October 25, 2010

Point : Alternatives

This unit was all about reaching new heights, breaking rules, and moving towards a new era. Cathedrals reflected towards the heavens and continued the ideas of having a place for people to gather, worship and collectively give thanks to their believes. While the Renaissance changed everything with introducing new figures and finding alternatives to what the Gothic era believed with the the right way of assembling sacred forms while using more than one style. Villas stuck with the basics of geometry and bringing in the importance of nature.
Cathedrals defined the Gothic era, using features like the pointed arch, flying buttress, and distinct vertical elements. They differed among cities but all related back to one another in some form. The main idea was to climb higher toward heaven and the One. Cross appearances were use as the ground plan of most cathedrals, lining the walls with stain glass telling biblical stories. Most cathedrals started with the basis of a "golden square" that lead to the importance of the center bringing together the two halls, defining the boundaries of the central point, and repetitions of the geometric form created a flow within the cathedral. The Florence Cathedral in Italy made the decision to break the rules of Gothic architecture when built.
Lacking the common Gothic buttresses used on other cathedrals, Florence Cathedral's builder, Filippo Brunelleschi, found them unnecessary to the foundation. The addition of the dome started a theme of the Renaissance that was used within villas. Most villas relied on the simple geometries of squares and circles, while still using an architectural feature, like the dome, to guide upwards. Villas tied in the aspect of nature with the addition of porches looking outward and long galleries placed on the side of the structure that allows the most light in and looking toward gardens, like the one at Hardwick Hall in England. The idea of allowing there to be one main facade that was decorated more than others due to the placement towards the seaport or market. The Renaissance also showed values of society with the separation of public and private in residence buildings.
Even though the Renaissance era began, the presence of Gothic roofs were mixed in with structures and Baroque features made an appearance in ways such as curvilinear staircases. Therefore the Renaissance can also be defined with the idea of one building can contain more than one style. Textiles began to enter as evidence inside the building to which style or combination of styles where used to decorate the structure.

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