Monday, March 28, 2011

RR 10: The Beginning of Modernism

The origins of Modernism came around 1720, but it was not until the 19th century that Modernism was developed. One of the things that many people don't know about the 19th century architecture is that new architecture was still using precedents from previous architecture. This is not saying that architects were not creative and had a lack of ideas; the issue was that past architecture was still important when developing new buildings. For example, when building a new governmental building it was important to show a Greek element in the building to show a relationship to the Greeks political system. This idea was know as associationalism. Academic eclecticism came around the 1880’s; this was the time were most architects had a college degree and libraries had illustrated books and portfolios to show historical architecture. Modernism began in 1906 and it was totally a different idea. Instead of having ancient architecture, most buildings were plane and roofs were constructed of metal, concrete, and glass.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

BP 10: Object of Revolution ( The 20 Pesos Bill)

In mexico, like in the USA the bills have many symbols that represent something specific about each individual country. During class last Friday we discussed and analyse the symbols in the dollar bill and we talked about how it could represent revolution. We as a class came up with ideas that I never thought about and I learned how a single dollar bill can tell you something about a country. In this blog post I am going to analyse the Mexico 20 pesos bill and come up with ideas of how the bill is revolutionary.

1: The dove in the front side of the bill represent peace within the country.

2: Is a picture of the constitution and a scale. The constitution is most likely in the bill because is telling the people that the bill is not violating the constitution and that is legal. The scale represents equality and balance within the constitution.

3: Is the picture of Benito Juarez. Benito Juarez was the 26th president of Mexico and was most remember during "la reforma" (the reform) which was a movement against the dictatorship of Antonio Lopez in 1853 and mainly the separation of church and state in public affairs.

4: Is simply a transparent element of the bill to protect it against counterfeit money.

The front side of the 20 pesos bill is an example of revolutionary example because the three drawings, Benito Juarez, the dove, and the scale are tied together. All of these drawing symbolize "la reforma" movement, which was a triumph of Mexican Liberals against the conservative officials and old colonial system.

The back side of the 20 pesos bill is a picture of Monte Alban site south of Oaxaca, Mexico,the state where actually Benito Juarez was born. I would argue that the reason Monte Alban is on the back side of the bill is because they want to illustrate the importance of Benito Juarez young life when he was a poor farmer and how he became a lawyer and made history in Mexico.

5: A picture of the middle portion of Mexico. If you look in the front cover u can see the south and north part of Mexico.

6: Is a picture of an ornament from Monte Alban, ancient people would often wear this obects as a ritual or to perform a dance to the gods.

7: A picture of Monte Alban. One of the early sites of Mesoamerica and today an important archeological site in Mexico.

8: monument from Monte Alban.

Monday, March 21, 2011

RR 9: Neoclassical Architecture

Neoclassical architecture was a movement that was popular between the 18th and mid-19th century. This time period was a movement against the rococo and baroque architecture which was the previous architecture before the 18th century. This movement, although it was popular in Europe, the US also part of the movement and created some of the most impressive buildings that we still see today. The place where the idea of neoclassical architecture is clearly noticeable is on Washington DC and the person that was responsible in the planning of the capitol was a French architect known as Pierre Charles L’Enfant. L’Enfant was the first one who proposed the idea of a monumental city and neoclassical architecture. Pierre also was an influence in the creation of the White House.
One of the main characteristics of Washington is the city plan and where the buildings where placed. For instance two of the main buildings, the White House and the US Capitol Building, were placed on a ‘L’ shaped street at the end of each street. This could most likely represent the idea of neoclassical architecture because now important buildings were no longer place in long straight streets. The new idea of neoclassical architecture was the idea to revive the old architecture which was mainly the Greek and Roman Architecture. Two of the main buildings that clearly illustrate this idea of revival of old architecture are the White House and the US Capitol building, because both buildings have characteristics of Greek and Roman architecture. The buildings are elaborate and symmetrical and no longer had convoluted curves and shapes as the baroque buildings once had. One of the main characteristics you should look for in a neoclassical building are the presence of ancient structures from Greece or Rome. For example, columns and porches are a clear example in both the White House and the US capitol building. The porch in from of the state Capitol building (which is a copy of the Parthenon) and the tall dome are elements that make the building unique. Overall the Neoclassical architecture is just the idea of bringing old buildings from the past and making new buildings with them, however you have to keep the idea of symmetry and balance within the structure.

BP 9: Word, Sentence, and Phrase

What are the implications of colonial expansion on architecture and design?. I believe that one of the implications of colonial expansion was the need of new buildings since the population was increasing. This may also be the reason architects built big buildings such as palaces and chapels. Another implication of architectural expansion was wealth. For instance, one of the ways people like kings and queens showed their power was through how big and beautiful the buildings were. One of the reason there are different time periods of architecture is because architects would always try to make an old building better and that has been continue to present day.

One building that I think represents colonial expansion to the USA is the Basilica of the Shrine of the Assumption in Baltimore, USA.

In this basilica we can clearly see more than three elements from different time periods coming together. All the elements that are present in this basilica create a new type of building even though we have seen them in the past. If the building is broken apart according to the different elements that compose it, there are exactly 5 elements: the columns, a porch, the cross shaped building, the two columns on top, and the dome. Looking at a building where there are elements form different time periods that clearly shows that architecture from different periods is being used today which is colonial expansion.

From the USA I would say that skyscrapers are buildings that represent colonial expansion elsewhere. At one point the USA had the tallest building in the world but after the terrorist attack of 9/11, the USA no longer holds that title. Even though the US no longer has the tallest building, the idea of tall buildings expanded around the world. Today we see tall buildings like the Burj Khalifa and I believe part of this idea of showing power through tall buildings came from the USA.

Now, how does "language" fit into the Basilica of the Shrine of the Assumption and Burj Khalifa?
The analysis consists of three parts: the word, sentence, and phrase. For the basilica I think that the word is represented by the front porch. The sentence can be illustrated by the cross shape building and the dome, which can point out where the priest would be standing. Overall, the phrase of the building is the porch and dome coming together to show direction and equality when people enter through the main porch and see the dome.
For the Burj Khalifa the word would most likely be represented by the different levels of the building, The building starts with a thick base and reduces its thickness as it goes up. The sentence would be the levels of the structure coming together to balance the structure and make it tall as possible. The Phrase is basically the vertical view of the building. Looking at the building from far away shows how important and powerful it seem to the other smaller buildings around it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BP 8: Architecture in a Nautilus Shell

1. The Stonehenge (First Human Architecture)
2. The Parthenon (Greek Architecture)
3. The Colosseum (Roman Architecture)
4. Gothic Church (Medieval Architecture)
5 Michelozzo di Bartolomeo (Renaissance Architecture)
6. San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (Baroque Architecture)
7. Johann Balthasar Neumann ( Rococo Architecture)


Monday, March 14, 2011

RR 8: The Baroque Architecture

The Baroque architecture was brought right after the end of the renaissance architecture and it lasted from 1600 to 1750. This new type of architecture according to Leland M. Roth was elaborated, embellished, and complex, compared to preceding simpler forms. Baroque architecture shifted towards visual complexity and created a sense of emotional impact instead of just intellectual satisfaction. This emotional impact was created by a new technique were the "line between three-dimensional reality and mystical illusion was increasingly blurred". A clear example of this new technique was seen in Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Cornaro Chapel in Rome,Italy.This new architecture was also complex in size and structure, buildings were bigger in size and the decorations of the outside seem to be the main focus of the building.