New Classical architecture
New Classical architecture is a modern movement in architecture that continues the practice of classical and traditional architecture. The design and construction of buildings in these traditions is continuous throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as modernist and other post-classical theories of architecture have been more dominant. Since New Classical architecture is not an architectural style and can appear in various forms, contemporary classical buildings might be although not be described with the terms Traditionalism, Neo-Historism, or Neoclassical Architecture, implying the continuation of a specific historical style. At the beginning of the 20th century and Jugendstil were still dominant styles in Germany; the Austrian architect Adolf Loos criticized his time's architecture as too "grandiloquent" and "opulent", longed for a complete abandonment of architectural ornaments in his 1910 essay Ornament and Crime. As early as the first major modernist movements like Werkbund and Bauhaus gained momentum in Germany, the desire to continue and develop classical styles sprouted.
From 1904 until around 1955 the Heimatschutz style prospered in Germany, which focused on vernacular traditions and can be translated to cultural protection style. Examples of this early new classical style are the Hamburg Museum, the Prinzipalmarkt in Münster and the market square of Freudenstadt. After heavy Allied bombing of Germany in World War II, architects such as Adolf Abel, Roderich Fick, Konstanty Gutschow, Werner March, Paul Schmitthenner, Julius Schulte-Frohlinde, Rudolf Wolters assisted in the postwar rebuilding of destroyed German cities using Heimatschutz and other traditional design methods. In Britain, architect Raymond Erith continued to design classical houses into the late 1960s and early 1970s. Quinlan Terry, a New Classical Architect who continues to practice, was an employee a partner and now the successor of the late Raymond Erith. In the late 1970s several young architects in Europe began challenging modernist proposals in architecture and planning. To broadcast them, Leon Krier and Maurice Culot founded the Archives d'Architecture Moderne in Brussels and began publishing texts and counterprojects to modernist proposals in architecture and planning.
It received a boost from the sponsorship of Charles, Prince of Wales with The Prince's Foundation for Building Community. With the demand for professors knowledgeable in the history of architecture, several PhD programs in schools of architecture arose in order to differentiate themselves from art history PhD programs, where architectural historians had trained. In the US, MIT and Cornell were the first, created in the mid-1970s, followed by Columbia and Princeton. Among the founders of new architectural history programs were Bruno Zevi at the Institute for the History of Architecture in Venice, Stanford Anderson and Henry Millon at MIT, Alexander Tzonis at the Architectural Association, Anthony Vidler at Princeton, Manfredo Tafuri at the University of Venice, Kenneth Frampton at Columbia University, Werner Oechslin and Kurt Forster at ETH Zürich; the creation of these programs was paralleled by the hiring, in the 1970s, of professionally trained historians by schools of architecture: Margaret Crawford at SCI-Arc.
In these years postmodern architecture developed a critique of modernist architectural aesthetics. Among them were certain influential postmodernist architects such as Charles Moore, Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, who used classical elements as ironic motifs in order to criticize modernism's sterility. A broad spectrum of more than two dozen architects and historians presented other alternatives to modernism. Among them were several serious New Classical architects who saw classicism as a legitimate mode of architectural expression, several of whom would become Driehaus Prize Laureates, including some such as Thomas Beeby and Robert A. M. Stern, who practice both in post modern as well as classical modes; some postmodernist firms, such as Stern and Albert, Righter, & Tittman moved from postmodern design to new interpretations of traditional architecture. Thomas Gordon Smith, the 1979 Rome Prize laureate from the American Academy in Rome, was a devotee of Charles Moore. In 1988 Smith Published "Classical Architecture - Rule and Invention" and in 1989 was appointed to be chair of the University of Notre Dame Department of Architecture, now the School of Architecture.
