Development of Architectural Styles and Construction Techniques

Evolution of Architectural Styles with changing Construction Technology

How did different Architectural styles develop? What was the concept behind the development of different architectural styles around the world? Or rather what gave a boost to the evolution and development of specific architectural styles in specific regions?

Now if we are to have a look at the globe, we would realize that every country has its own architectural style. Architecture shapes the character of town/city/country. Now the questions how did so many different styles came into existence….??

Well, here’s the answer.

Building materials availability in different regions of the world

The availability of building materials play a huge role in the evolution of architectural style. The technology back then wasn’t as developed as it is today. So, designers of those times took all the necessary efforts to devise construction techniques for the construction of various structures in different sizes and forms. The forms were mostly derived from the construction technique used.

Parthenon at Athens, Greece
Parthenon at Athens, Greece

Influence of lifestyle of the people across the world

We all know that lifestyle does influence our choice and quality of living. Religion in the earlier days was more pronounced than it is today. In a city where the majority were Christians, the kind of constructions that took place were different types of Churches.

In different eras, these structures were reused differently for different purposes.

Construction methodology adopted

If we are to look back into history with detail, we will realize that great emphasis has been given to the construction of religious monuments. Designers were of the view that the scale and proportions of the religious structure should be able to dominate a huge crowd. That is why, when we go to a Gothic or Greek church, you are intimidated and your heart rests at peace. You feel closer to God.

So, keeping this objective in mind, appropriate construction methodology was adopted to suit the place and the purpose of construction.

What brought a change in the type of architecture across the world?

18th century was the era of industrial revolution. Lot of inventions were being done. Some of the most important building materials such as glass, steel, cement etc were invented. This brought a revolution in the construction industry. The perspective of looking at design of buildings began to change. That brought a drastic change to the architectural styles across the world. Modern contemporary architecture came into existence and change the entire scenario of construction.

Do you think we could say that the architectural styles have lost their essence today?

NO… Absolutely not…
In an Architecture school, we have a subject called “History of Architecture”, where we learn the reasons of the evolution and development of different architectural styles in different regions(countries) of the world.

After completing the architectural course, if we happen to get an opportunity to utilize the classical/roman/greek (whichever your client desires) architecture; and if you are quick and smart enough to grab the opportunity, people start accusing you about copying another architectural style.

This article is for everyone to understand that architectural styles were evolved with a purpose to solve the problems of construction keeping in sync with the availability building materials. The available building materials and the construction technology were solely responsible for that kind of construction. Of course, the aesthetics of the structure did count.

Scenario of Construction today

Today with the increasing development in technology, the construction industry has taken a huge leap.

The construction technology and the availability of new building materials have made it possible to create anything and everything.

For example: If your client asks you to create a structure that would resemble Parthenon with respect to proportion, design and texture; you will not find it difficult to do that. Today, it is not necessary that you use the materials that were used in the past for that specific construction. You can build structures with the new age materials and give the same aesthetic appeal.

Finally, it is to be remembered that if a designer is incorporating roman architectural style in a design of a School in United Kingdom, does not mean that he is copying the architectural style. He is simply trying to satisfy his clients by using his creativity to the best!

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