ART-chitecture: How Architecture is Art

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When you think of art, some of the most recognizable and breathtaking works take a less traditional form. The most elaborate designs in architecture are steeped in history and innovation. Many of today's most stunning structures are influenced by ARTchitecture from Roman, Greek and French culture. Although there are hundreds of buildings that stand out as architectural creations, not all of them are considered ARTchitecture. Our list of highlights contains only a sliver of the most amazing artistic structures in the world. The next time you travel, take note of the elaborate designs of the buildings around you and consider their historic influences. To see modern works of art in a virtual gallery, visit


  • 1. GREECEBALANCEPROPORTIONSIMPLICITYThe Greek culture had a penchant for integrating structuralmarvels with visually appealing lines to create the Corinthian,Doric and Ionic orders. These three column fundamentalsbecame the bases for temples, stadiums and theatricallayouts that are still seen in the modern structures of today.

2. While there are many examples of columns, steps and platforms in ancientGreek culture, one of the most familiar and inspirational is THE PARTHENON.GREECE 3. THE PARTHENONAthens, GreeceDesign Architects Ictinus and Calibrates 4. This enormous structure was built to heraldand protect a larger-than-life gold and ivorystatue of the Greek goddess Athena. Builtunder the direction of Pericles, The Parthenonwas completed in 432 BCE. This stone templeis one of many made with architecture thatwas sophisticated even in its time.PARTHENON 5. The interior statue of Athena Parthenos was designed by Phidias andKalamis, as were many of the Parthenons decorative elements.PARTHENON 6. TAKINGTHINGSTO ANOTHERLEVELROMEThe Romans followed the essential Greek elements, buildingupon them to design and create some functional anddecorative structures of their own. Their grasp of ARTchitectureled to two more orders, Tuscan and Composite, and evenmore impressive design fundamentals. 7. The use of arches, cornices, verandas, decorations, domes and columnsmorphed into basilicas, bath houses, grand residences and public buildings.Outdoor structures of grandeur included amphitheaters, aqueducts, fountains,bridges and arches conceived in Rome and constructed throughout theEmpire. The Colosseum is among these advanced structures.ROME 8. FRANCEINSPIREDBYROMEThe Roman Empire began its quest into modern-day Francearound 125 BCE. The structural and artistic foundations ofRoman ARTchitecture were expanded and improved uponover the next several centuries as the Empire itself crumbled. 9. Paris is often considered the fascinating birthplace of ingenuity, changingthe face of architecture and engineering during the Romanesque, Gothic,Renaissance, Classicism, Neoclassic and Modern periods. Strong lines, simplecurves, balconies, asymmetrical shapes and intricately ornate decorationsare just a few of the creative elements. These Parisian influences are seen inbasilicas, towers, palaces and stately buildings.FRANCE 10. BASILIQUE CATHDRALE DE SAINT DENISSaint Denis, FranceDesign Architects Under the direction of Abbot Suger 11. A notable example of ARTchitecture in Paris, the first Gothic cathedral was built innearby Saint Denis. Its most significant construction lasted from 1140 to 1144. Theabbey was the resting place of many French kings, and a centerpiece for Catholicworship. Ornate decorations include stained glass, 70 sculpted statues, crenellatedparapets, and walls painted in gold and bright colors. Columns, arches, high ceilingsand buttresses from the Basilique Cathedrale de Saint Denis were mimicked in manyother basilicas and buildings through time.BASILIQUE CATHDRALE 12. PONT DU GARDThe Gardon River, FranceDesign Architects Under the direction of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa 13. Often considered an artistic and engineering masterpiece, the Pont du Gard ispart of an aqueduct system built by the Romans early in the 1st century. Underthe rule of the Roman Empire, the nearby city of Nives relied on this innovativewater supply system. . Its a three-story structure of arches nearly 55 yards highand 31 miles long. More than 50 tons of yellow limestone were cut into slabs,numbered and assembled, then held together with mortar.PONT DU GARD 14. The project was directed by the son-in-law of Augustus, although the names ofthe architects and engineers are unknown. A similar series of arches and pillarsare seen in many bridges and waterways throughout the world.PONT DU GARD 15. FAMOUS ARTCHITECTURETRENDSETTERSThere are hundreds of structures throughout the world thathave borrowed their ARTchitectural designs from the Greek,Roman and Parisian pioneers. Some of the most stunning areboth beautiful and functional at the same time. 16. BURJ KHALIFADubai, United Arab EmiratesDesign Architects Adrian Smith, FAIA of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill 17. 