Today other programs exist which teach in part New Classical Architecture at the University of Miami, Judson University, Andrews University and beginning in 2013, the Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture at the University of Colorado Denver. Alongside these academic and scholarly developments, a populist and professional manifestation of new classicism has existed and continues to develop; the 1963 demolition of McKim, Mead & White's Pennsylvania Railroad Station in New York City provoked the formation of Classical America and its regional chapters, led by Henry Hope Reed, Jr.. Classical America advocated the appreciation of classically inspired buildings and for the practice of contemporary classical and traditional design by teaching architects to draw the classical orders, hosting walking tours, educational events and publishing The Classical America Series in Art and Architecture. In 2002, the then-named Institute of Classical Architecture merged with Classical Americ
Ancient Greek architecture
The architecture of ancient Greece is the architecture produced by the Greek-speaking people whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese, the Aegean Islands, in colonies in Anatolia and Italy for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest remaining architectural works dating from around 600 BC. Ancient Greek architecture is best known from its temples, many of which are found throughout the region, the parthenon is a prime example of this as ruins but many intact; the second important type of building that survives all over the Hellenic world is the open-air theatre, with the earliest dating from around 525-480 BC. Other architectural forms that are still in evidence are the processional gateway, the public square surrounded by storied colonnade, the town council building, the public monument, the monumental tomb and the stadium. Ancient Greek architecture is distinguished by its formalised characteristics, both of structure and decoration; this is so in the case of temples where each building appears to have been conceived as a sculptural entity within the landscape, most raised on high ground so that the elegance of its proportions and the effects of light on its surfaces might be viewed from all angles.
Nikolaus Pevsner refers to "the plastic shape of the temple... placed before us with a physical presence more intense, more alive than that of any building". The formal vocabulary of ancient Greek architecture, in particular the division of architectural style into three defined orders: the Doric Order, the Ionic Order and the Corinthian Order, was to have profound effect on Western architecture of periods; the architecture of ancient Rome grew out of that of Greece and maintained its influence in Italy unbroken until the present day. From the Renaissance, revivals of Classicism have kept alive not only the precise forms and ordered details of Greek architecture, but its concept of architectural beauty based on balance and proportion; the successive styles of Neoclassical architecture and Greek Revival architecture followed and adapted Ancient Greek styles closely. The mainland and islands of Greece are rocky, with indented coastline, rugged mountain ranges with few substantial forests; the most available building material is stone.
Limestone was available and worked. There is an abundance of high quality white marble both on the mainland and islands Paros and Naxos; this finely grained material was a major contributing factor to precision of detail, both architectural and sculptural, that adorned ancient Greek architecture. Deposits of high quality potter's clay were found throughout Greece and the Islands, with major deposits near Athens, it was used not only for pottery vessels, but roof tiles and architectural decoration. The climate of Greece is maritime, with both the coldness of winter and the heat of summer tempered by sea breezes; this led to a lifestyle. Hence temples were placed on hilltops, their exteriors designed as a visual focus of gatherings and processions, while theatres were an enhancement of a occurring sloping site where people could sit, rather than a containing structure. Colonnades encircling buildings, or surrounding courtyards provided shelter from the sun and from sudden winter storms; the light of Greece may be another important factor in the development of the particular character of ancient Greek architecture.
The light is extremely bright, with both the sky and the sea vividly blue. The clear light and sharp shadows give a precision to the details of landscape, pale rocky outcrops and seashore; this clarity is alternated with periods of haze. In this characteristic environment, the ancient Greek architects constructed buildings that were marked by precision of detail; the gleaming marble surfaces were smooth, fluted, or ornately sculpted to reflect the sun, cast graded shadows and change in colour with the ever-changing light of day. Historians divide ancient Greek civilization into two eras, the Hellenic period, the Hellenistic period. During the earlier Hellenic period, substantial works of architecture began to appear around 600 BC. During the period, Greek culture spread as a result of Alexander's conquest of other lands, as a result of the rise of the Roman Empire, which adopted much of Greek culture. Before the Hellenic era, two major cultures had dominated the region: the Minoan, the Mycenaean.
