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Chapter 2

ARCH&UD 30 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Sebastiano Serlio, Entablature, Eaves

Architecture and Urban Design
Course Code
Michael Osman

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The Classical Language of Architecture
A classical building is one whose decorative elements derive directly or indirectly from
the architectural vocabulary of the ancient word classical.
Classical architecture’s aim is demonstrate a harmony of parts
Harmony in a structure is achieved by proportion
Gothics and classics are very different but not opposite
An ‘order’ is the ‘column-and superstructure’ unit of a temple colonnade
Does not have to have a pedestal but does have to have an entablature
(columns are meaningless unless they support something) and the cornice
represents the eaves of the building finishing the slope of the roof
Vitruvius describes three of the orders but they have no proper sequence or with a
canonical formula
Serlio was who ultimately created the orders with canonical, order, symbolic
Greatest service to architecture was to compile the first full-scale fully illustrated
architectural grammar of the Renaissance
Starts off with five orders as an engravement
All five orders are on pedistals : stubby Tuscon taller Doric elegant Ionic, lofty elobarate
Think of the five orders of architecture as grammatical expressions imposing a
formidable discipline but a discpline within which personal sensibility always has a
certain play
Doric order derives its forms from a primitive type of timber construction
In the process of time a system of timber construction, copied in stone, crystallized intro
the linguistic formula which Vitruvius knew, and so we know, as the doric Order
The orders were supposed to have something resembling personalities
The orders provided a sort of gamut of architectural character all the way from the rough
and tough to the slim and fine
A home is not a house
First reason is that mechanical services are too new to have been absorbed into the
proverbial wisdom of the profession and second reason is that the mechanical invasion
is a fact and architects sense that it is a cultural threat to their position in the world.
Americas obsession with clean was another psychological motive that drove the nation
toward mechanical services
With america’s social and personal mobility, its interchangeability of components and
personnel, its gadgetry and almost universal expendability the persistence of
architecture as momental space must appear as evidence of the sentimentality of the
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