Architectural Design

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Architectural Design

Architectural Design

He architectural design of the 20th century skyscrapers

has been redefined due to the advancement of our modern technology. Benny Louie Humanity 450 Dr. Maureen Schmid 17 May 1999 The architectural design of the 20th century skyscrapers has been redefined due to the advancement of our moderntechnology.
In our modern society, the architectural design of skyscrapers is changing the downtown landscape of metropolitan areas. Due to the change of technologies, it has changed the architectural design of skyscraper dramatically in terms of the its function, design structures, heating and cooling systems and it social status in society. The basic function of the architecture is to provide a roof over peoples? head.
The main purpose of architecture is to act as a shelter for people to protect themselves against Mother Nature. As civilization development advances, we increased our knowledge and became more creative. People start to design buildings for means of displaying wealth and social status. The skyscraper fits the criteria to show the social status of such building with great height and elegance to the society. According to O?Gorman, ?architecture is a form language, of communication.? (P.89)
This communication is represented in the forms of texture, shape and style that reflects certain period of time. In the early period, architectures were associated with style and culture. ?The Greeks built marble temples with Doric, Ionic or Corinthian columns. Egyptian architecture used heavy lotus columns, massive battered walls and pyramidal forms. The Gothic style used point arch, vast areas of stained glasses, pointed rib-vault construction.? (P. 92)
Each had its unique characteristic feature to express its message. In the 20th
century architectural design, architecture is no longer viewed as simple shelter to provide a roof over peoples? head. Architectures are designed with a more environmental conscious issue like cost, energy conservation and practicality of the structure. The interior environment is designed according to the space function of the structures. For example, ?a dance hall, needs a large open-space with sufficient room for the band and a bar and maybe for tables and chairs around the edge so that people can sit and chat.? (Conway & Rowan)
This concept always applies to real life situations. People don?t rent more space than what they needed for. For example, a three person family will not rent a 3 bedroom apartment, unless they are financially well off. In a Victorian house, there are different corridors for different users.
The servants don?t use the same passage as the owners? family. (Conway & Rowan, P.4)
This is similar to large hotels, employees have to use the employees entrance to access the building. These passages are not well maintained as the front of the house.
?The interior environment should be safe for working, living or housing
objects.? (Conway & Rowan, P.17) This means that building should be at a
comfortable temperature, with sufficient lighting, ability to control the
transmission of noise, provide enough space for pipes, wires and ventilation
ducts. Overall the architects has to take in consideration of the climates
differences and regional variations of the building in designing a suitable
interior environment for today?s standard. The skyscraper is defined as a
?building with exceptional height completely support by a frame-work, as of
girders, from which the walls are suspended, as opposed to a building supported
by load-bearing walls.? ( The function of the skyscraper is
serve as a commercial purpose. The Sears Tower is fine example of it, not only
the being headquarter for Sears and Roebuck company but it also has an
observation deck for the public. The skyscraper has always associated with
wealth and power. To the general public, big is good; in terms of building, the
taller the better. People had been fascinated with skyscraper ever since the
birth of the first skyscraper in 1895. It was a 10-stories high steel frame
structure designed by William Le Baron Jenney in 1885, named ?Home Insurance
Building.? (Bennett, P.40) Over the year as steel and concrete production
technologies reach a higher level, architects use these new materials to reach
greater height in the design of skyscrapers. The improvement of the skyscraper
structures starts from 10 floor stories to high as 150 floor stories high. The
Reliance Building Chicago, USA, in 1895, 15 stories high used the semi-rigid
steel frame. The semi-rigid steel frame was held together with steel beams and
connected by rivets. (Bennett, P.42) The 60 stories high First Wisconsin Center,
Milwaukee, USA in 1974 employed the steel belt truss with framed shear truss.