Minoan is the name given by modern historians to the culture of the people of ancient Crete, known for its elaborate and richly decorated palaces, for its pottery painted with floral and marine motifs. The Mycenaean culture, which flourished on the Peloponnesus, was quite different in character, its people built citadels and tombs rather than palaces, decorated their pottery with bands of marching soldiers rather than octopus and seaweed. Both these civilizations came to an end around 1100 BC, that of Crete because of volcanic devastation, that of Mycenae because of an invasion by the Dorian people who lived on the Greek mainland. Following these events, there was a period; this period is thus referred to as a Dark Age. The art history of the Hellenic era is subdivided into four periods: the Protogeometric, the Geometric, the Archaic and the Classical with sculpture being further divided into Sever
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this date being the most held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture; the Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture. Combining features of ancient Roman and Byzantine buildings and other local traditions, Romanesque architecture is known by its massive quality, thick walls, round arches, sturdy pillars, barrel vaults, large towers and decorative arcading; each building has defined forms of regular, symmetrical plan. The style can be identified right across Europe, despite regional characteristics and different materials. Many castles were built during this period, but they are outnumbered by churches.
The most significant are the great abbey churches, many of which are still standing, more or less complete and in use. The enormous quantity of churches built in the Romanesque period was succeeded by the still busier period of Gothic architecture, which or rebuilt most Romanesque churches in prosperous areas like England and Portugal; the largest groups of Romanesque survivors are in areas that were less prosperous in subsequent periods, including parts of southern France, rural Spain and rural Italy. Survivals of unfortified Romanesque secular houses and palaces, the domestic quarters of monasteries are far rarer, but these used and adapted the features found in church buildings, on a domestic scale. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "Romanesque" means "descended from Roman" and was first used in English to designate what are now called Romance languages; the French term "romane" was first used in the architectural sense by archaeologist Charles de Gerville in a letter of 18 December 1818 to Auguste Le Prévost to describe what Gerville sees as a debased Roman architecture.
In 1824 Gerville's friend Arcisse de Caumont adopted the label "roman" to describe the "degraded" European architecture from the 5th to the 13th centuries, in his Essai sur l'architecture religieuse du moyen-âge, particulièrement en Normandie, at a time when the actual dates of many of the buildings so described had not been ascertained: The name Roman we give to this architecture, which should be universal as it is the same everywhere with slight local differences has the merit of indicating its origin and is not new since it is used to describe the language of the same period. Romance language is degenerated Latin language. Romanesque architecture is debased Roman architecture; the first use in a published work is in William Gunn's An Inquiry into the Origin and Influence of Gothic Architecture. The word was used by Gunn to describe the style, identifiably Medieval and prefigured the Gothic, yet maintained the rounded Roman arch and thus appeared to be a continuation of the Roman tradition of building.
The term is now used for the more restricted period from the late 10th to 12th centuries. The term "Pre-romanesque" is sometimes applied to architecture in Germany of the Carolingian and Ottonian periods and Visigothic and Asturian constructions between the 8th and the 10th centuries in the Iberian Peninsula while "First Romanesque" is applied to buildings in north of Italy and Spain and parts of France that have Romanesque features but pre-date the influence of the Abbey of Cluny. Typical Romanesque architectural forms Buildings of every type were constructed in the Romanesque style, with evidence remaining of simple domestic buildings, elegant town houses, grand palaces, commercial premises, civic buildings, city walls, village churches, abbey churches, abbey complexes and large cathedrals. Of these types of buildings and commercial buildings are the most rare, with only a handful of survivors in the United Kingdom, several clusters in France, isolated buildings across Europe and by far the largest number unidentified and altered over the centuries, in Italy.
Many castles exist, the foundations of. Most have been altered, many are in ruins. By far the greatest number of surviving Romanesque buildings are churches; these range from tiny chapels to large cathedrals. Although many have been extended and altered in different styles, a large number remain either intact or sympathetically restored, demonstrating the form and decoration of Romanesque church architecture; the scope of Romanesque architecture Romanesque architecture was the first distinctive style to spread across Europe since the Roman Empire. With the decline of Rome, Roman building methods survived to an extent in Western Europe, where successive Merovingian and Ottonian architects continued to build large stone buildings such as monastery churches and palaces. In the more northern countries, Roman building styles and techniques had never been adopted except for official buildings, while in Scandinavia they were unknown. Although the round arch continued in use, the engineering skills required to vault large spaces and build large domes were lost.
There was a loss of stylistic continuity apparent in the decline of the formal vocabulary of the Classical Orders. In Rome several great Constantinian basilicas continued in use as an inspiration to builders; some traditions of Rom
The Erechtheion or Erechtheum is an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens in Greece, dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. The temple as seen today was built between 421 and 406 BC, its architect may have been Mnesicles, it derived its name from a shrine dedicated to the legendary Greek hero Erichthonius. The sculptor and mason of the structure was Phidias, employed by Pericles to build both the Erechtheum and the Parthenon; some have suggested that it may have been built in honor of the legendary king Erechtheus, said to have been buried nearby. Erechtheus was mentioned in Homer's Iliad as a great king and ruler of Athens during the Archaic Period, Erechtheus and the hero Erichthonius were syncretized, it is believed to have been a replacement for the Peisistratid temple of Athena Polias destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The need to preserve multiple adjacent sacred precincts explains the complex design; the main structure consists of up to four compartments, the largest being the east cella, with an Ionic portico on its east end.
Other current thinking would have the entire interior at the lower level and the East porch used for access to the great altar of Athena Polias via a balcony and stair and as a public viewing platform. The entire temple is on a slope, so the west and north sides are about 3 m lower than the south and east sides, it was built of marble from Mount Pentelikon, with friezes of black limestone from Eleusis which bore sculptures executed in relief in white marble. It had elaborately carved doorways and windows, its columns were ornately decorated; the building is known for early examples of egg-and-dart, guilloche ornamental moldings. The Theory of Mouldings, p22, J. H. Janson 1926, has detailed drawings of some of the decorations. On the north side, there is another large porch with six Ionic columns, on the south, the famous "Porch of the Maidens", with six draped female figures as supporting columns; the porch was built to conceal the giant 15-ft beam needed to support the southwest corner over the Kekropion, after the building was drastically reduced in size and budget following the onset of the Peloponnesian war.
The Erectheum was associated with some of the most ancient and holy relics of the Athenians: the Palladion, a xoanon of Athena Polias. An olive tree remains on the Western side of the Erechtheus, though it was planted there in modern times by Sophia of Prussia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, in honour of the Athenians. In front of the main statue, a golden lamp called "asbestos lychnia" made by the sculptor Callimachus burned continuously with its asbestos wick and was refuelled once a year; the eastern part of the building was dedicated to Athena Polias, while the western part served the cult of Poseidon-Erechtheus and held the altars of Hephaistus and Voutos, brother of Erechtheus. According to the myth, Athena's sacred snake lived there; the snake was fed honey-cakes by Canephorae, the priestesses of Athena Polias, by custom the women of the ancient family of Eteoboutadae, the supposed descendants of the hero Boutes. The snake's occasional refusal to eat the cakes was thought a disastrous omen.
The Erechtheion underwent extensive repairs and reformation for the first time during the 1st century B. C. after its catastrophic burning by the Roman general Sulla. The intact Erechtheum was extensively described by the Roman geographer Pausanias, writing a century after it had been restored in the 1st century AD. If still in use by the 4th-century, the temple would have been closed during the persecution of pagans; the building was altered decisively during the early Byzantine period, when it was transformed into a church dedicated to the Theometor. With this alteration many architectural features of the ancient construction were lost, so that our knowledge of the interior arrangement of the building is limited, it became a palace under Frankish rule and the residence of the Turkish commander's harem in the Ottoman period. In 1800 one of the caryatids and the north column of the east porch together with the overlying section of the entablature were removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, were sold to the British Museum.
Athenian legend had it that at night the remaining five Caryatids could be heard wailing for their lost sister. Elgin attempted to remove a second Caryatid; the statue was smashed, its fragments were left behind. It was reconstructed haphazardly with cement and iron rods. During the Greek War of Independence the building was bombarded by the Ottomans and damaged, the ceiling of the north porch was blown up and a large section of the lateral walls of the cella was dismantled; the Erechtheum went through a period of restoration from 1977 to 1988. Previous attempted restorations by Greece damaged the roof of the Caryatids' porch with concrete patches, along with major damage caused by pollution i
Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola
Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola was one of the great Italian architects of 16th century Mannerism. His two great masterpieces are the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Jesuits' Church of the Gesù in Rome; the three architects who spread the Italian Renaissance style throughout Western Europe are Vignola and Palladio. Giacomo Barozzi was born near Modena, he began his career as architect in Bologna, supporting himself by painting and making perspective templates for inlay craftsmen. He made a first trip to Rome in 1536 to make measured drawings of Roman temples, with a thought to publish an illustrated Vitruvius. François I called him to Fontainebleau, where he spent the years 1541–1543. Here he met his fellow Bolognese, the architect Sebastiano Serlio and the painter Primaticcio. After his return to Italy, he designed the Palazzo Bocchi in Bologna, he moved to Rome. Here he worked for Pope Julius III and, after the latter's death, he was taken up by the papal family of the Farnese and worked with Michelangelo, who influenced his style.
In 1558, he was in Piacenza to revise the designs of Palazzo Farnese, commissioned by Margaret of Austria, wife of the Duke Ottavio Farnese and daughter of Emperor Charles V. From 1564 Vignola carried on Michelangelo's work at St Peter's Basilica, constructed the two subordinate domes according to Michelangelo's plans. Giacomo Barozzi died in Rome in 1573. In 1973 his remains were reburied in the Rome. Vignola's main works include: Villa Giulia for Pope Julius III, in Rome. Here Vignola was working with Ammanati, who designed the nymphaeum and other garden features under the general direction of Vasari, with guidance from the knowledgeable pope and Michelangelo. A medal of 1553 shows Vignola's main villa as it was completed, save for a pair of cupolas. Villa Farnese at Caprarola. Palazzo dei Banchi, Bologna Palazzo Farnese, Piacenza; this was a grandiose project of a vast palace on a scale paralleled only by the Vatican Palace in Italy. The actual construction, made up only less than a half of Vignola's original project and lacked many of the planned architectural features.
The main courtyard of the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum the convent of the Church of Santi Domenico e Sisto, is traditionally attributed to Vignola but completed after his death. Ten arches on the long sides and seven on the short are sustained by pilasters with Tuscan style ornamentation that rise from high plinths. A simple frieze with smooth triglyphs and metopes separates the lower from the upper levels. Like many other architects, Vignola submitted his plans for completing the facade of San Petronio, Bologna. Designs by Vignola, in company with Baldassare Peruzzi, Giulio Romano, Andrea Palladio and others furnished material for an exhibition in 2001 His two published books helped formulate the canon of classical architectural style; the earliest, Regola delli cinque ordini d'architettura, presented Vignola's practical system for constructing columns in the five classical orders utilising proportions which Vignola derived from his own measurements of classical Roman monuments.
The clarity and ease of use of Vignola's treatise caused it to become in succeeding centuries the most published book in architectural history. Vignola's second treatise, the posthumously-published Due regole della prospettiva pratica, favours one-point perspective rather than two-point methods such as the bifocal construction. Vignola presented— without theoretical obscurities— practical applications which could be understood by a prospective patron. Attribution Gietmann, Gerhard. "Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite.... G. K. Loukomski, Paris 1927. Egnatio Danti, Les deux règles de la perspective pratique de Vignole, 1583, Pascal Dubourg Glatigny, Paris, 2003, ISBN 2-271-06105-9. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Barocchio, Giacomo". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3. Cambridge University Press. P. 417. Website "Architectura", Centre d'études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours Brief biographical sketch Paolo Zauli on Vignola from a Bolognese perspective Vignola's effect on garden design
Vernacular architecture encompasses the vast majority of the world's built environment, thus resists a simple definition. It is best understood not by what it is, but what it can reveal about the culture of a people or place at any given time; the sheer range of global building types and developments--from Mongolian yurts to Japanese minka to American roadside commercial strips--suggests that vernacular architecture is everywhere, but tends to be disregarded or overlooked in traditional histories of architecture and design. As geographer Amos Rapoport has famously written, vernacular architecture constitutes 95 percent of the world's built environment: that, not designed by professional architects and engineers. While such an understanding has its limitations, it nonetheless indicates the vastness of the subject and helps us recognize that all aspects of the built environment can impart something about the society and culture of a people or place. If nothing else, vernacular architecture cannot be distilled into a series of easy-to-digest patterns, materials, or elements.
Vernacular architecture is not a style. How has vernacular architecture been understood? Quite and not always vernacular architecture is described as a built environment, based upon local needs; this is only one way to understand it, but traditionally, the study of vernacular architecture did not examine formally-schooled architects, but instead that of the design skills and tradition of local builders, who were given any attribution for the work. More vernacular architecture has been examined by designers and the building industry in an effort to be more energy conscious with contemporary design and construction--part of a broader interest in sustainable design. Vernacular architecture can be contrasted against elite or polite architecture, characterized by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements; this article covers the term traditional architecture, which exists somewhere between the two extremes yet still is based upon authentic themes.
The term vernacular means "domestic, indigenous". The word derives from an older Etruscan word; the term is borrowed from linguistics, where vernacular refers to language use particular to a time, place or group. The terms vernacular, traditional, common and popular architecture are sometimes used interchangeably. However, Allen Noble wrote a lengthy discussion of these terms in Traditional Buildings: A Global Survey of Structural Forms and Cultural Functions where he presents scholarly opinions that folk building or folk architecture is built by "persons not professionally trained in building arts". Traditional architecture is architecture is passed down from person to person, generation to generation orally, but at any level of society, not just by common people. Noble discourages use of the term primitive architecture as having a negative connotation; the term popular architecture is used more in eastern Europe and is synonymous with folk or vernacular architecture. Although vernacular architecture might be designed by folks who do have some training in design, Ronald Brunskill has nonetheless defined vernacular architecture as:...a building designed by an amateur without any training in design.
The function of the building would be the dominant factor, aesthetic considerations, though present to some small degree, being quite minimal. Local materials would be used as a matter of course, other materials being chosen and imported quite exceptionally. Vernacular architecture is not to be confused with so-called "traditional" architecture, though there are links between the two. Traditional architecture includes buildings which bear elements of polite design: temples and palaces, for example, which would not be included under the rubric of "vernacular." In architectural terms,'the vernacular' can be contrasted with'the polite', characterised by stylistic elements of design intentionally incorporated by a professional architect for aesthetic purposes which go beyond a building's functional requirements. Between the extremes of the wholly vernacular and the polite, examples occur which have some vernacular and some polite content making the differences between the vernacular and the polite a matter of degree.
The Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World defines vernacular architecture as:...comprising the dwellings and all other buildings of the people. Related to their environmental contexts and available resources they are customarily owner- or community-built, utilizing traditional technologies. All forms of vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values and ways of life of the cultures that produce them. Vernacular architecture is a broad, grassroots concept which encompasses fields of architectural study including aboriginal, ancestral and ethnic architecture and is contrasted with
Ancient Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture for the purposes of the ancient Romans, but was different from Greek buildings, becoming a new architectural style. The two styles are considered one body of classical architecture. Roman architecture flourished in the Roman Republic and more so under the Empire, when the great majority of surviving buildings were constructed, it used new materials concrete, newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make buildings that were strong and well-engineered. Large numbers remain in some form across the empire, sometimes complete and still in use to this day. Roman Architecture covers the period from the establishment of the Roman Republic in 509 BC to about the 4th century AD, after which it becomes reclassified as Late Antique or Byzantine architecture. No substantial examples survive from before about 100 BC, most of the major survivals are from the empire, after about 100 AD. Roman architectural style continued to influence building in the former empire for many centuries, the style used in Western Europe beginning about 1000 is called Romanesque architecture to reflect this dependence on basic Roman forms.
The Romans only began to achieve significant originality in architecture around the beginning of the Imperial period, after they had combined aspects of their original Etruscan architecture with others taken from Greece, including most elements of the style we now call classical architecture. They moved from trabeated construction based on columns and lintels to one based on massive walls, punctuated by arches, domes, both of which developed under the Romans; the classical orders now became decorative rather than structural, except in colonnades. Stylistic developments included the Composite orders; the period from 40 BC to about 230 AD saw most of the greatest achievements, before the Crisis of the Third Century and troubles reduced the wealth and organizing power of the central government. The Romans produced massive public buildings and works of civil engineering, were responsible for significant developments in housing and public hygiene, for example their public and private baths and latrines, under-floor heating in the form of the hypocaust, mica glazing, piped hot and cold water.
Despite the technical developments of the Romans, which took their buildings far away from the basic Greek conception where columns were needed to support heavy beams and roofs, they were reluctant to abandon the classical orders informal public buildings though these had become decorative. However, they did not feel restricted by Greek aesthetic concerns and treated the orders with considerable freedom. Innovation started in the 3rd or 2nd century BC with the development of Roman concrete as a available adjunct to, or substitute for and brick. More daring buildings soon followed, with great pillars supporting broad domes; the freedom of concrete inspired the colonnade screen, a row of purely decorative columns in front of a load-bearing wall. In smaller-scale architecture, concrete's strength freed the floor plan from rectangular cells to a more free-flowing environment. Factors such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced the ancient Romans to discover new architectural solutions of their own.
The use of vaults and arches, together with a sound knowledge of building materials, enabled them to achieve unprecedented successes in the construction of imposing infrastructure for public use. Examples include the aqueducts of Rome, the Baths of Diocletian and the Baths of Caracalla, the basilicas and Colosseum; these were reproduced at a smaller scale in most important cities in the Empire. Some surviving structures are complete, such as the town walls of Lugo in Hispania Tarraconensis, now northern Spain; the administrative structure and wealth of the empire made possible large projects in locations remote from the main centers, as did the use of slave labor, both skilled and unskilled. Under the empire, architecture served a political function, demonstrating the power of the Roman state in general, of specific individuals responsible for building. Roman architecture reached its peak in the reign of Hadrian, whose many achievements include rebuilding the Pantheon in its current form and leaving his mark on the landscape of northern Britain with Hadrian's Wall.
While borrowing much from the preceding Etruscan architecture, such as the use of hydraulics and the construction of arches, Roman prestige architecture remained under the spell of Ancient Greek architecture and the classical orders. This came from Magna Graecia, the Greek colonies in southern Italy, indirectly from Greek influence on the Etruscans, but after the Roman conquest of Greece directly from the best classical and Hellenistic examples in the Greek world; the influence is evident in many ways. Roman builders employed Greeks in many capacities in the great boom in construction in the early Empire; the Roman Architectural Revolution known as the Concrete Revolution, was the widespread use in Roman architecture of the little-used architectural forms of the arch and dome. For the first time in history, their potential was exploited in the construction of a wide range of civil engineering