2,723feet tallAt 2,723 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa dominates the landscape of Dubai. It wasdesigned by the same architectural firm as the Willis Tower in Chicago tobecome the tallest building in the world. Completed in 2010, the Burj Khalifahas more than 160 stories. Its influences and inspirations stem from Islamicarchitecture, especially from the visionary onion domes and spires.BURJ KHALIFA 18. MUSEO GUGGENHEIMBilbao, SpainDesign Architect Frank Gehry 19. Interconnecting blocks and curling sheets of titanium arethe main exterior features of this 1997 art museum. It plays tothe industrial area where it was erected. Reminiscent of theSolomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which was builtby Frank Lloyd Wright, it has geometric shapes, sharp anglesand flowing curves. It also borrows its asymmetrical shapes andbuttresses from Parisian architecture.INDUSTRIALMASTERPIECEMUSEO GUGGENHEIM 20. WINTER PALACESt. Petersburg, RussiaDesign Architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli 21. This light green building takes up a full block, featuring 1,945windows, an arched entryway and ornate white columnsbedecked in gold. While the statues lining the top of thebuilding are much smaller than the statues of ancient Greece,they are every bit as detailed.LETTHELIGHTINWINTER PALACE1,945windows 22. It was once the winter home for Russian czars and their families,but is now part of the State Hermitage Museum. The palacewas built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elizabeth, andembraces Baroque architecture.WINTER PALACE 23. TAJ MAHALAngra, IndiaDesign Architect Built for Shah Jahan, emperor of India 24. One of the most artistic and recognizable structures in the world,the Taj Mahal was designed by unknown architects. Work beganin 1631 after the death of the Indian rulers second wife, MumtazMahal. The main building was finished in 1648, with surroundingbuildings completed within the next five years.MYSTERYMADETAJ MAHAL 25. It serves as a tribute to her; a tomb, mosque and museum,featuring gardens, fountains and gateways. The arches, stoneinlays and decorative calligraphy enhance Islamic domes andspires atop the structure.TAJ MAHAL 26. CENTRE POMPIDOUParis, FranceDesign Architect Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano 27. This revolutionary art museum took Paris by storm uponits completion in 1977. While it wasnt a favorite amonglocals because it appeared more like a building thathad been turned inside-out, the tide has changed. Itsnow considered a modern work of art, featuring its metalpipes and support structures on the exterior.INSIDEOUTCENTRE POMPIDOU 28. The building was created in honor of former PresidentGeorges Pompidou, and houses two art galleries,a restaurant and a museum. With the innovation ofearly Parisian architects as inspiration, the see-throughescalator tubes on the exterior still raise some eyebrows.CENTRE POMPIDOU 29. POTALA PALACETibet, ChinaDesign Architect Under direction of King Songtsen Gampo 30. This former home of the Dalai Lama has more than 1,000rooms. It was built by a workforce of 7,000 people for aTibetan King to honor of his bride in the 7th century. Its a13-story structure that resembles a traditional Buddhist temple.Three large figures are housed in the Red Palace, influencedby the Greek construction of temples and statues. The RedPalace in the center is used for religious study. The WhitePalace is used for living quarters and office space.POTALA PALACE 31. MUSEU OSCAR NIEMEYERCuritiba, BrazilDesign Architect Oscar Niemeyer 32. This art museum is nicknamed The Eye because of its familiarshape. Its 60-foot-tall yellow base adorned with a long,swerving ramp supports the bright gallery on top. Niemeyerdesigned many buildings in Brazil and throughout the world.This one was completed in 2002. While many claim that heinspired only himself, the simple curves in many of his buildingscould be an influence of Parisian architecture.MUSEU OSCAR NIEMEYER 33. THIS PRESENTATION WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY