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Architecture and History - Essay Example

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Subject: 03 November 2013 Reverberations of the Lost Era Etched inthe Walls of a Library The San Francisco Public Library, designed and engineered by one of the prominent architects, George W Kelham, speaks volumes of architectural and esthetic beauty…
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Architecture and History
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"Architecture and History"

Download file to see previous pages Thus, the San Francisco Public Library remains to be one of the best examples of modern day architecture, which is characteristic of the most artistic era, the Renaissanceperiod, through its basic features such as the columns, the arches, the symmetry etc. The San Francisco Public Library is basically a civic building, which means it was mainly built with the public in mind. Thus, rather than merely providing a place with “a stack, a counter and a table” that define ‘library’ for some people, Kelham went the extra mile and turned the area of above 375000 square feet into an architectural bliss (Allen “photo_2_12_”). The hard work that went behind its engineering are proven from the sheer beauty of the library both in terms of its exterior as well as interior design. The library is built in the civic center, which is located at the heart of the San Francisco City, and is thus easily accessible to the general public. As the building finds its roots in the Italian Renaissance, it becomes clear that it takes inspiration from ancient Roman and Greek architecture. Although much of the architecture and design of ancient civilizations was lost due to the perils of time, their ruins retained the basic features of designing and this is what shaped the renaissance architecture. The main features of buildings belonging to that period include symmetry, use of columns as well as arches and domes. These features can be primarily traced back to the Roman Coliseum, which was a theatre as well as a stadium all in one.It was a civic building, which mainly aimed at the entertainment of the ruler but at the same time, the public too. Thus, it may be also perceived as a commercial building too as the profit generated from the entry fees mainly goes to the ruler. However, as time passed by the public’s worship shifted from the ruler tothat of the gods and religious beliefs. It can be seen that the usage of the civic buildings changed from that of entertainment to religious purposes. Thus, later on these attributes became to be increasingly used in the construction of religious monuments. Through this transition in the usage of the buildings, it actually made the ancient architectural citation more significant as during that time it was religion that ruled the public. Therefore, the aforementioned characteristicswere seen to be widely present in the churches constructed in the Italian Renaissance period.These churches had arches representative through a centralized door as well as rows of windows. This same attribute is intrinsic to the San Francisco Public Library with its arched doorways and windows. However, the library has its own style in the sense that it also contains rectangular windows on the top floor. On the other hand, these features were also present in ancient Greek ruins of temples, which were needless to say, built for religious purposes. For example, the temples built in Athens and other such areas basically involved the use of columns and entablature that consisted of architrave, frieze and cornice. Additionally, columns, which were an important part of these religious buildings, were mainly of three types, namely, the Doric, Ionic and Tuscan. On analysis of the columns of the San Francisco Public Library, it becomes clear that the columns are of the Tuscan order as the columns are not fluted and are basically plain, and also due to the fact that they are built on a circular base rather than a rectangular one. Symmetry that was an important characteristic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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