both a science and an art. It has been an ever-evolving field of study through the ages. Ancient architecture can easily be distinguished from medieval architecture, which in turn can be easily distinguished from modern architecture. The modern architectural styles can be distinguished from each other themselves. In times to come, there will be significant changes in the styles of architecture. A lot of new experiments will be done. Some will lead to new discoveries while others might fail, but architecture as a field will continue to grow and evolve. This is the beauty of architecture
Abrams, E.M. 1994. How the Maya built their world: energetics and ancient architecture. Texas: University of Texas Press.
Chernick, K. 2019. 8 iconic Bauhaus sites to visit for its 100th anniversary. [Online]. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-8-iconic-bauhaus-sites-visit-100th-anniversary [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Gibson, E. 2017. Frank Lloyd Wright integrated architecture into nature at Fallingwater. [Online]. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/06/07/fallingwater-frank-lloyd-wright-pennsylvania-house-usa-150th-birthday/ [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Pacheco, A. 2020. Inside the natural-unnatural architecture of Sou Fujimoto. [Online]. Available at: https://archinect.com/news/article/150187845/inside-the-natural-unnatural-architecture-of-sou-fujimoto [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Sripada, A.K. 2014. Academic questions & answers forum. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nextgurukul.in/questions-answers-forum/question/academic/pls-tell-me-the-importance-of-the-village-charupallam-near-t/48609 [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Stewart, J. 2018. What is Minimalism? Learn the intricacies & history of this influential aesthetic. [Online]. Available at: https://mymodernmet.com/what-is-minimalism-definition/ [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Stouhi, D. 2020. What is deconstructivism? [Online]. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/899645/what-is-deconstructivism [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Waghulde, M. 2017. Functionalism. [Online]. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/MayurWaghulde3/functionalism-brutalism [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Walsh, N.P. 2020. 12 important modernist styles explained. [Online]. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/931129/12-important-modernist-styles-explained [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
World of Level Design. 2008. Constructivist architecture. [Online]. Available at: https://www.worldofleveldesign.com/categories/architecture/constructivist_architecture/constructivist_architecture.php [Accessed on September 8, 2020].
Yoniarto, C.D. 2011. Expressionism in architecture. [Online]. Available at: https://architectureintlprogram.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/expressionism-in-architecture/ [Accessed on September 8, 2020].