Architecture, the Timeless Gem
By Ashley Daniels
Unlike many other practical professions, architecture is an ancient discipline responsible for the design of structures and buildings whose roots can be traced back to thousands of years B.C.
Architectural history can take you through the evolution of those structures that served as a landmark to remote civilizations, such as the Phoenicians and the legendary Tower of Babel, or the Egyptians and their incredible mortuary architecture, reflected in pyramids, tombs, and many other ancient buildings along the Nile River.
In fact, the first big architectural design recorded in history was the work of Imhotep, Egyptian vizier, doctor, high priest, and scribe to King Djoser. Imhotep designed and built the complex that took the name of his king, between the years 2630 to 2611 BC.
Vestiges of the most varied architecture speak for themselves about the most varied civilizations, traditions, and beliefs around the world. Without architecture, the history of mankind would be incomplete.
Many surviving buildings of the ancient world are examples of the great things that architecture can do for the world. Among them, we can name the Great Pyramid of Giza, listed as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the Great Wall of China, built between the years 221 to 206 BC.
Time evolved and all buildings and design began to take special characteristics, becoming symbols of different eras identified as architectural styles. In ancient Greece, where buildings seemed to always be the same, there were three types of columns to identified each period of time: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
The Romans inherited from the Greeks most of their traditions, beliefs, and customs, including architecture, but they also developed their own: as an example the Via Appia in Rome, and other surviving structures running from Italy to Great Britain.
Architectural history was influenced by artistic, economic, politic, and socio-cultural events throughout the centuries, and Europe became the cradle of many renowned architects in the years following the fall of the Roman Empire.
From Baroque to Art Nouveau, passing through Gothic, Romanesque, Renaissance, Churrigueresque, and many other architectural styles, we can enjoy today an eclectic blending of buildings, homes, and other structures that present to us their past.
Curiously, other human disciplines have been also associated with architecture, such as metaphysics, by the hand of fraternal organizations such as the Freemasonry, established in London as a secret society in 1717.
Naming themselves the Order of the Free and Accepted Masons, this fraternity encompasses nowadays a large number of international lodges under the symbol of a square and compasses with a letter "G" associated with the building of the Temple of King Solomon.
As time passes, the actual architecture differs in shape, materials, construction methods, and designing goals, but the work of the architects will endure for generations to come.
About the Author
Author Ashley Daniels is an assistant editor at a Local Architects Directory, a resource for finding Chicago architects and many others. She also contributes to Small Business Online.
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