Types of Architecture

Architecture is understood as the various artistic techniques used for the design of buildings, as well as the designation of the buildings themselves in general (houses, buildings, towers, monuments, etc.), it is an art or discipline that is responsible for the construction and planning of various buildings, using artistic techniques, as well as engineering and other disciplines, which are interrelated in the construction of buildings. That is to say, it is a science or art, specialized in the direction and rational planning, for the construction of buildings, giving artistic and technical guidelines for its elaboration.

It is usually related to sculpture, especially in terms of reliefs, bas-reliefs and stone ornamentation that are usually found in buildings, as well as sciences such as mathematics, for the calculation of proportions and engineering, among other sciences and arts. architecture-related to apply to functions within the architecture.

Main types of architecture:

Historical or stylistic architecture.- It is one that has emerged over time in various places and has “created architectural styles”, with their own characteristics (for example, Greek and Baroque architecture that are easy to distinguish from each other), despite have similar characteristics in certain respects. They are usually classified depending on the dominant period in terms of style, which covered a certain space both in time and in the territory, where said type or architectural style exerted influence.

Both monuments and buildings of the public type (religious, military, etc.), as well as private (houses and others) are counted within this type. It is usually studied by art historians, who classify the artistic styles that are related to this or that architectural style, during a certain historical period, in close relation to the predominant artistic style at the time.

Popular or traditional architecture.- Traditional or popular is understood as those buildings that are made by the people themselves or by artisans who have little education (bricklayers, apprentices and laborers), who carry out the construction of houses, both for the city and for the countryside, as well as auxiliary buildings of the rural type, such as barns, corrals, wells and various buildings for agricultural use, made with traditional materials, such as wood, stone, etc. These are architectural works, which are carried out according to the needs of the people and are made with the materials that are available, emphasizing the traditions of the place, and the buildings vary from country to country, especially as they are adapted for the climate of the region, as well as local materials and style.

Type of construction in Greece

Common or vulgar.- Common or vulgar architecture is understood as those constructions whose sole objective is the utility they provide, without having the characteristics of historical, artistic or popular architecture in any region, but rather their forms focus on , solely to satisfy the purpose or utility for which it is designed, for example office buildings that do not follow an artistic style, but are designed to provide a practical utility, and in the same way buildings such as classrooms and schools, being that in Many times they are usually constructions of a sober and even monotonous character, alien to artistic architecture itself.

Types of architecture according to the functionality of the construction:

Religious Architecture.- These are those constructions that are focused on the religious sphere, being generally constructions designed both to house large sectors of the population (parishioners), as well as to exalt the deity, it being common for these buildings to have great size and ornamentation, as can be seen in the various Egyptian, Greek, Roman temples and religious buildings and in Christian cathedrals, although it also stands out that several constructions of this type can be of a small size, as is the case of oratories and hermitages, which are intended for a reduced “public”.

St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican

Military Architecture.- It is about those architectural works that have been created expressly, to defend something, it is the case of walls, fortresses and castles, that depending on the time, the materials and the prevailing style, as well as the war circumstances and techniques of the moment, take the appropriate form to contain attacks and sieges. Works that can reach magnificence both in functionality and in style, as evidenced by the Great Wall of China and several European castles, which combine functionality with the architectural beauty prevailing in the region.

Civil Architecture.- These are monuments and buildings of the civil type, such as public theaters, chambers (congresses of deputies and gazebos), government residences and palaces, bridges, parks, monuments, as well as the various buildings of civil government agencies. On many occasions they have an extraordinary architectural beauty, without losing the functionality for which they were made.

Types of architecture according to the dominant periods and styles:

Throughout history, architectural styles have emerged, which have lasted for a greater or lesser time, as a model to follow in the works, characterizing the architecture of an entire region. Some of the most notorious are:

  •  Megalithic, Archaic, Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian Minoan, Mycenaean, Greek, Hindu, Etruscan, Roman, Chinese, Mayan and Aztec Inca.
  •  Paleochristian, Visigothic, Byzantine, Merovingian, Islamic, Mozarabic, Mudejar, Romanesque, Cistercian, Gothic,
  •  Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical,
  • Current or contemporary.- Art nouveau, Art deco, Organic, Postmodern,

Types of architecture in history:

Archaic Architecture.- Archaic architecture is understood as that which either focused on meeting basic needs such as creating habitats for individuals, or for animals, as well as those original buildings dedicated to the worship of deities or to carry out magical-religious rituals. Within this category, we could count the megalithic structures, which may have had a religious purpose for the performance of rituals.

