Unit Summary : REFLECTIONS
Through the past couple weeks, we have been moving away from alternatives to ideas and creating solid designs. The reflections unit is all about using new technologies, but keeping my ideas of the fast -- hence the unit title: reflections, for reflecting the past. We are now dealing with 18th and 19th century architecture. During this time, there were a lot of wars with people determined to claim their spot. There was the passage to the east with Christopher Columbus, the industrial revolution that brought new materials such as glass and iron, the media became popular, and transportation was growing, creating a decrease in distance and an increase in speed.
[an architecture parlent]
This is the idea that grew out of the French Enlightenment of writing down the rules of architecture. The Place de Vosges by Henry IV of ca. 1605 is a series of open plazas that reflects this idea from the past that was intended to stay throughout the future. The Maisons Lafitte is another great example of an architecture parlent as it is a series of buildings that aggregate together to look like on big building with a square facade in the middle. Their is great uniformity in these architectural designs that support transitional spaces that are similar looking on the outside, but different in the inside. The classical front porches and deck space speak architecture of a French Classicl space. Starting in France, architectural design are now moving from the use of verticals to horizontals, especially in everyday people's houses. Also, language starts to come by way of buildings showed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel's Place Louise XV of 1755-1775. The Pantheon by Jacques-Germain Soufflot finally marks a turning point in French Classical architecture during 1757-1792. Proportion and decoration were now the main idea and were based on the structure of the building.
[revolution to revolution]
A revolution is a drastic and far reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving. A "cart-wheel" can be made from the ideas of a revolution : revival, rotation, cycle, reform, and renaissance. Each of these words contribute to a revolution and this new time in design. Architecture style is now transforming from a classical world to a colonial world as it comes together through trade. Now it is common to see more log structures in urban and country areas, central chimneys, beam ceilings, and plain interiors and exteriors. A large area for this new colonial architecture was set North in Massachusetts. The Parson Capen house in Topsfield, Massachusetts is an example of the new style as it is modest scaled and almost all wood. Houses by Samual Mcintire in Salem, Massachusetts from ca. 1732-1739 portrayed a symmetrical design that had concentration at the door and the large Georgian windows. As the North was more into the colonial style at this time, the South was into its new masonry as its prime building material. An example of southern masonry is represented in Carter's Grove Plantation in James City County, Virginia built in ca. 1751. Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina from 1738-1742 is a great connector of the strong affinity between England and buildings in the United States. Anther large aspect of the revolution period is that politics find its way into architecture. Buildings like the Virginia Capitol building in Richmond, VA, Monticello in Charlottesville, VA, the White House and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville, and the NC state Capitol in Raleigh, NC.
[glass + iron]
As architecture styles start moving from rural areas to cities and new technologies are being formed, new materials are also developing. America is turning to be more industrial and agricultural, shedding the past and creating glass and iron. Glass and iron were seen in most every building at this time : greenhouses, arcades, train stations, factories, exhibitions, and more. The Burlington Arcade in London is an example of how the new materials were used to create a more controlled climate where people are able to interact and enjoy their leisure time. The Biblioteque Ste. Genevieve, in Paris by Henri Labrouste was a great attempt to create a Gothic style building in new modern cast iron used in the interior. The Chatsworth Conservatory of 1836 made cast iron easy and created a space that the upper social elite would gather and occupy during their time and was for the Duke of Devonshire.
[japanisme : east meets west]
The Crystal Palace in London began to bring back products of other countries for a competition for the best. It is an enormous building that England claims portrays that they have the best technology. Cultures on western society are now adopting these new technologies and methods. A new Gothic revival is represented through churches and are translating to peoples personal space. Various trade routes are now connecting the east and west making it easier to transport materials that are changing designs. China now thinks they know the most and have the best advantages for trade. The Chinese were now making products that were meant for export to the western audiences. The Royal Pavilion is a great example of the new exotic design by John Nash. His structure has a very elaborate pattern, is grand exotic place and has a Chinese interior. The west imitated much of the decorative and detailed arts of the east, which was well-known as Japonisme, or Japanese aesthetics. The west also took many ideas and theories from Chinese block prints or ukiyo-e that portrayed images of the floating world of leisure, excess and pornography.
[a widening debate : hand-craft or machine?]
By the 19th century, there were no longer rules of previous ages. All use of previous ages were through choice and no style ruled over another. Rooms are also being reserved for certain purposes and activities. It was a time of form and reform. A movement began leaded by William Morris who said that machines were no longer good and craft was better. He believed in everyday people creating everyday objects with great craft. He intended that the products would be for everyone, however, the cost of materials, time and labor created the opposite effect, and only the wealthy could really afford any of the hand-crafted pieces.
[chicago : the second city]
Cities continue to be the heart of new architecture and design and by the late 1800s, Chicago became the "next big thing". Chicago became the single city that transformed American architecture. It introduced skyscrappers, smaller lots, technology, and iron skeletal construction. The new idea that bigger is better thrived, especially when cities now competed for the tallest skyscrapers. The tallest buildings represented who had the best technology and abilities. Chicago succeeded at this idea for a while. Chicago also became known as the second city because of its massive increase in population over a short amount of time. In 50 years, Chicago's population grew from 30,000 to 2,000,000! This growth had a great impact on the development and opportunities of the city.
[looking backward or forward?]
As time moves on, thoughts are now arising of expanding horizons even further and spreading out to other works besides classical. Now ideas of commercial and residential design are being considered. Much of the Arts and Crafts movement is still represented, but also emulating art and nature and using horizontals and verticals in most designs. New designs and moving forward is finally continuing and developing, although looking at the past is still occurring in some designs. For the most part, everyone in the early 20th century are looking for a more modern outlook on design.