World Architecture (700-200 BCE)

…Due to development on the military and politics, age of empires began. In Neo-Assyrian Period, an ideal city scheme was revived in Mesopotamia. Sargon II’s new capital of Dur Sharrukin and Nebuchadnezzar’ rebuilding of Babylon provide new sense of urban order,well made streets and city gates. An orthogonal city plan appeared the very first time out of Egypt and the vanished Herropans. Scale and monumentality surprassed previous models. Gates correspound to gates on the opposite which implies a gird of straight streets. Temples in the Palace of Sargon was diverged 10 degree because of potential astronomical orientation. While they use orthogonal coordinates throughout, entries are set assymetrically to discourage direct access. Vaulted drainage system is seen as one of the inventions of Neo-Assyrians. As Mesopotamia houses, light source distributed from courtyard throughout the palace.

     New Babylon considers itself as defender of religion instead of champion of warfare. New Babylon’s some concepts is similar to Dur Sharrukin’s, such as orthogonal city plan. Nebuchadnezzar’s tower was the tallest building due to its urban situation. Walls were generally clad with colorful glazed bricks.

     After defeat of Babylons to Cyrus, the king of Achaemenid Persia, idea of world empire improved, Persians wanted to rule all land of world. They almost did it. 20 states were ruled by satraps who are loyal to king of the kings. Persians absorbed architectural knowledge from different cultures. Doorjambs of threshold was based on Neo-Assyrian style shedus, colonnaded verandas were based on Hatshepsut’s terraced mortuary temple. Columns in Grand Palace Complex at Persepolis are combination of the Gree Ionic columns and Egyptian lotus columns. Density and redundancy of columns created reverberating rhythm amid the great emptiness of the space. The ceremonial terraces of the place, sculpted relief panels and vast hypostyle halls demonstrate not just the power, also capacity to grown a grand multi ethnic confederation.

7 Curved stylobate.jpg
Perspectival Distortion

At the same time, Greeks were not one of the races that Persians ruled because of Greeks abilities in the sea. Greeks were source of classicism. Classical architecture comprised both a system of proportional composition and a repertoire of decoration that included sculpted columns, entablatures, pediments. Other cultures created open spaces in front of temples and the palaces, but Greeks created it(Agora) in the middle of city. Agora, together with its lack of architectural definition, presented opposite effect of fullness and imperial palaces. Open spaces of Greeks proved more interactive than the cult space of the Processional Way in Babylon. Major streets crossed at Agora. In Miletus which is considered as birth place of geometry, grids were basis for orthogonal city plan. On the other hand, there are 3 types of columns that used in Greek temples: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. They become basis of language of architecture based on formulaic proportions. The mainland and the western colonies preferred Doric order with its stout columns carrying simple rounded capitals. Other colonies generally preferred Ionic order which is more slender, has no base, with volutes in its capitals. Doric order’s convex bulging of the shaft express load bearing function, vertical fluting of the shafts convey the idea of compression. In Doric Order, perspectival distortion is created through columns and stylobates, to form architectural illusion for perfection of perception which is pretty awesome.


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