Other types of construction that we could place in this category are the construction of houses or huts, made with materials such as straw, leaves, branches, mud and other materials that primitive cultures used to shelter from the weather, being simple constructions, which although not they had an artistic style, yes instead, they fulfilled a functionality.

Sumerian-Mesopotamian Architecture.- These are the buildings that emerged in Mesopotamia, within the Sumerian culture. It was mainly based on the construction with adobe bricks, made of silt (clay), and straw, with which they built both houses, barns, as well as more elaborate constructions, such as palaces and temples, being an example that spread throughout the area, the ziggurats, which were semi-pyramidal religious constructions, made as a stairway “to heaven”, made of clay brick masonry, with a square or rectangular floor plan or base, built as superimposed terraces giving a semi-pyramidal shape, which It was accompanied by stairways attached perpendicularly with a temple at the top.

Egyptian Architecture.- It was characterized by using a lot of materials such as stone (granite and sandstone among other stone materials), although the architecture of the buildings of the common people was made with reeds, silt bricks compacted with straw (adobes), and thatched roofs or papyrus sheets. The royal, military and religious buildings, as well as the tombs, were made of stone. In addition to the construction of stone pyramids and mastabas for funerary use, it is in Egypt that there are beginning to be pillars to support the roofs, but to a lesser extent.

Most of the buildings that survive from this culture are funerary and religious buildings (temples and pyramids), for having been made of stones that are highly resistant to the passage of time and weather. It is characterized by the robustness of its buildings, being very resistant.

egyptian construction

Babylonian Chaldean Architecture.- It is characterized by the construction of adobe walls, irrigation canals, palaces and temples. Being heir to the Sumerian architectural tradition, great similarities are observed as with that of the Assyrians. Ziggurat-type religious buildings abound (staggered buildings made by superimposed plateaus in a staggered manner), and each level was built with different colors, having smooth ramps and/or stairways, leading to the top, reaching a peak at the top. temple/observatory.

They were also characterized by the construction of gardens made through the system of superimposed platforms, and channeling systems to be able to raise the water to said places, and buildings such as the “hanging gardens” of Babylon were among the wonders of antiquity.

Assyrian Architecture.- It is heir to the Sumerian artistic and architectural tradition and is closely related to Chaldean-Babylonian architecture, although relatively few buildings have survived, the use of adobes and stone is appreciated, both for the construction of palaces and for fortresses, being that the stone was reserved mainly for the lining of the walls, as well as for the bases (foundations), of the buildings. They are characterized by the creation of sculpted porches, as well as the fact that, like the Babylonians, they used the stepped ziggurat shape for religious buildings (temples).

Greek Architecture.- Once the Cretan periods (on the island of Crete) and the proto-Hellenic (Pelasgic) periods had passed, the predominant architecture was Mycenaean, which consisted of somewhat crude constructions, with cyclopean walls (made with large blocks of uncarved stone), as well as the frequent use of the false vault. An example of this architecture is the gate of the lions of Mycenae.

Already in classical times, for the construction of large-scale works, materials such as wood (especially for some ceilings and beams), and stone (especially marble) were frequently used for the construction of public buildings, such as temples, gymnasiums, stadiums, theaters and so on, as well as common stone for the construction of fortresses. Greek architecture created three main orders or styles, the Doric, the Ionic and the Corinthian, which later spread to the Etruscans, Romans and are even used today.

classical greek building

Etruscan Architecture.- It is mainly known for funerary buildings that have lasted, it has similarities acquired from Greek architecture, however it stands out that unlike these and the Romans, they did not often use materials such as marble, being more frequent the use of the stone in a somewhat crude or inelegant way. They often used the arch and the vault, from which the Romans later took it, especially for the construction of aqueducts.

Roman Architecture.- It is heir to the Greek and Etruscan traditions, acquiring its own characteristics, but with a notable influence of both.

Very luxurious and large-scale buildings are appreciated, both in public order (aqueducts, roads, theaters, baths, baths, racecourses, amphitheaters, and government public buildings such as the forum among others, as well as in private constructions, such as villas and houses of field, where styles brought from Egypt and other domains are combined (this already at the end of the republic and during the empire).

