History And Characteristics Of Classical Architecture

Pantheon of Rome

Classical architecture is a style of construction that originated in ancient Greece and Rome. In many years and centuries architects always get inspired from different civilizations, classical architecture is one of them that architects have got influence from it.

This architectural history was a tradition and legacy of architecture for a long time for architects, it’s a building that bring back concepts and values of the ancient world, it’s represented by its most classical and iconic buildings, designed with concepts that follows order and symmetry. Broadly speaking, classical architecture can encompass all architectures derived from the ancient Greeks and Romans. For our purposes, the neoclassical movement is the most faithful classical style of architecture that exists today.

Classical architecture was appeared in the 5th century in Greece and around the 3rd century in Rome. The style has been revived several times over the years. When Italian renaissance came to existence, many constructors and architects would like to restore and renew the architecture of classical roman.

After centuries in Europe, when the excavation of pompeii came the ancient greece architecture has been revived. The identical architectural concept has come to be known as the revival of greek architecture. It’s an architecture that concentrate on the integrity of structural and proportion of greek ideal concept. The classical architecture represent many styles and types and neoclassical is one of them. When baroque architecture came to existance, the classical came in sort of response to baroque architecture, it’s inspired by the ideal design of ancient rome.

The style originated in Europe in the 18th century and has become the iconic style of many government buildings in Washington DC.

Neoclassical is a style that became fashionable at the end of the 19th century and has a looser interpretation of classical ideals. The style exploded after the Chicago World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. The expo buildings showcased classical forms and inspired builders across the country. Many houses, courthouses, banks, schools and churches were built in this style in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

White House – Washington DC

Classical architecture favored concepts like daring, humility and intellect. These values help define individual components that can be found in several classic architectural styles. Some of these key elements are:

  • Columns in a specific style (or order). Greek architecture has classical orders of columns like corinthian, doric and ionic.
  • Front porch surmounted by a pediment. Many homes and buildings have a full-height front porch with a classic pediment at the top. The door is generally positioned in the center of the house.
  • Classic design patterns. Homes often have crown moldings, medium pitched roofs, box eaves, decorative doorframes, and pediments above the front door.
  • Rectangular windows. Windows were often double casement and included a variety of symmetrical window configurations.
  • Sustainable building materials. Classical architecture incorporates materials such as marble, concrete and brick.
  • Symmetry and proportions. Classical buildings are generally symmetrical and feature elements such as regularly spaced columns and windows.
British Museum

Neoclassical rivaled neocolonial architecture: Neoclassical and neocolonial architecture were popular during the same period. However, the neoclassical style houses were more formal and grandiose. In American cities, suburbs and residential living, the colonial revival concept was more famous in these American places. Neoclassical was much more popular for commercial and government buildings.

Neoclassical architecture is similar to the fine arts style: the fine arts architectural style was popular during the same period and also incorporated many classical design elements. You can tell the two styles apart by looking at the level of detail. The neoclassical style is much less ornate.

Modern architecture put an end to the neoclassical style: the 19th century neoclassical was an effort to reconnect architecture with classical political ideals. In response to the Chicago Expo in 1893, many young architects were disappointed with the exhibition and responded categorically with new and innovative ideas. This response was arguably the start of modern architecture, which replaced classical forms of construction with more contemporary designs.

You can buy a neoclassical house: although this style was not as popular as other styles, there are still a lot of neoclassical style residential houses. A lot of concepts and designs like front columns and height porch represents the neoclassical house.

In summary, classical architecture is a method of construction that originated in ancient Greece and Rome. The style has been revived several times and many architectural styles incorporate classic forms. Classical architects focused on columns, symmetry, and proportion, among other design rules, to create buildings like Capitol Hill and some stately residences.

Capitol Hill – Washington DC