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Class 5 History of roman architecture

History of Arch Lecture

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Class 5 History of roman architecture

  1. 1. ROMAN ARCHITECTURE Prepared by Ephrem N.
  2. 2. Rome Background • The legendary origin of the city's name is from the traditional founder and first ruler, Romulus ( his brother was Remus) • traditionally Rome was founded around 750 bc.
  3. 3. Roman History
  4. 4. Roman architecture • “In contrast to Greek architecture, which can be described as sculptural masses set in balanced contrast to the landscape, Roman architecture is an architecture of space, enclosed internal space and outdoor space, on a grand scale.” • The Egyptians and the Greeks shaped powerfully evocative buildings, but seldom were these buildings meant to contain groups of people; public life was conducted in the out - of - doors
  5. 5. Roman architecture Regional influence • The Etruscans influenced most of the northern part of Italy • The Romans learned to build temples from them, and the Etruscans may have introduced the worship of a triad of gods • The Etruscans also supplied the Romans with the knowledge of hydraulics and constructing an arch • Romans were also heavily influenced by the Greek cities in the South, mainly through trade.
  6. 6. Roman architecture MATERIAL • Innovation started in the first century BC., with the invention of concrete, a strong and readily available substitute for stone. • great pillars supporting broad arches and domes rather than dense lines of columns suspending flat architraves. • In smaller-scale architecture, concrete's strength freed the floor plan from rectangular cells to a more free-flowing environment.
  7. 7. Roman architecture MATERIAL • Ancient Roman concrete was a mixture of mortar, sand, water, and stones. • Concrete construction proved to be more flexible and less costly than building solid stone buildings. • The materials were readily available and not difficult to transport. • Mosaic is another material for decorations and paintings.
  8. 8. Roman architecture Architectural influence • The Architecture of ancient Rome adopted the external Greek architecture for their own purposes • The two styles are often considered one body of classical architecture • The Romans, similarly, were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics and in the construction of arches.
  9. 9. Roman architecture Social influences • Social elements such as wealth and high population densities in cities forced the ancient Romans to discover new (architectural) solutions of their own. • Political propaganda demanded that these buildings should be made to impress as well as perform a public function. • The Romans didn't feel restricted by Greek aesthetic axioms alone in order to achieve these objectives.
  10. 10. Roman architecture • The Romans perfected the art of the take-over • First they took over the Etruscans, then Italy and finally they took over the whole world…or what they thought then was the whole world…Europe, Asia minor, north Africa • They took over Greek ideas and inflated them into big vulgar productions for the benefit of the state • Colonizing became conquering • Administration became bureaucracy • And architecture became engineering
  11. 11. Characteristic of Roman architecture Arches • The size of the Greek post and lintel was limited by the length a single piece of stone can span • the arch originated with the Romans??...... NO! • the Romans didn’t invent the arch but they are the ones to apply it extensively • The Romans employed arches into a great practical and aesthetic effect
  12. 12. Characteristic of Roman architecture Architectural orders • To the three Greek orders the Romans added the composite order, a blend that superimposed the scroll-like volutes of the Ionic capital over Corinthian acanthus • They also made a composite base by introducing an Ionic base into a Doric shaft
  13. 13. Characteristic of Roman architecture Circular plans • Roman emperors were much taken by circular and oval plans, and others that made dramatic use of curves rather than Classical straight lines
  14. 14. Elements of Roman architecture • Temples • Aqueducts • The forum • Theatres, amphitheaters, the coliseum, circuses • Public baths and thermae • Villas, domestic houses • Monuments • Triumphal arches, gates
  15. 15. Temples • Rectangular sometimes circular in plan • a blend of Etruscan and Greek elements • a deep porch with freestanding columns • a frontal staircase giving access to its high plinth, or platform. • The traditional Greek orders, or canons (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), were usually retained, but the Romans also developed a new type of column capital called the composite capital, a mixture of Ionic and Corinthian elements.
  16. 16. Temples The pantheon • The first Pantheon which was small rectangular and had north entrance was built in 27 B.C. by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa. After it burned down twice by fire, the Emperor Hadrian built it again with huge round hall and dome. • The Pantheon is the first temple to combine the technique of concrete construction with Greek classical orders.
  17. 17. Temples The pantheon • The porch has 24 Egyptian gray granite columns in front and side, four Egyptian red granite columns beside the entrance, their height is 14m. • The capital and the base of columns are white marble which are same product of Parthenon. • The Roman Pantheon is the largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world,
  18. 18. Temples The pantheon interior • The interior is a perfect circle its diameter and height are exactly same, 43m. • The circular plan represents the sphere of the world
  19. 19. Temples The pantheon interior • The wall is 6.05m thick and on the lower level are seven niches with a pair of Corinthian columns. • The lower level and the second level are divided by the cronies in the ratio of a square root of 2 to 1.
