Portal:Architecture

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Architecture from the Greek ἀρχι- (archi), meaning first, prime, or chief, and τέκτων (tekton) meaning builder. It is a multi-disciplinary field, including within its fold mathematics and geometry, science, art, technology, social sciences, politics, history, philosophy, and so on. The first architect known by name was Imhotep from ancient Egypt. According to the Roman architectural writer Vitruvius "Architecture is an art, arising out of many other arts, and adorned with much and varied learning: by the help of which a judgement is formed of those works which are the result of other arts". He added that an architect should be well versed in fields such as music, astronomy and philosophy. That holds true to this day. "Architectural philosophy" is frequently used to describe the approach of an architect; for example, modernism, rationalism, empiricism, minimalism, postmodernism are some of the philosophical directions influencing architecture.

Architecture is seldom a "pure art", like painting and sculpture, as the human interaction with a building is usually practical as well as aesthetic. Thus the architect must make sure that the design conforms with the purpose of the building, the legal requirements in the area, as well as the practical and cultural concerns of the people who will use it. For example, a private home might have one bathroom, used by both sexes, but cultural norms and local building codes may dictate that a public building have separate restrooms for men and women. So that his design will best serve the people who will use the building, the architect must take great care with such mundane matters as the efficient placement of heating and cooling ducts, plumbing for restrooms and kitchens, conduits for electrical and communication lines, etc. Her designs must also take into account the environment into which the building will be placed. Where good building sites are scarce or expensive, it is often more practical to build structures that take up comparatively little ground but have many stories; in areas that do not have these constraints, a building that consist of a single, large story or several separate buildings may be more suitable. Disasters, both natural and man-made, must be taken into account. Today many architects of large buildings run computer simulations to see how their designs will react to a many different stresses -- from hundred year storms to aircraft collisions. Thus architecture is, with very few exceptions, a marriage of the aesthetic and the practical.

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Aerial view over the northern side of Bath, England, from a hot air balloon.

The buildings and architecture of Bath, a city in Somerset in the south west of England, reveal significant examples of the architecture of England, from the Roman Baths (including their significant Celtic presence), to the present day. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987, largely because of its architectural history and the way in which the city landscape draws together public and private buildings and spaces. The many examples of Palladian architecture are purposefully integrated with the urban spaces to provide "picturesque aestheticism". It is the only entire city in Britain to achieve World Heritage status, and is a popular tourist destination.

Important buildings include the Roman Baths; neoclassical architect Robert Adam's Pulteney Bridge, based on an unused design for the Rialto Bridge in Venice; and Bath Abbey in the city centre, founded in 1499 on the site of an 8th-century church. Of equal importance are the residential buildings designed and built into boulevards and crescents by the Georgian architects John Wood, the Elder and his son John Wood, the Younger – well-known examples being the Royal Crescent, built around 1770, and The Circus, built around 1760, where each of the three curved segments faces one of the entrances, ensuring that there is always a classical facade facing the entering visitor.

Most of Bath's buildings are made from the local, golden-coloured, Bath Stone. The dominant architectural style is Georgian, which evolved from the Palladian revival style that became popular in the early 18th century. The city became a fashionable and popular spa and social centre during the 18th century. Based initially around its hot springs, this led to a demand for substantial homes and guest houses. The key architects, John Wood and his son, laid out many of the city's present-day squares and crescents within a green valley and the surrounding hills. According to UNESCO this provided... "an integration of architecture, urban design, and landscape setting, and the deliberate creation of a beautiful city". Development during modern eras, including the development of the transport infrastructure and rebuilding after bomb damage during World War II, has mostly been in keeping with earlier styles to maintain the integrated cityscape.(more…)

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Architects: Matthew Brettingham, William Bruce, William Burges, John Douglas, Charles Holden, El Lissitzky, Benjamin Mountfort, I. M. Pei, Albert Speer, Rudolf Wolters. Buildings: 7 World Trade Center, Angkor Wat, Baden-Powell House, Belton House, Borobudur, BP Pedestrian Bridge, Bramall Hall, Buckingham Palace, Buildings and architecture of Bristol, Buildings of Jesus College, Oxford, Buildings of Nuffield College, Oxford, Building of the World Trade Center, Catherine de' Medici's building projects, Chicago Board of Trade Building, Heian Palace, Holkham Hall, IG Farben Building, House with Chimaeras, Hoysala architecture, City of Manchester Stadium, Mosque, Michigan State Capitol, New Orleans Mint, Oregon State Capitol, Oriel College, Oxford, Palazzo Pitti, Palladian architecture, Pennsylvania State Capitol, Round Church, Preslav, Sanssouci, Santa Maria de Ovila, Scottish Parliament building, Sicilian Baroque, St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, St Nicholas, Blakeney, Vkhutemas, The Tower House, West Wycombe Park
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Chicago Landmarks, National Treasures of Japan (castles), National Treasures of Japan (shrines), Pritzker Prize, New churches by John Douglas, Church restorations, amendments and furniture by John Douglas, Houses and associated buildings by John Douglas, Non-ecclesiastical and non-residential works by John Douglas, Scheduled monuments in Maidstone, Works by Charles Holden, Grade I listed buildings in: Bath and North East Somerset, Maidstone, Mendip, North Somerset, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane, West Somerset, List of tallest buildings in: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, Tulsa, Vancouver, Listed buildings in: Runcorn (urban area), Runcorn (rural area), Widnes

