Did you know that Barcelona’s Park Guell contains no straight lines or sharp corners? Or that the Dancing House of Prague is shaped as two dancers, made up of two naturally contrasting elements, stone and glass!
Architectures around the world are a symbol of change. The changes in era, sultanates and cultures brings about changes in architectural styles, resulting in a less monotonous world.
Exploring different styles of architecture brings us on terms with the differences in culture, making us appreciate the beauty and wonders of human evolution. Here, we take a look at some of the major architectural styles around the world and where to spot them.
Architectural Wonders and their Locations
One of the earliest, the Classic architecture, estimated to have originated in the 4th century Greece, depended on the columns and pediments to hold almost the entire weight of the structure. Simple geometric forms and giant spaces were some characteristic features of this architecture type. Many Greek temples, including the Parthenon in Acropolis are some great examples of this architecture style.
The Neoclassical architecture brings back the Classical approach with simpler designs and dramatic columns effect. One such exhibit is the Altes Museum in Germany, retaining the basic elements of the Classic architecture.
2. Architectural Style: Islamic
Where: Turkey || India
Originated in the Middle east, the Islamic architecture showcased many variations depending upon the regions. In India, the Indo-Islamic architecture flourished resulting in the creation of the beautiful Taj Mahal. The architecture style is marked with rounded domes, long minarets and horseshoe arches while the interiors are filled with subtle designs and details.
3. Architectural Style: Romanesque
Where: Italy || Portugal
10th century Europe saw a rise in the Romanesque architecture. A great number of buildings and monuments, mostly Roman churches, were strikingly flaunting rounded arches with heavy and resilient walls. Italy’s Santa Maria Maggiore and Portugal’s Porto Cathedral are some of the finest displays. While in the Romanesque architecture the weight was heavily residing on the walls, the Gothic architecture, which succeeded Romanesque, introduced more weight on the flying buttresses supporting the walls.
4. Architectural Style: Renaissance || Gothic
Where: Vatican City || Italy
The transition from the middle ages to modernity brought about a lot of change in art. From art to culture to architecture, both Renaissance and Gothic styles exhibit the culture of their times. Evolving from Romanesque and succeeding Gothic, Renaissance architecture was characterized by vertical symmetry and integration of Roman columns and pilasters to the whole building as can be seen in Vatican’s St. Peter’s Basilica.
This 16th century style considers a livelier approach to the architecture. Many Baroque designs were made to look more alive, colorful and dramatic. Some believe that Baroque was an exaggeration style with broken or curved pediments exhibiting the drama. An extravagant display of the Baroque architecture can be observed in the Palace of Versailles, France.
6. Architectural Style: Art Noveau || Mordernisme
Where: Czech Republic || Spain
French for ‘New Art’, the Art Noveau movement in late 19th and early 20th century was the beginning for newer technologies, unorthodox design structures and architectural movements such as Art Deco and Modernism. The Jubilee Synagogue in Prague combines Art Noveau with the essence of Moorish architecture while Gaudi’s Casa Battlo and the interesting Park Guell in Barcelona showcase some of the finest Modernisme architectures.
As the architectural advancements evolve these basic styles every day, the amalgamation creates vibrant, symbolic and strong structures for students and architecture lovers alike. Visiting these striking monuments would make us wonder and appreciate the beauty the human mind can conceive.