This structure used the horizontal trusses at the upper and lower stories to
enhance the framed shear truss. (Bennett, P.44) The Sears Tower, Chicago, USA,
in 1974, 110 stories high used the Bundled tube. The bundled tubes were made up
of a cluster of connected frame tubes, reinforced by steel beams at each story
to increase the strength of the structure. Various tubes terminated at different
level to further strengthen the bundled tubes at the center. (Bennett, P.44) The
future structure was the Superframe, which can reaches at least 150 stories
high. It used the concept of the Eiffel Tower with framed tubes connected by
horizontal trusses. (Bennett, P.45) It was the innovation of the structural
design that enables skyscrapers to reach new height. These methods include the
use of steel belted truss, cross members to reinforce the structure. Heating and
air conditioning played an important role in the structure of skyscrapers. They
are the key units that control the inside atmosphere of all skyscrapers. In the
early days, the heat sources in the building came from fireplaces and stoves.
Later on heat in the building supplied by the hot water boiler. The boiler heats
up the water and sends it out to the radiators through a system of pipes. This
was later replaced by central heating furnace with ventilation ducts that
channel heat to various areas of the building. Air conditioning is defined as a
mechanical process for controlling humidity, and temperature of air in room. (
Air condition is originated from refrigeration. The process of refrigeration is
to draw heat away from substances to lower their temperature. In the operation
of an air conditioning unit, air is blow across a cooling pipe and the waste
heat is carried away by the flow of cold water in the pipes. The cooled air is
carried out through the ventilation ducts to various parts of the building.
Today, the skyscrapers use the central heating system with ventilation ducts
that can be shared with the heating and air conditioning system. Engineers are
working on new ways to make heating and air conditioning more efficient and
environmental friendly. This would reduce the cost of energy bill on these
skyscrapers. The cost of building a skyscraper is in hundred million dollars in
the current market. The skyscraper is well known for its great height and the
social status comes with it. In general, large company or firm would host its
head office in these skyscrapers. For example Chrysler had its head office in
the Chrysler Building, owned by Chrysler which is one of the big three auto
makers. (Bennett, P.71) The Sears Tower, the head office for Sears and owned by
Sears. It was known for being the worlds? tallest skyscraper in Chicago.
(Bennett, P.24) Tenants expect clients to know where they are located when they
tell them the Sears Tower as their location. These skyscrapers are own by the
wealthy individuals whom are in the upper level of financial social status.
There is a sense of prestige for having offices or shops in these skyscrapers.
Modern skyscrapers are being redefined by the use of advance technologies. Due
to the advancement in technology, skyscrapers are able to reach new height
easily. It changes the way architects design the structure of these buildings.
The new function of the skyscraper is to provide great views, house antennas for
communications, telebroadcasting and for entertainment purpose. The use of
computer climate control system made the building a more comfortable environment
for everyone. The great height of the skyscraper like the Sears Tower, it
associates itself with the prestige of being the tallest of all. With the rapid
advancement of technology and the influence of fame and wealth, sky is limit for
the next generation of skyscrapers.
David. Skyscrapers Form & Function New York 1995 Conway, Hazel and Rowan,
Roenisch. Understanding Architecture: An introduction to Architecture and
architectural History. London and New York: Routledge 1994. O?Gorman, James.
ABC of Architecture Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998 Online May 15, 1999
Design Trends In Architecture Essay, Research Paper
The more things change, the more they stay the same. While art has always been an ever changing form, it has deep roots in traditionalism; whether an artist or designer looks at the art that came before him and is inspired to follow that form, is inspired to do something completely opposite, or sees the flaws which, if corrected, could make that work of art perfect, he is ultimately quite influenced by what came before him.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the design styles found not only in art, but in architecture and interior design. The twentieth century has been a time of great innovation, and yet, very few eras have seen so many stylistic revivals. The popularity of these classical styles has often superceded that of the more experimental, modern ideas, reinforcing the idea that aesthetic beauty is absolutely timeless.
