When most people think of Classical Architecture, they usually think of obscure huts made up of, wood, stones, ect.. In some cases that is true, but classical architecture also had many breath taking and complex buildings. For example, the roofs, brackets, and even their marble or stone structures were made with exquisite detail. In this section of Architecture Through the Ages, you will see and read what I mean.
The style of Classical Architecture started almost when formal writing was created. There is no specific date to my knowledge that the era began or ended. But a lot of this type of architecture was found all around continental Europe. Many times, this type of architecture was either for one or two things. One of the reason that houses were built were for a basic need, shelter. Or, they could have built that home for a god(s), a place to worship a god(s), or a gathering place (ex. Town Hall). As time passed, the buildings became more elaborate and more detailed. Some civilizations grew from stone and mud huts to huge temples as well as tombs like the Egyptians.
There is a possibility that the reason the buildings got more and more elaborate was because each city or race was fighting against each other -by buildings. That could explain why these buildings were so elaborate and so time consuming. But probably the most logical reason is that they wanted their buildings to be so elaborate to please their gods as well as please themselves.
Classical Architecture can still be found around certain parts of America. Many times, you can find some examples in the colonial towns or some very expensive and rich areas of our country. Before that, most architecture was found back during the birth of this country. It was very relevant in every town that could afford to make the buildings. For examples, colonial Washington D. C. as well as Williamsburg.
Some elements can still be found in today's architecture. For example, the stone domes of our nation's capitol is a great example of the Classic Architecture's rendition of a domed building complex. Also, the brackets as well as the arches have the same basic idea. Even some of today's sculptures look the same as the Classical figures. However, as time as progress, we have basically stopped using most of the technical aspects of this begone era. Only the few example of architecture expressed above are still used, but sometimes, very rarely.
Some things that distinct Classical Architecture from the other periods of Architecture, is the simple yet breath-taking, complex yet elegant foundations and figures. The buildings are so symmetrical right down to the bare details. The architects of that time period tried to have everything symmetrical. From the door, to the fireplace, and even the decorations inside as well as outside of the building.
Some other things that make this type of architecture different from all of the others, is the use of flowers in their decorations. In many houses, you can see some houses with some type of flower design on it. And as expressed above, they were usually symmetrical. Other than just plants, they used many animals as well as human sculptures all around the building.
As stated above, many examples of Classical architecture can be found in Williamsburg, Va. as well as some buildings in Washington D. C. Some other placers where this architectural era would be in Rome. The famous colosseum, The Baths of the Emperor Caracalla, and the Temple of the Pantheon of the Gods are only a few example. As for Greece, some examples of Classical Architecture would be their Temple of Apollo at Thermon, the Temple of Hera at Paestm, and the olympieum at Agrigento. All of these temples looked basically the same, exception size and a few decorative details. In the noble country of Egypt, you can find the Temple of Khons at Karnak, the Treasury of Atreus and even the Temple at Prinias are some examples of the begone era of Classical Architecture.
However, these are just a very minute number of examples for Classical Architecture. If you look in the history of almost every European country, you can find that they have some trace of Classical Architecture in their cities or towns. You can look even deeper and find out how they affected everyday life and what they were designed for - from worship, to a gathering place, or just a recreational center. Only you can find out.
1. Adam, Robert, Classical Architecture: A
Comprehensive Handbook to the Tradition of Classical Style, New York, Harry N.
Abrams, Inc., 1990