Roman Coliseum

Medieval Architecture.-It is strongly influenced by religious thought, and the prevailing feudal situation. At this time the artisans and architects take on great importance thanks to the knowledge they possess, forming guilds that control said knowledge, being the ones who design the constructions. They are characteristic of this period in architecture, the construction of religious precincts, (churches, cathedrals, and in the areas invaded by the Arabs, mosques), being an example of them the great Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals (medieval artistic periods that covered architecture) , the mosques, palaces and buildings such as the Alhambra (in Spain), and the innumerable castles and monasteries that spread throughout Europe, throughout the medieval period,

mosque in egypt

Romanesque Architecture.- After the barbarian invasions in the remains of the Roman Empire, a period and artistic style emerged that had a decisive influence on architecture. In which thick and firm stone walls predominated, with rounded vaults in the case of churches, being firm constructions (castles and churches), which characterize and exemplify the dominant type of construction between the years 800 and 1200 in Western Europe. .

Gothic Architecture.- It was characterized by the exaggerated stylization of the buildings, having very pointed and high arches and vaults, as well as very striking stained glass windows, which gave the buildings a “touch” of elegance or distinction. Examples of this are the Gothic cathedrals of Our Lady of Amien and Saint Mary and Saint George, among others. This style dominated Western Europe between the years 1100 and 1450.

Renaissance Architecture.- During the Renaissance, the arts took a new resurgence inspired by the classic works, in the same way as painting or sculpture. Architecture began to have great advances that were founded on the “classical” Greek and Roman styles, beginning a new aesthetic stage in constructions (in the West), inspired by the order and proportions of the classical world. Some examples of the buildings of this stage are the basilica of San Pedro in Rome and its square surrounded by a colonnade, adorned with Christian sculptures, similar in aesthetics to the Greek and Roman ones, in terms of proportion.

The Vatican

Within the modern age (from the Renaissance to the contemporary age), artistic styles emerged consecutively that extended to architecture, the baroque and the rococo. In them an increase in the ornamentation of the buildings is observed, as well as in the profusion of vaults, arches and stained glass windows, which gave a sensation of magnificence.

The baroque took particularities in each region, being that for example in America (new Spain), it took artistic slopes typical of the indigenous artistic traditions, and likewise in France, Spain or Germany, it took certain particular nuances, evolving in different ways, in particularly in France, where the rococo style arose, characterized by a profusion of ornamentation, which in some cases its exuberance bordered on exaggeration. It was common to build country houses and palaces in white, in which the ornamentation and curves of arches, windows and vaults gave a feeling of grandeur and spaciousness.

Contemporary Architecture.- It covers the various architectural styles that have been succeeding each other since the mid-nineteenth century, styles such as neoclassicism that breaks with the tradition of baroque and rococo, “removing” the exaggerated ornamentation of the buildings, but preserving enough to give an impression of solemnity and sobriety. Public and private buildings return to the trend towards Greek arcades and pillars, but without the exaggerated ornamentation of the two preceding periods (Baroque and Rococo), this architectural style took root in Germany, England and the USA (especially during the Victorian era). .

Art nouveau architecture.- It emerged at the end of the 19th century in France, as an artistic expression, extending to architecture, which takes guidelines of curved forms, similar to those observed in plants during their growth, being that the ornamentation of the buildings, is based precisely on plant ornaments, whether made of stone or metal.

Art Deco.-Art Deco, Art Deco or Art Deco was an artistic movement that predominated in the architecture of the 1920s and that influenced even later years, in which defined geometric shapes abounded, having a greater simplicity compared to historically immediate styles. like the Ar Nouveau, with which it is far in terms of the lack of exaggeration and exuberance. This architectural style emerged during the mechanization and industrialization of society in the early 1920s, so the configurations adopted by this architectural style influenced its forms. Within this style of architecture, straight lines abound, as well as zigzag figures, the use of rectangles and other geometric shapes,

Modernist Architecture.- This is the name given to the style that breaks with previous standards and is inspired by “modernist” ideas in the plastic arts. Making buildings that usually take strange shapes, on many occasions rounded, or that appear to be moving.

modern bridge

Modern Architecture (Do not confuse with modernist).- These are buildings that are usually made with functionality in mind rather than ornamentation. They usually have smooth planes looking for a geometric balance, and as mentioned above, they focus more on their functionality. These are buildings that are made with modern materials, such as concrete, metal beams and glass, to give greater resistance and a feeling of spaciousness through large windows that allow light to pass through. Some examples are buildings intended for offices, shopping centers and schools, which, although they allow for comfort and may have artistic styles and forms, are more focused on the functionality for which they were built, as in the case of hospitals and other buildings.

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