Presentation on theme: "By: Welby Griffin. Roman architecture has been one of the most famous and enduring aspects of their civilization. They built structures far and wide across."— Presentation transcript:
Roman architecture has been one of the most famous and enduring aspects of their civilization. They built structures far and wide across the empire and many of those ruins have survived for thousands of years. These ruins, which gave such testament to the grandeur of Rome, inspired many architects in later ages. Because of this, countless buildings today still include elements of Roman design. This presentation will talk about two of the most important elements of Roman architecture. Lets begin with the arch…
The Arch The Romans are credited with the invention of the arch, though some claim it was the Etruscans who developed the idea. The arch is a beautiful piece of architectural design because it is so simple, and so useful. Arches could be easily built, and did not even require cement to hold together. Step 1: A wooden brace is put in position Step 2: Stone are fitted around the braceno mortar is needed Step 3: The brace is removed. The element that makes an arch stay up is the center stone, called the keystone. The weight of the arch pushes the keystone down, but because of its wedge shape, the downward pressure only secures it more snugly against the neighboring stones Click here to see how an arch is built
The Romans used arches in all sorts of construction projects… Aqueducts (when above ground) and bridges were made up of long rows of arches. These structures were so sturdy, some still stand today. Some Roman bridges are still used by automobile traffic. Above: The famous Pont du Garde in Southern France Right: A small aqueduct in central Italy
As you can see, the Colosseum is made up of a vast number of intricately positioned arches. There are 80 arched entrances on the ground level alone.
The Barrel Vault The Romans did not stop with the arch alone. They went on to work out numerous variations on the arch. Click on the arch below to see what happen when you build many arches in a row. What you see is called a barrel vault. Click again to see what happened when two vaults intersect. Vaults were a huge technological advance. Click again to find out why. Barrel Vault Cross Vault
30 ft. Before the invention of the arch & vault, most roofs were made from posts and lintels. This construction method was very limited because of the available lintel material. Steel and reinforced concrete beams were centuries from being discovered. The only lintel materials were wood or stone. It was impossible to find either of those materials in pieces larger than about 30 ft. So any time you wanted to build a wider room, you had to clutter up the middle with rows of columns. (See the diagram below) Lintel Post 90 ft A vault could be used to span a much wider space without needing any supports in the middle
Vast arched building like these were possible because of vaulted ceilings. Above is a bathing complex; to the right is a the Basilica of Constantine in Rome
The Dome Another modification of the arch that the Romans invented was the dome. Click the arch below to see how an arch could be rotated to form a dome.
The Pantheon is the most famous of all Roman domed structures. It is in astonishingly good shape, considering its age. Until the modern era, the dome of the Pantheon was the largest dome ever constructed. It is still the largest perfectly circular (rather than egg shaped dome) in the world.
Here are some other examples of Roman domes. The picture to the left comes from Hadrians Villa. The picture at the right shows the crowning achievement of the dome. This structure is the Hagia Sophia, or the Church of the Holy Wisdom, which was built by Byzantine Romans after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It takes the dome to new levels with soaring ceilings and many windows.
What made it possible for the Romans to build such amazing and decorative domes something which was entirely their own invention: cement. The Romans were not only the first to invent cement, they also came up with the most advanced and durable cement ever. The secret ingredient in Roman cement was volcanic dust called pozzolan. This made the cement super hard and gave it the ability to harden underwater. Modern engineers are still working to recreate this engineering marvel. Roman domes and vaults were not just impressive structural achievements, but were also made attractive by decorative indentations called coffering. In ancient times, these coffers would have been decorated with bronze fixtures.
So now we have talked about one major contribution the Romans made to modern architecture: the arch. The arch was all about functionality and engineering. Their other contribution, the temple, was more about image and aesthetics. Temple architecture has been widely imitated in modern government buildings, museums, banks, churches and homes. To modern architects temple architecture invokes the majesty, stability and timeless elegance of the classical era. Supreme Court Building, Washington, DC Church of St. Martin in the Fields, London Jefferson Memorial Washington, DC Philadelphia Art Museum New York Stock Exchange
The Roman Temple The Romans did not come up with the idea of the temple on their own. They got their ideas about how a temple should look from two sources, the Greek and the Etruscans. The Romans combined the two styles to form their own look. Etrsucan Temple Greek Temple Roman Temple
Etruscan Temple The Etruscans were an ancient and mysterious group of people living just to the north of Rome. The Romans eventually conquered the Etruscans and absorbed many aspects of Etruscan culture into their lives. High stone base called a podium Wooden columns on a deep porch. Etruscan temples only had columns on the front; temples with columns on the front are called prostyle. Elaborate terra cotta decorations Statues on roof called acroterria
Greek Temple Triangular stone area called pediment. Some pediments held sculptures. The Romans greatly admired the architecture of the Greeks. Since Greece is very rich in marble and other stones, Greek temples were all stone, unlike the wood and terra cotta Etruscan temples. Stone columns went all the way around central room. A temple with columns all the way around is called peripteral. Columns were either Doric, Ionic or Corinthian Low dias – usually no more than three steps
Roman Temple Roman temples incorporated items from both Greek and Etruscan temples. Like Greek temples, they were built of stone. Greek columns and pediment Etruscan high podium Many Roman temples had acroterrial sculptures (none pictured) Elaborately decorated cornice, resembling terra cotta found on Etruscan temples Columns on front only with a deep Etruscan style porch (though some, like this had pretend half columns along sides)
The cornices of Roman temples were famous for their elaborate designs. On this chunk of cornice you can see several common patterns. Lotus Greek key Egg & Tongue Toothed Most scholars believe the sculptures and decorations on both Greek and Roman temples were brightly painted, like the ones in this picture.
Orders of Capitals The capital is the decorative top of a column. The Romans used the three types of capitals invented by the Greeks. DORIC Doric capitals had plain, slightly rounded tops. They were the earliest type of capital, and were used widely by the Greeks, but much less by the Romans CORINTHIAN Invented in the Greek city of Corinth, Corinthian columns are decorated with stylized carving of acanthus leaves; Corinthian columns were among the most popular in Roman temples IONIC Ionic capitals feature curled or scrolled tops; they were first used by the Greeks in Ionia (Turkey); ionic capitals were very popular in Roman architecture.
Now that weve discussed temples, try your hand at designing your own… feel free to mix and match elements; try out as many combinations as you like…
Prostyle Peripteral Undo Prostyle Undo Peripteral Corinthian Columns Undo Corinthian Ionic Columns Undo Ionic Undo Doric Doric Columns CAES.AUG.HOC.FAC.IV TRIB. POT. Roman Inscription and Cornice Undo Inscript. Greek Entablature Undo Entablature Roman Pediment Undo Pediment Greek Pediment Undo Greek Pediment Step 1: Choose your base. Greek will be a low, Roman high Roman Podium Undo High Podium Greek Dias Undo Dias Step 2: Choose your main room. Prostyle will be a wide room, with columns being only on the front of the temple. Peripteral will be narrow room, with columns all the way around Continue Step 3: Choose your columns. Continue Step 4: Choose what the area above your columns will look like: Continue Step 5: Choose your pediment: Continue Design Your Own Temple End the show by clicking here