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Alternate Taj Mahal (Pax Columbia)

The Taj Mahal.

is the art of design and constructing buildings for both aesthetic and functional purposes. As one of the lead architects of the Palace of the Imperials, Corbusius said of the difference between mere construction and architecture, "You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: This is beautiful. That is Architecture". His statement came at a golden age of architectural design in Europe, when the city of Rome needed to be rebuilt and a new school for the architectural arts was built. The Romans have been, since defeating the Greek city-states, world leaders in architecture, creating some of the most beautiful and plentiful works that the world had ever seen.

Other nations as well have given birth to some of the finest architectural minds in the world. It was Indian architects who designed the stunning Crown of Buildings for their Roman conquerors, a structure known in the Urdu language as the Taj. Japanese architects had built the famed Byōdō-in in 1053, as well as some of the finest modernist structures in the world. Other beautiful wonders of the world include the Zijin Cheng Palace complexes in Temujin and the rebuilt Citadel of Hanan in New Apu.



Stonehenge as seen across from the River Thames.

The history of architectural progress is one which with achievements, from the first neolithic towers on the Isles of Melita, to the Millennium Palace in Kyoto, each new structure leaves a mark of the culture which it was spawned from. Now going back to the beginning, these megalithic temples in Melita are in fact the oldest remaining structures on Earth, dating to more than 5500 years ago. The very fact that they still remain standing is a testament both to the ingenuity of early man and the innate desire for later cultures, the Romans in this case, to preserve the grand works of man. This became a common trend within the Empire, particularly in the IInd Millennium, and several other ancient works were repaired almost completely as well, notably the Great Pyramids of Aegyptus and the Temple of the Acropolis near Athens. In general these projects were meant to celebrate the ancient cultures which were integrated with the Empire by displaying their civilization's greatest structures, courtesy of the Emperor of Rome.

Burgundian Architecture

The Red Tower (Pax Columbia)

The Red Tower, a gift from Burgundy to Paris in France.

In the age of the Viking, Scandinavian architecture was at a stage which many would describe as being rather primitive. Nearly everything was made of wood, even their fortresses and as there was no central government, no distinctly large works were built in those days. The Anglian epic Beowulf, though written by a poet in the Federations, describes the great "mead halls" that were all too common in Norse lands of the time period. As well, the later Protector Erik the Wise wrote his own epic, detailing his founding of the Groenland colony, which provides a great deal of insight into the Danish process of building construction, as well what is practically a cross-section of the mind of a Danish architect. Over several centuries of Roman influence however, the Danes started to grow accustomed to large stone and marble buildings and began trying to build some of their own. Though it took them some time to get the hang of the arch, and cement evaded them for a few centuries, they learned how to built large columns and how to more easily carve stone blocks. Many Burgundain structures exist from this time period, particularly those used in the settlement of the current capital of Stakholm.
The Twin Bridge landmark (Pax Columbia)

The Twin Bridges, connecting the states of Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the FSC, along the Rio San Juan.

The The modern style of Danish architecture can be described as a functional neo-classicist style, taking a few things from Graeco-Roman influence but warping it to a more militaristic, sharpened more modern look. A fine example of this style is the Palace of Stakholm built in 1589 for the Protector and his court. Although after the fall of the monarchy it now serves as a parliament building, most of the original style of construction still remains. Other cities though, who had felt less influence from the government continued to create building with a classical design, never adopting the modernist style of other Danish architects.

As well, in the north and east, a Neo-Gothic style also became popular from the 1000's to 1500's. The architects there were of course emulating the famed Gothic style in use within the Federations since the nation's cultural rebirth during the reign of Karl the Great. The main cause for the lasting popularity of these kind of designs was twofold. Firstly, access to the Federations was far easier to get than access to the Empire, and so many of the rich Danes could see Federations architecture firsthand. Secondly, the public held a great deal of resentment for the Romans, particularly after their near Genocide of their people in the 820's. So any foreign style which was not Roman was instantly more popular among the majority. Once the memories faded however, the Neo-Classic/modernist style took over as the dominant one in Burgundy society.

Modern Architecture

FSC Wake Island Memorial (Pax Columbia)

The "Raising the Flag over Wake Island" World War II Memorial in Bogotá, Columbia, FSC.

Roman architecture was especially considered to be one of the finest ones by later architects, giving birth to the modern renumeration of Architecture as art.

The great 19th century architect of skyscrapers, Louis Sullivan, promoted an overriding precept to architectural design: "Form follows function".

While the notion that structural and aesthetic considerations should be entirely subject to functionality was met with both popularity and skepticism, it had the effect of introducing the concept of "function" in place of Vitruvius' "utility". "Function" came to be seen as encompassing all criteria of the use, perception and enjoyment of a building, not only practical but also aesthetic, psychological and cultural.

800px-Sydney Opera House Sails edit02

Sydney Opera House

Nunzia Rondanini stated, "Through its aesthetic dimension architecture goes beyond the functional aspects that it has in common with other human sciences. Through its own particular way of expressing values, architecture can stimulate and influence social life without presuming that, in and of itself, it will promote social development.'

To restrict the meaning of (architectural) formalism to art for art's sake is not only reactionary; it can also be a purposeless quest for perfection or originality which degrades form into a mere instrumentality".

Among the philosophies that have influenced modern architects and their approach to building design are rationalism, empiricism, structuralism, poststructuralism, and phenomenology.

Architecture today

Oriente Station Lisboa roof

Postmodern design at Gare do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal, by Santiago Calatrava.

Part of the architectural profession, and also some non-architects, responded to Modernism and Postmodernism by going to what they considered the root of the problem. They felt that architecture was not a personal philosophical or aesthetic pursuit by individualists; rather it had to consider everyday needs of people and use technology to give a livable environment.

The Design Methodology Movement involving people such as Christopher Alexander started searching for more people-oriented designs. Extensive studies on areas such as behavioral, environmental, and social sciences were done and started informing the design process. As the complexity of buildings began to increase (in terms of structural systems, services, energy and technologies), architecture started becoming more multi-disciplinary. Architecture today usually requires a team of specialist professionals, with the architect being one of many, although usually the team leader.

Green Roof at Vendée Historial, les Lucs

Green roof planted with native species at L'Historial de la Vendée, a new museum in western Italy.

From the 1980s and into the new millennium, the field of architecture saw the rise of specializations for each project type, technological expertise or project delivery methods. In addition, there has been an increased separation of the 'design' architect from the 'project' architect. The main reason for the shift is because architectural processes for any large building have become increasingly complicated, involving preliminary studies of such matters as durability, sustainability, quality, money, and compliance with local laws. A large structure can no longer be the design of one person but must be the work of many.

Author: CassAnaya

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