definition of architecture

Architecture is the discipline or art in charge of planning, designing and erecting buildings. From this perspective, it is correct to say that architecture has a considerable influence on human existence, by dedicating itself to the construction of houses and spaces where it is developed on a daily basis. However, when classifying it as art, it should be noted that architecture must also be considered to have an aesthetic and expressive purpose.

At first, the human race inhabited spaces that nature itself offered, such as caves in mountainous areas. However, the migratory currents motivated the need for transitory constructions, in the first instance, and the possibility of settling in favorable spaces in a second time. Faced with the choice of regions with abundant resources (in general, in the vicinity of water courses), the human being found himself faced with the need to establish permanent homes to abandon the nomadic lifestyle. For many experts, the architecture It was born then as a necessity, derived from the change in the way of living. However, the progressive growth of culture turned the creation of the simple dwelling into a real art, which involved the construction not only of spaces for family life, but also of temples, places for commerce, fortresses and even protective walls.

The architectural styles that ancient civilizations have bequeathed to us, as well as those typical of our days, are extremely numerous. Thus, we can name the classical architecture, which groups together the features that characterize the construction from ancient Greece and those from the Roman Empire; to byzantine architecture, which developed in the homonymous empire after the fall of the Western Roman Empire until the taking of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks; to Visigothic architecture, which flourished in the Iberian Peninsula after the 5th century; to Merovingian architecture, typical of the Gauls of the high Middle Ages; to arabian architecture, typical of the Arabs and widely disseminated in the times of the caliphates; to romanesque architecture, typical of the late Middle Ages, which aesthetically brings together characteristics of buildings of Byzantine, Persian, Arab, Syrian, Celtic, Norman and Germanic origin; to Gothic architecture, typical of the Middle Ages of Christendom, after the twelfth century; to renaissance architecture, which took up much of the ideas of classical art; to baroque architecture, which extended mainly from the 17th to the 18th centuries in most European countries; to neoclassical architecture that respects many classical features; to historicist architecture, which imitated styles of the past adding features of the nineteenth century; to eclectic architecture, which brought together diverse styles; to modern architecture, which implies a set of styles typical of the twentieth century; and finally to the postmodern architecture, which is a revaluation of forms of the past.

It is not possible to forget that, beyond western appreciation, architecture has been a representative icon of great civilizations from other areas of the Earth. Suffice it to say that only one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world has remained standing, and it is precisely an architectural gem, like the Pyramids of the Giza Valley, in Egypt. On the other hand, the styles of the architecture oriental dominate much of the traditional and modern constructions of Central Asia and the Far East, as observed in China, Japan or Southeast Asia.

Beyond the name of each current, the truth is that any renovation in architectural matters has left a legacy of beautiful buildings worthy of being contemplated; some, coming from remote times, still amaze by the ingenuity with which they were built. It is noted that the architecture Modern technology makes it possible to have new materials, with the double aim of optimizing quality and safety, on the one hand, and reducing the possibility of contamination, on the other. However, it must be stated that the progressive trend towards urbanization that can be seen in the 21st century is also a challenge for architects, since the need for higher buildings that allow a greater number of individuals to achieve reside in modern cities inhabited by tens of millions of people. That is why the importance of a sustainable architectural development is highlighted, which facilitates the way of life of citizens in correct, healthy housing conditions and prepared for the exponential growth of the world's capitals.

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