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Renaissance Architecture and its influence on today's buildings - Friday, August 09, 2013
Renaissance architecture is one of my favourite styles and one that I feel could be reproduced anytime and anywhere as its look is classical and therefore timeless.
 
It took its form from the revival of ancient Roman and Greek architecture which had its basis in symmetry and proportion, and the uniform continuity of its individual designs. This differed from the previous medieval style which was more free flowing and intuitive. It became a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era.
 
The facade of the buildings kept to the symmetry inside and usually was surmounted by a pediment in the case of public buildings and a cornice in the case of a domestic building, and used columns, pilasters and arches in a progression towards the central entrance. Cornices and friezes were an integral part.
A dome was quite often the main characteristic of the central symmetry inside the building, but being seen from outside the building.
 
My two most favourite structures come from this era: the column and the arch.
 
The column was used in all its 3 styles:
The Doric: Plain or fluted shaft with a plain cornice and topped by a plain abacus, 
The Ionic: Fluted shaft with a scrolled capital and plain abacus,
The Corinthian: Fluted shaft, with scrolled capital but with the addition of an acanthus leaved decoration between the two.
 
The arch is usually semi-circular and supported by columns, but they later also became segmented during the Mannerist style.
 
The famous architect Andrea Palladio from the mid-16th century (who was part of the Mannerist style of architecture), was the inspiration for many a building from then right up until now. He was sympathetic to buildings surroundings and also used a simplicity and purity of line which we strive for today.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This is a photo of the Villa Barbaro in a village in Northern Italy was built by Andrea Palladio in c.1558. It personifies his use of columns under the simple pediment and swanked by rows of arches in perfect symmetry. It is a wonderful example of Renaissance architecture from which we can identify many components that are still used today.
 
A good example of an everyday use of Renaissance architecture would be the architrave above doors, from the very simple to the grand.
 
Also pilasters.  They are used for decorative purposes in lots of different ways – to frame doors, on corners of rooms, and have got very popular in modern kitchens as can be seen in these photographs:
 
 
pilaster_mfp0.jpg     Archetrave.jpg          
 
 
 
My first introduction to columns being used in a modern home was when Dallas came to our television screens in the 1970’s and Southfork Ranch epitomised wealth because of the use of the columns on this mansion.
 
 

 
southfork.jpeg
 
 
 
 
 
Of all the architectural structures that I feel drawn to, it is the column. I went to great lengths to have one installed in my shop as an option to covering a steel girder. 
 
 
Shop window showing column.jpg
 
 
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