how did we get where we are??

Well, here is part 2 on architecture, about history and how cities became as redundant as they are at the moment. architecture going from a tradition to modern, to post modern, to abstract/sensitive and to where we are now!

Building as we know it started in ancient history,  after the first agricultural revolution round approximately 10.000 BC, in the Levant (Jericho), Anatolia (Çatal Hüyük) and Mesopotamia (Nineveh, Babylon).  In these days there was a transition of many human cultures from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, what lead to the first villages and towns.

From there building evaluated through the Egyptian architecture (3000 BC – 1000 BC) (in america Maya culture) to the architecture of the classical ancient history, the Greeks and the Romans (1000 BC – 600 AD), the architecture of the middle ages and renaissance (600 AD – 1600 AD) and the baroque architecture (1600 AD – 1700 AD). After the baroque, we see a revival of the classic architecture. Building has become a tradition and usage.

From the end of the 18th century, a lot of changes in society were made by the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen,  writing the first constitution, and in the 19th century the industrial revolution began. Changes became faster than tradition could bear.

Around 1900 a number of architects around the world began developing new architectural solutions to integrate traditional precedents with new social demands and technological possibilities. Some did this in a way we now call Jugendstil/Art Nouveau, others did this in the modern movement.

And that is where it becomes even more interesting! Tradition is left behind, a decent housing should be in reach for everybody (not only the rich), hygiene is important: everybody deserves a shower. This resulted (in the Netherlands) in building legislation,  standardization and industrialization in building, programs for housing for the millions and urban planning.

In architecture there was in the same period a strong call to leave the ‘neo’ styles and come to a new contemporary style. No longer a fancy facade, no more ornaments and no more coziness. More pureness, what you see is what you get. Form follows function and less is more becomes the motto. This results in a wide range of modern architecture by Mies vd Rohe, Peter Behrens, Berlage, Duiker and many others.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s a reaction comes to this style, a call for more meaning, smaller scale, more detailed architecture. It is what we call post-modernism. the motto changes from less is more to less is bore. do not make a shed or a decorated shed, build a duck. building is emotion, not only knowledge. In the 1980’s and 1990’s this results in a very abstract architecture style  and a more romantic and emotional style.

And that brings us where we are now, from my point of view, in the contemporary style of the beginning of third millennium where ratio and emotion, abstract and romantic architecture come together.



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