Evolution of Architecture

1 January 2017

The Evolution of Architecture due to several analyzed themes (Gothic architecture and Modern architecture) Abstract This paper contains a comparative analysis of the evolution of architecture in relation to Gothic revival and Modern Architecture. In this comparative analysis the similarities and differences of each style are highlighted and discussed. It further discusses and illustrates the elements which are unique to each style. The buildings which are the subject of this analysis includes: St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral at Jemmotts’ Lane in Barbados, St.

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Agnes Parish Church in the Bahamas (gothic revival) and the Winchester Business Centre on Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica and Michi Supercenter on Washington Boulevard, Kingston, Jamaica (modern architecture). Language—a complex term—just like architecture, is difficult to define. However, in some ways, it is not entirely impossible to do so. One can assume that architecture is just a building and identify it as such, but architecture is undoubtedly not just putting up an elaborate or highly decorated building.

Rather, it can be considered to be a progression that inspires the intersection between humans and the world, and connects humans to the empty space they live in,( Hooker, 1996). Architecture does this by organizing the empty space, through the use of physical materials. Throughout the ages, architecture has been constantly evolving due to several analyzed themes. These themes include; the materials used, design, style and architectural elements. Through different interpretations of these themes, overtime, architecture has been seen to branch into many different styles.

Of these styles, we can reflect on and compare gothic revival and modern to show the evolving nature of architecture through a discussion of architectural themes. The Gothic style of architecture, with its high rank in ecclesiastical taste, refers to the design of one of the most exalted classes of architecture produced. This style of architecture was quite prevalent during the medieval period. Gothic architecture originated in the 12th century, but with the revival in the mid-18th century, it has travelled with time into today’s modern era.

It can be viewed in churches and cathedrals, where the Gothic revival style is fully and most powerfully expressed. St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral at Jemmotts’ Lane in Barbados, and St. Agnes Parish Church in the Bahamas, are two interesting examples, representing the Gothic style. The Gothic revival style of architecture has bled into the modern era which has further changed and evolved this style today. St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral Essentially gothic revival, St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral, Barbados was originally built in 1848, but was destroyed by fire in 1897.

The rebuilding of the cathedral was completed in 1899 and sanctified on August 23, 1903. In today’s era, the Catholic Church serves as a home to the largest church congregations on the island (Crain, 1994, p. 189) St. Agnes Anglican Church St. Agnes Anglican Church The St. Agnes Anglican Church located in Grants town, New Provident, The Bahamas, was built in 1868. In September of 1928 an intense hurricane devastated New Providence, leaving the beautiful structure tattered. This resulted in a complete refurbishment of the building, which was completed in May of 1929.

According to Crain (1994) “The design of the church is unusual Gothic revival” (Crain, 1994, p. 195). Thus, both The St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church and The St. Agnes Anglican Church identify as gothic revival architecture and are very similar in construct, aiming to bring across the era they represent. Stemming from the 18th century, these churches being classic examples of unique architecture, establish their differences from that of the modern era. Modern architecture—a term which here refers to the indefinite continuous movement of time through the ages—began at the beginning of the 20th century.

The efforts to keep up with the technology of the moving belt of time, made an impact on the deciding forces of architectural concepts. As society freely moved into an era of complete modernism, this modern type of architecture targeted different building forms such as schools, commercial buildings and residential homes. We can choose two such modern buildings to be The Winchester Business Centre on Hope Road, Kingston, Jamaica and Michi Supercenter on Washington Boulevard, Kingston, Jamaica. The Winchester Business Centre The Winchester Business Centre

The Winchester Business Centre, unlike that of the gothic revival type of architecture, has not experienced any major disasters thus far. This is due to its new integration into today’s society. Built in June 2007, Winchester, presents a fine example of what modern architecture really is. The structure serves as housing of business suites for professional offices, light, retail, commercial and warehouse facilities (Lake Associates, 2007). Similarly, Michi Supercenter, the other example which models modern architecture, was built in April 2009.

