Greek Architecture

Greek Architecture

            Toward the end of the Mycenaean period that ranged between the 1200BC to the 7th century, architecture in Greek was recognized and made extinct. Many buildings that were constructed during this time, were made out of wood, mud-bricks and clay of which there is no much existence of these examples, since the entire group plans written sources and description of these embryonic buildings no longer exist. The commonly used materials for construction during this period included, wood that was used for roof beams and supports, plaster that mainly dwelt on the sinks and bathtubs, unbaked bricks that were used for the walls. For all the private homes and state of the art buildings, limestone and marbles were used for the columns, walls and the upper portion of the temples and public buildings. The ornamentation of the roof tiles was mainly done by using terracotta where by the decorations were done using metals especially bronze.

Greek architecture architects were artisans who were employed by wealthy private clients that required a classic product of their designs that were to be built in a given period. Both the contractors and the architects plated the same role since they were not differentiated from each other. The architect was responsible for the construction of the buildings from the initial stages to its completion. As a result, he designed the building, hired the laborers and the craftsmen who dealt with the building activity and were responsible for the complete budgeting procedure and processes the were in accordance with the constructed building. The architects for private employers never had to enjoy the benefits that the architects who dealt with the designing and construction of public buildings got.

The development of the Greek architecture occurred within a few centuries. Taking the temples as an example towards the development, they were developed from the small mud brick structures of the ninth and the eighth century BC to monumental double porticos structures of the sixth century, that were more than twenty meters in height excluding the roofing system. This was made possible by the frequent usage of the architectural orders. A great number of ground plans were developed by combining with the superstructures in their given different orders. Most of the great temples were designed and constructed according to a set of rules that determined the lower diameter of the columns by the dimension of the foundation levels. Due to the mathematical strictness, basic designs were more refined and were mostly appreciated as compared to the older temples that were not renovated. This led to the painting of the Greek temples with bright red and blue colors to achieve contrast to the white color of the building stones of Stucco. Temples were therefore elaborated by having them equipped with very rich figural decorations the form of reliefs and pedimental sculptors.

The timeline of the Greek architecture took place in eight major periods dating from the Stone Age period to the modern time. They include, the Neolithic period that dates between 6000-2900BC, Early bronze period dating from 2900-2000BC, the Minoan time from 2000-1400BC, Mycnaean time dating from 1600-1100BC, the dark ages from 1100-750BC, the Archaic period dating from 750-500BC. The Classical period that took place from 500-336BC and the Hellenistic time that dominated all the other seven periods occurring from 336-146BC.Architecture being a fluid of art did not begin and end at a designated period since the styles used during Greek time frame were precisely dated and the periods were approximated.

The principle buildings that were designed during the Greek architecture time were based on a system of classical orders the stipulated the rules for building a given design based on proportion between the individual parts. There were three orders that were mainly used in early Greek architecture namely the Doric, Ionic and Corinth orders.Generally, the Doric order occurred frequently on the Greek mainland that was sited on the Italian peninsula, where more Greek colonies were present. The Ionic order was popular among the Greeks in Asia Minor and in the Greek islands. In the Ionic order of architecture, the bases support the columns that were vertical and flute shaped than the ones in the Dorian orders. The Ionic orders had two volutes that rested on top of a band of palm-leaf ornaments, as its abacus was narrow unlike the Doris order that consisted of three simple horizontal bands. The important feature of the Ionic order was the friezer that was carved with relief sculpture with a continuous pattern that surrounded a building. The Corinthian as the third order was developed in the late classical period and was commonly used during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. The architecture orders not only dwelt on the columns but also governed the relationship among all the components of architecture in Greek.







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