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Walt Disney Concert Hall
Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Gehry (1999-2003).

Photo credit: John O'Neill

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Architects: William Adam, Eustace Balfour, Antoni Gaudí, Thomas Harrison, Zvi Hecker, Bjarke Ingels, E. G. Paley, Timothy L. Pflueger, Antonin Raymond, Kenzo Tange. Buildings: 108 North State Street, 5th Avenue Theatre, Algonquin Hotel, Andriyivskyy Descent, AT&T Corporate Center, Ballard Carnegie Library, Baths of Zeuxippus, Beaumont House, Benjaminville Friends Meeting House and Burial Ground, Blackstone Library, The Casbah Coffee Club, Central Troy Historic District, Chana School, Chester Rows, Chicago Spire, Chicago Theatre, Chrysler Building, Churche's Mansion, Clinton Presidential Center, Crown Fountain, Dolphinarium, Eaton Hall, Cheshire, Édifice Price, Edinburgh Place Ferry Pier, Ellwood House, The Exchange, Bristol, Forbidden City, Harold Washington Cultural Center, Heller House, Historic Michigan Boulevard District, Hull House, Imbrex and tegula, Imperial War Museum North, Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Joffrey Tower, Joseph F. Glidden House, Liverpool Town Hall, Louvre, Manila Hotel, Marquette Building (Chicago), Millennium Stadium, National Gallery, London, National Police Memorial, New Bedford Historic District, Old Louisville, One Bayfront Plaza, One Times Square, Onion dome, Oregon Public Library, Pavillon de Flore, Presidio of Santa Barbara, Queen's Pier, Rancho Camulos, Robot Building, Rock N Roll McDonald's, Roman Baths (Bath), Rookery Building, Senate House (University of London), Shamrock Hotel, Sycamore Historic District, Taipei 101, Taj Mahal, TCF Bank Stadium, United States Institute of Peace Headquarters, University Mall (Little Rock, Arkansas), University of Illinois Observatory, University of Virginia, Upper Brook Street Chapel, Manchester, Valley of the Kings, Via della Conciliazione, Victoria Rooms (Bristol), Waller Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, World Trade Center. Castles and fortifications: Beaumaris Castle, Berkhamsted Castle, Bowes Castle, Buckton Castle, Caernarfon Castle, Caludon Castle, Château Gaillard, Château de Chinon, Conwy Castle, Dolbadarn Castle, Dunstaffnage Castle, Fort Greble, Fort Pasir Panjang, Fortress of Klis, Golubac fortress, Goodrich Castle, Haapsalu Castle, Hadleigh Castle, Halton Castle, Himeji Castle, Hylton Castle, Kaunas Fortress, Kenilworth Castle, Loch Leven Castle, Longtown Castle, Okehampton Castle, Oxford Castle, Peckforton Castle, Castle Rising, Roslin Castle, Smederevo Fortress, St Briavels Castle, Vilnius Castle Complex, Walls of Constantinople, Walls of Dubrovnik, York Castle. Religious buildings: Akhtala monastery, Akshardham Temple, Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Bath Abbey, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Hong Kong), Chester Cathedral, Elgin Cathedral, Etchmiadzin Cathedral, Ganting Grand Mosque, Hurva Synagogue, Jesuit Missions of Chiquitos, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral, Mezhyhirskyi Monastery, Old St Paul's Cathedral, St Mary's Church, Acton, St Mary's Church, Nantwich, St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley, St Thomas the Martyr's Church, Oxford, Sunol Water Temple, Uppsala Cathedral, Wells Cathedral, Zagreb Synagogue, Zhenguo Temple. Cities, countries and regions: Architecture of Denmark, Architecture of Leeds, Architecture of Madagascar, Architecture of Norway, Architecture of Scotland, Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England, Buildings and architecture of Bath, Castles in Great Britain and Ireland, Grade I listed buildings in Somerset, Architecture of the Song Dynasty, Fatimid architecture.

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