Like the business center has not been affected by disasters up till present day. Its modern architectural framing is that of a superstructure, which is currently a large supermarket and retail building. Michi Supercenter. Michi Supercenter. The modern architecture displayed in both of these buildings is without a doubt merging similarities. As it relates to the gothic revival style of architecture the differences start to add up putting each in their own special and distinct orbit. Comparative Analysis of the wall materials Comparative Analysis of the wall materials

In order to identifying the differences between both styles of architecture we must begin at the foot of the dominant themes of material used, designs, styles and architectural elements. Gothic Revival architecture in St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral is identified first by its recognizable materials. That is, very fine limestone of different grades which was readily available during that era and was highly favoured for sculptural decoration. The limestone, brick-like maneuvers were placed horizontally for complete walling, which aided in the merging of materials into the fortifications.

The availability of timbre in the gothic revival era, led to the decisions to make the interior beaming system entirely of timbre. The church, which is similar to a temple like structure, depends on its large frame to give a sense of holiness. It is with this that the modern architectural style of the Winchester Business Centre can be compared. Comparative analysis: the structural support of gothic versus modern. Comparative analysis: the structural support of gothic versus modern. The concrete outer wall on this building is also due to the availability of materials in the modern era.

Concrete which is widely used to define modern architecture is completely wrapped around the building. Unlike the churches built during the Gothic Revival, the modern Winchester building used steel to provide similar reinforcement as that of the timber backing. Each building’s design elements really allow the styles to stand on their own special pedestal. According to Crain, St. Patrick’s Roman Cathedral has elements such as its “pointed arches and engaged buttress”, which give the building’s form an abnormality when looking on from today’s era (Crain, 1994, p. 89). The Winchester building with its contemporary windows, square and moderately encased the relationship between the two is now able to play on its distinct difference. While the gothic revival era facilitated the use of facades, columns, rose windows, “quatrefoil windows” and other elements and emphasized the need for them to stand out, the modern architectural era (which is clearly evident through the Winchester building) incorporated the use of uniquely placed walling, pure glass, square contemporary arches and a concrete beam system. Interestingly, the St.

Agnes Anglican Church with its Gothic Revival qualities, uses materials which harbor more similarities to that of the modern building—Michi. This is the concrete walling encasing the valiant interior. Thus, the material which is idolized in today’s modern era is seen in both the structures. The gothic revival structure at the St. Agnes Church however stands true to its timber construct as with most gothic churches. According to Hopkins (1836) “The pinnacles are made of stone, but where the economy must be taken into consideration, they may be made of plank or thick boards” (pg. 25).

The modern building Michi also creates normality by using the same steel and beam way of supporting the building. Michi uses Zinc-like awnings to give shading devices around its structure, whilst the Anglican Church uses its elongated arches to do the same. Michi’s architectural elements include sliding doors and windows and a tinted glass facade, accompanied by clean white moldings which run along the top walls of the building. The regular, square-like erection highlights modernism with the use of wide square arches, giving the simple yet thorough elements the complete opposite construct of the gothic revival style.

Diagram showing elements of the gothic revival church Diagram showing elements of the gothic revival church The St. Agnes Anglican Church, as with other gothic structures , has “pointed arches enclosing at least two subdivisions in the window…so as to furnish strong shadows and increase solemnity of the effect”, highly embezzled moldings, a portal, rose windows, stained glass and lesser highlighted detailing. In some ways, we can see similar features between the two eras of architecture through a look at the representative buildings.

Both Michi and St. Agnes house the public, and encourage citizens to come and gather to enjoy their structures for an intended purpose (be it recreation or religion) in stylistic surroundings. In support of this, according to Hopkins “there is no style of architecture which admits such variety, which is so beautiful on any scale and which is so little dependent on style for its effect” (Hopkins, 1836, p. 25). As such, it can be said that the gothic revival depends more on its style to be noticed.

However, what this also proves is that the design process in today’s era still reads a little from that of the gothic revival. Architects in today’s era creating modern structures seek to be noticed by their elaborate yet simple designs. This is evident with the Modern design of Michi and the Winchester building. Thus, we see where though architecture has evolved through a look at the themes, there are some features that are still similar to this day. Both styles of architecture compared allowed one to see the relation which they had whether similarities or differences.

Whilst many elements of architecture for both styles explored were brought forward, each style will forever be changing and evolving. Through different interpretations of these themes, the outer and inner appearance of both showed that even though architecture is evolving some things will continuously be carried on through the ages. Gothic revival and modern architecture are both unique in their own special way; gothic which tried to stand out in its era and Modern which continues to stand out in its own era. Through final analysis the styles of the past will continue to shine through to the styles of the future.

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