Constantinopolis


Architecture, the practice of building design and its resulting products; customary usage refers only to those designs and structures that are culturally significant. Architecture is to building as literature is to the printed word. Vitruvius, a 1st-century BC Roman, wrote encyclopedically about architecture, and the English poet Sir Henry Wotton was quoting him in his charmingly phrased dictum: "Well building hath three conditions: Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight." More prosaically, one would say today that architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning. But the best buildings are often so well constructed that they outlast ...

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Although design and construction have become highly sophisticated and are often computer directed, this complex apparatus rests on preindustrial traditions inherited from millennia during which most structures were lived in by the people who erected them. The technical demands on building remain the elemental ones-to exclude enemies, to circumvent gravity, and to avoid discomforts caused by an excess of heat or cold or by the intrusion of rain, wind, or vermin. This is no trivial assignment even with the best modern technology.
The availability of suitable materials fostered the crafts to exploit them and influenced the shapes of buildings. Large areas of the world were once forested, and their inhabitants developed carpentry. Although it has become relatively scarce, timber remains an important building material.
Many kinds of stone lend themselves to building. Stone and marble were chosen for important monuments because they are incombustible and can be expected to endure. ...

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Moreover, steel rods could be positioned in wet concrete so as to greatly improve the versatility of that material, giving impetus early in the 20th century to new forms facilitated by reinforced concrete construction. The subsequent profusion of aluminum and its anodized coatings provided cladding (surfacing) material that was lightweight and virtually maintenance free. Glass was known in prehistory and is celebrated for its contributions to Gothic architecture. Its quality and availability have been enormously enhanced by industrial processing, which has revolutionized the exploitation of natural light and transparency.
Construction
When masonry materials are stacked vertically, they ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/27/2004 10:52:19 AM
Category: World History
Type: Free Paper
Words: 9909
Pages: 37

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