Influence of Material on Architecture

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Batsford, 1897 - Architecture - 26 pages

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Page 16 - There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Page 15 - Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows.
Page 14 - ... harmonious style the problem was to find some means by which the real Roman system of construction might be preserved and made prominent, without casting aside a feature of such exquisite beauty as the Greek column, especially in the stately and sumptuous form into which it had grown in Roman hands. The problem was to bring the arch and column into union — in other words, to teach the column to support the arch.
Page 14 - Our authors have a good deal to say on the question of the growth of the Byzantine architecture. We quote the following : — ' Byzantine architecture was developed by the use of brick in the frankest and fullest manner, especially in domical vaulting. Wide spans were kept in equipoise by other smaller domes. The more concentrated supports were marble monoliths, and the wall and vault surfaces were covered by incrustations of marble slabs and glass mosaic. Directness, and an economy of labour relative...
Page 18 - Europe, where this material is the principal mode of decoration, the walls were kept internally as flat as possible, so as to allow the windows to be seen in every direction, while all the mechanical expedients of piers and flying buttresses are placed on the outside to lacilitate the introduction of this new material— glass.
Page 6 - ... thoughts, cut upon them by the men of forty centuries ago. In Assyria the case was different. There buildings were of brick, each unit being in the vast majority of cases a repetition of its neighbour. In very few instances were the bricks of special shapes, and the buildings in which they were used could only be decorated by attached ornament, similar in principle to the mats and hangings we spread over the floors and walls that we wish to hide. This result they obtained in one of two ways ;...
Page 5 - ... wanting; and that traditional forms, hallowed by long use, were clung to and reproduced when the method of building which suggested them had been replaced by other systems. Egyptian art proceeded on an uninterrupted line or course of tradition, and when necessity dictated a change in the methods of construction, or in the materials, the immutable form was not thereby affected, but was perpetuated in spite of novel conditions.
Page 3 - In fact, all architecture proceeds from structure, and the first condition at which it should aim is to make the outward form accord with that structure.
Page 17 - ... the arch, — to the vault ; — but, I observe, once more, in their architecture every support is an inert mass, and their vaulted buildings are, as it were, hollowed out in a single block ; they are enormous castings ; whereas the architects of the twelfth century assign a function to each part. The column is a real support ; if its capital is expanded, it is to sustain a load ; if the mouldings and ornaments of this capital are developed, it is because such development is necessary.
Page 10 - Vitruvius and Milizia, who, of all writers on architecture or building, perhaps give the fewest hints at general principles. In the case of the inclination of the soffite, this barbarous theory is at once disproved by two facts, the inclination being observed on the fronts equally with the sides of the building, and its angle being wholly independent of that of the roof. To aid the effect, the frieze was made to incline imperceptibly backward, and the architrave also, because any want of parallelism...

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