  20. 20. Temples The pantheon interior • The hemispherical dome has the skylight oculus of 8.9m in diameter. • The void oculus brings the silent light to the real wall and it moves in the time and the space. • The floor is paved by the marble with circular and cubic pattern. The wall is covered with marbles which colors are basically yellowish brown, white, green and reddish-brown.
  21. 21. Temples Temple of Fortuna Virilis (temple of Portumnus) • The temple was dedicated to the god Portumnus, protector of harbors and sea trade. • The small and elegant building stand on tall base and travertine columns have Ionic order.
  22. 22. Temples Maison Carree; France (Nimes); approx. B.C.19 • It is a French name meaning “square house” • In B.C.27, Nimes belong to the Rome under the reign of Augustus. • Maison Carre is a pseudoperipteros temple with 6 Corinthian columns in front in Early Imperial Rome period when the Roman temples have been strongly influenced by Greek temple style. • The high podium, and wide front steps in the midst of front part of podium are characteristics of Roman temples
  23. 23. Maison Carree
  24. 24. Temples Maison Carree • The temple is 26.4m long and 15.55m wide with 3.3m high podium. • The steps were originally both in front and sides. • The Corinthian columns are 8.96m in height, 0.91m in diameter. • The height from the top of the podium to cornice is 12.2m and the height of entablature is 2.21m.
  25. 25. Amphitheaters and circuses • Unlike Greek theaters, which were situated on natural slopes, Roman theaters were supported by their own framework of piers and vaults and thus could be constructed in the hearts of cities. • Amphitheaters (literally, double theaters) were elliptical in plan with a central arena, where gladiatorial and animal combats took place (Gladiator), and a surrounding seating area built on the pattern of Roman theaters
  26. 26. Amphitheaters and circuses The Colosseum; Italy, Rome; 72 A.D. • Construction was initiated by the Emperor Vespasian around 72 AD. His son Titus reigned over its completion and the official opening ceremonies, about 8 years later, in 80 AD. • It got its popular name, the Colosseum, because of Nero's colossus (120 ft. high) statue of himself.
  27. 27. The Colosseum
  28. 28. Amphitheaters and circuses The Colosseum • The huge theater was originally built encompassing four floors. The first three had arched entrances, while the fourth floor utilized rectangular doorways. • The floors each measured between 10.5-13.9 meters in height. • The total height of the construction was approximately 48 meters • The arena measured 79 x 45 meters and consisted of wood and sand.
  29. 29. Amphitheaters and circuses The Colloseum • The Colloseum had a total spectator capacity of 45,000-55,000. • The Amphitheater is built of travertine outside, and of tufa and brick in the interior.
  30. 30. Amphitheaters and circuses The Colloseum • 100,000 cubic meters of marble • It has a total of 76 entrances and 4 additional entrances for the emperor, other VIPs and the gladiators • the entire audience could exit the building in five minutes • The interior was divided into three parts: the arena, the podium, and the cavea.
  31. 31. Amphitheaters and circuses The Colloseum • The audience, upon entering, climbed sloping ramps to their seats, according to gender and social class. • Arches make strong lights and shadows. This is the main motif of Greek and Roman Architecture.
  32. 32. Amphitheaters and circuses Circus Maximus • A large, oval track where the chariot races took place. • The chariots were open, two or four-wheeled vehicles pulled by horses and used for hunting, battles, racing, and processions • The Romans loved the races as they were very exciting with many spills and crashes. Often charioteers were killed. However, if they were good, they might become popular heroes.
  33. 33. Public baths • After a morning's work at the office or shop, most Roman's enjoyed spending the afternoon at the thermae or public bath. Men and women enjoyed coming to the baths not only to get clean but to meet with friends, exercise, or read at the library. • There were around 952 public baths of varying sizes in Rome • Roman baths and thermae, were used for much more than simply washing. • They combined aspects of a modern health club with that of a public library and school.
  34. 34. Public baths Baths of Caracalla • Built in the reign of the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninius better known as Caracalla. • Contained shops, restaurants, exercise yards, libraries, and lecture halls and reading rooms all arranged around spacious gardens filled with sculptures. • It was for the amusement of all roman citizens not just for the wealthy.
  35. 35. Public baths Baths of Caracalla • More than 1600 bathers of one gender could be accommodated at one time • It covers an area of 33 acres (351m x 378m) • Two levels of underground stores, furnaces, and hot air ducts heated the baths, while complex plumbing ensured a constant flow of water from the Aqua Marcia aqueducts
  36. 36. Public baths Baths of Diocletian • The grandest and most extensive of all ancient • It covers an area of 32 acres (13ha.) • It was similar in plan with the baths of Caracalla it was impossible in imperial Rome to have too much of a good thing.
  37. 37. Aqueducts Pont Du Gard • The highest aqueduct ever built by the Romans • Built of unadorned, precut stone blocks • It preserve original style of Augustus era. Now the bridge exists about 300m long, 49m above of the river. • The bottom arches, which spans are 15.75m to 21.5m, are about 155m long, 20m high.