The early 20th century saw a great deal of influence in terms of classical design. A classical revival had brought a return of emphasis on Palladian architectural motifs, which could be seen in large cities throughout the world, but especially in New York and Boston. In terms of interior design, Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman advocated a similar classical revival, which gave a sense of classical order to ornate interiors. (Severens, 85) Interior design at the turn of the century was very much concerned with aesthetics over simplicity, yet managed to maintain a sense of order and balance. Designers created interiors with a heavy reliance on French and Italian forms of furniture, floors, and panelling. This style, which was hugely successful, could be found in the work of interior designers over the next fifty years, and is the basis for much that is known as “traditional decorating” today. (Severens,88)
One of the most successful revivals is the revival of the Gothic style, which is still quite apparent in architecture and interior design today. During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, England began to realize the importance of the Middle Ages. “The Gothic past offered an acceptable, if inferior, option for study by educated gentlemen; and Gothic began to be an acceptable alternative for country houses” (Girouard, 180). This was the Gothic Architecture Revival. As Gothic architecture became more popular, the style came up against stiff competition from Chinese architecture. In the end, Gothic architecture prevailed over Chinese architecture, because Gothic was native to England, therefore examples could be found all over England. Gothic architecture was probably one of the most important styles all over the world. The style could be found at one time or another in Austria, England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean as well as the United States. Gothic architecture was born in Paris, France, but made its way to England sometime in the early 1170’s. The Gothic style probably arrived in England because of contact with France (Grodecki, 99). In England, the style began in the southwestern region, and then spread out to the rest of the country. As time passed, England evolved its own style of Gothic architecture due to an isolation from the rest of Europe during the first half of the thirteenth century (Kidson, 108).Once the Gothic Architecture Revival began in England, the gentry saw the elegant and elevated qualities of the style. Some of the landed gentry would build imitation ruins in parks because of the picturesque quality of the Gothic architecture. This was the same style that had been used in many of the churches built in the Middle Ages. There was a lapsing in interest in the seventeenth century, but by the eighteenth century Gothic architectural relics had become “a prized, if eccentric, curiosity in the landscaped parks” (Jenner, 24). Because of the beautiful quality of the Gothic architecture, the style became popular once again. On their land, they built gardens in which they also built imitation Gothic style ruins. They placed the structures at strategic points in the gardens. Bristol High Cross in England still conveys a powerful impression of the effect these magnificent Gothic style monuments once created as the focal point of cities and towns (Jenner, 205). The Gothic style comes in a variety of shapes and forms,as is illustrated in the examples below. The first is a classic example of Gothic Revival Style, while the second is of the more elaborate Gothic period. The third is an illustration of the Gothic Revival style applied to residential homes; as you can see, many of the same design structures and shapes are evident; however, the ornamentation is not what you might find in a period church or cathedral. The end product is something softer and gentler, yet distinctly period in its charm.
The twentieth century also saw great influence from the Colonial Revival Style . This style primarily flourished in the United States and Australia, as well as other countries with predominantly British influence. The revival of this style became exceedingly popular in domestic architecture and interior design, largely for its contrast to the ornate beauty of the influential Gothic Revival at the turn of the century, which many considered flamboyant.(Lane,58) Colonial Revival was well received as being a patriotic style in both the United States and Australia, and new works were constantly being commissioned in this style. (Lane,60). A similar stimulus produced revivals of colonial styles in other countries, such as South Africa, where the Cape Dutch style was revived in work by Herbert Baker around the end of the 19th century, and Brazil, where features of Portuguese colonial architecture appeared in the work of L?cio Costa. (Newcomb, 227)
Colonial Revival houses have details similar to those in earlier Federal and Georgian houses, but much larger in scale, more complicated in shape and with much heavier ornamentation than the earlier styles. Common characteristics of these buildings are symmetrically arranged facades,
large, wrap-around porches, and plate glass and stained- glass windows, often arranged in pairs or groups of three.(Newcomb, 263) Colonial Revival style is, in itself, a mix of styles, and immensely popular. Many “double decker” or two-family houses were built in the Colonial Revival style. In the photos below, the first is an example of Colonial Revival style, whereas, the second is an illustration of traditional American Colonial style. The Revival style is more elaborate in size, but retains every bit of the style’s simplistic charm.