  38. 38. Aqueducts Pont Du Gard • On the top of the bottom arches is a 7m wide road which has expanded for the traffic of cars in 1743. • The middle arches are same spans of the bottom arches and the length is about 265m in total. The height of middle part is about 21m and width is 5m.
  39. 39. Aqueducts Pont Du Gard • On the top of the 35 small arches, about 8.5m high 3m wide, support the waterway. • The big arch, the bottom arch and middle arch, have 3 times or 4 times of the small arch in span and 6 times of the small arch in height. • There was only 17m fall from the headwaters to Nimes and that meant the incline was 34cm per 1km.
  40. 40. Forums
  41. 41. Forums • The Forum (a Latin word meaning open space or market place) was the administrative and corporate heart of Rome. • Generally this word referred to the open space in any Roman town where business, judicial, civic, or religious activities were conducted. • A typical forum might be surrounded by temples, shops, and basilicas • In Rome, there were several forums. The most famous, the Roman Forum, was designed by the architect Vitruvius who felt the proportions needed to be 3:2 (length to width). • The Roman Forum became the spectacular showcase of the Empire filled with beautiful statues and architecture.
  42. 42. The forum Romanum and the imperial forums. Forum of Trajan Forum of Julius Caesar Forum Romanum Forum of Augustus Temple of peace
  43. 43. Forums Trajan's Market - three stories of shops and stores Roman forum Pompeii
  44. 44. Basilicas ROMAN BASILICAS • The basilicas served as a meeting place for the citizens, an exchange for merchants, and a court of justice. • Basilicas employed interior-facing colonnades aligned as a peristyle to create a raised second-story aisle or "clerestory" and a sense of interior monumental space. • The design was possibly imported from Hellenistic Greek buildings (the stoas).
  45. 45. Basilicas Basilica of Constantine • constructed of concrete and high ceiling vaulted brick arches in the early fourth century AD. • served as the architectural model for Grand Central Station in New York. • The interior would have been lavishly decked out in rich marbles, enormous Corinthian columns, statues in recesses, and glass windows.
  46. 46. Basilicas Basilica of Constantine • The plan and general design of the basilica were derived from those of the great central halls of imperial public baths • The central nave is 80m long by 25m wide roofed with groined concrete vaults reaching no less than 35m
  47. 47. Domestic architecture • The floor plan of the Roman house was also axially arranged in a frontal manner, so that visitors entering the vestibule gained direct “visual” access to the paterfamilias or male head of the household as he sat in his office • Italian domestic architecture employs an Italian variation of peristyle construction known as the atrium, a smaller and more enclosed central space than the Greek peristyle
  48. 48. Domestic architecture • The common classes lived in apartment like buildings called the insula (islands). • They were situated to cover an entire city block, with residential homes in the interior and commercial shops, restaurants, markets or various organized clubs around the street sides.
  49. 49. Domestic architecture • Their villas were in more intimate relation to the landscape • Located on the outskirts of the city • They have terraced courtyards, gardens, and orchards • The larger villas are not only for the satisfaction of practical needs, they had luxurious provision for dining, bathing, exercise, and amusement.
  50. 50. Domestic architecture Villa Hadrian • It included, besides the living quarters, reproductions of the most famous buildings of Greece. • There were two theatres, libraries, a stadium, thermae, a so called academy. • The plan was purely of Roman
  51. 51. Monuments and triumphal arches Arch of Constantine • This was the last of many triumphal arches erected over the centuries in Rome. • It was used not only to celebrate victories but to bring order to the crowded streets of Rome, which at this time had a population in the region of 1.25milion • It was erected to celebrate Emperor Constantine’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian bridge • It is 21m high, 25.7m wide and 7.4m deep.
  52. 52. Arch of Constantine
  53. 53. Conclusion • The Romans perfected an architecture unlike that ever seen before and spread it the length of the Mediterranean world. • A Greco-Roman architecture, it combined the elegance of detail and refinement of form of Greece with the pragmatic functionalism, civic scale, and sense of power of Rome. It was a universal architecture.
  54. 54. Conclusion • Unlike Egyptian architecture, which focused on the next world, Roman architecture focused on this world • Roman buildings, like the more elemental Greek buildings which influenced them, addressed not the mysteries of the hereafter but the problems of the present.
  55. 55. Conclusion • Having found a new material which is concrete , Roman architects discovered ways of shaping and playing with space, of molding light and shadow, that has repeatedly inspired architects ever since.
  56. 56. • Roman art is not just the art of the emperors, senators, and aristocracy, but of all the peoples of Rome’s vast empire, including middle-class business people, freedmen, slaves, and soldiers in Italy and the provinces. • Roman monuments were designed to serve the needs of their patrons rather than to express the artistic temperaments of their makers.
  57. 57. Terms to remember • Arch • Triumphal arch • Aqueduct • Forum • Basilica • Composite order • Public baths • Circus • Amphitheatre • Colosseum • Pantheon • Oculus

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