At the complete opposite end of the spectrum from these modes of design is the movement that evolved from the Bauhaus, a school of art and architecture founded in 1920’s Germany by an artist called Walter Gropius . The basic idea behind this form of design was that all excess ornamentation should be eliminated ,and that everything should serve the purpose for which it was meant. This has had tremendous impact on 20th-century design, forming the basis of the movement called modernism. (Eton,59).
The modernist movement is considered by many to be the primary innovation of the 20th century, especially in the United States. It is reflected not only in terms of design, but also in poetry, writing, philosophy, theatre, and virtually every form of artistic endeavour. The aesthetic style of the modernists in design and architecture follows Henry David Thoreau’s modernist philosophy, “Simplify, simplify, simplify”.(Robertson, 283). The idea behind modernism is essentially, to find aesthetic beauty in the simple and functional, rather than the ornate, and served as a direct contrast to the revival styles enjoying immense popularity.
However, the evidence of the influence of revival styles on the design history of the 20th century is not limited to the straightforward revival of an earlier style, but in the influence these historical styles had upon the innovation of newer styles. Architects and artists worldwide were taking stylistic movements of the past,and adapting them to form newer, more modern styles. By the time the twentieth century rolled around, the Gothic Revival Style could be seen everywhere, predominantly throughout England and the United States. While cathedrals and other churches were the more popular buildings built with the Gothic architectural style in mind, many other sorts of buildings, such as homes, were also design that way. In the United States, armories, prisons, schools, and hospitals were built in the Gothic Revival style in addition to churches. The Gothic Revival style was less austere and heavily ornamented than the original movement, but still maintained the flavour of the medieval, as can easily be seen in these interior designs by William Morris,one of the most influential designers of the 20th century.
Aspects of the Gothic Revival Style extended past the period itself in many different ways. The elongated rectangular form that characterised Gothic design is a recurring element in Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. For instance, it is especially evident in the dining room chairs for Lloyd Wright’s Robie House, designed in 1908, in which the backs are exaggerated uprights, made to look even more vertical by the use of thin, extended strips. More typical of Wright is his practice of using elongated forms in a horizontal direction. (Keller, 65). While Wright made use of the Gothic vertical line element, he radically changed it by turning it horizontally, and made it his own, consistent with the flat, boundless horizon of the Midwestern prairie of the United States.(Keller, 68).
Unlike Gothic Revival Style architecture, which strove to reach for the heavens with the typical vertical grandeur of the cathedrals,Wright’s buildings do not reach heavenward. Referred to as “Prairie style,” they reach but they reach for the prairie instead. It is as if his buildings say (as he himself explained many times) that God is not just in the sky, but everywhere, in everything and everyone, in all creation. Consistent with that, he once remarked that, “A house should never be built on a hill; it should instead be of a hill.” (Keller, 119). While the strait-laced Gothic style strives to dominate the earth, then ascend to a glorious spiritual state above and beyond it, the Prairie School style of Wright attempts to blend in, to harmonise with his environment. It is apparent that the Gothic style influenced Wright greatly, although rather than a strict revival of the style, he was able to use it to create his own. (Keller,73).
Another style that has formed as a reaction to historical revival style is one that is currently enjoying considerable popularity in all aspects of design, postmodernism. Postmodernism is a reaction to the call for minimalism and simplicity in the modernist design, and revives aspects of more decorative and ornate periods, particularly the Victorian. (Robertson, 411), Postmodernism takes many forms, and is influenced by reviving different aspects of past stylistic movements. Some rely on the use of objects borrowed from industrial design for a sparse, colorful style known as high tech; others prefer a combination of rough antiques or reproductions, baskets, quilts, and dried herbs in a style known as country; still others rely on the coordination of fabrics, furniture, and accessories by designers brought in at the initial stages of the development of these products. (Robertson,415.)
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