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Architecture (Superpowers)

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Taj Palace

Taj provincial palace, built by Indian architects and workers as a Roman Provincial Palace, completed in 1648

Architecture is the art of design and constructing buildings for both aesthetic and functional purposes. As one of the lead architects of the Palace of the Imperials, Corbusius said of the difference between mere construction and architecture, "You employ stone, wood, and concrete, and with these materials you build houses and palaces: that is construction. Ingenuity is at work. But suddenly you touch my heart, you do me good. I am happy and I say: This is beautiful. That is Architecture". His statement came at a golden age of architectural design in Europe, when the city of Rome needed to be rebuilt and a new school for the architectural arts was built. The Romans have been, since defeating the Greek city-states, world leaders in architecture, creating some of the most beautiful and plentiful works that the world had ever seen.

The Mayans were once the most impressive builders of the new world, but as their technology flourished, it seemed like their architectural spirit moved entirely towards raw functionality, and many of their works became simple stone and concrete structures with very little in the way of beauty, embodied by the highly geometric Kukulkanan style. In the XIIth Century however things changed and their Federal King Palenk'ua V brought back the Mayan tradition, rebuilding the Conglomerate's capital and constructing many of the finest works which now stand in the city. His efforts created a new trend within the Mayan government, renewing the aestheticism which had once moved Mayan architects.

Other nations as well have given birth to some of the finest architectural minds in the world. It was Indian architects who designed the stunning Crown of Buildings for their Roman conquerors, a structure known in the Urdu language as the Taj. Japanese architects had built the famed Byōdō-in in 1053, as well as some of the finest modernist structures in the world. Other beautiful wonders of the world include the Zijin Cheng Palace complexes in Temujin and the rebuilt Citadel of Hanan in New Apu.

History

Megalithic Melitan Temples

Ancient temples, restored somewhat by the provincial government

The history of architectural progress is one which with achievements, from the first neolithic towers on the Isles of Melita, to the Millennium Palace in Kyoto, each new structure leaves a mark of the culture which it was spawned from. Now going back to the beginning, these megalithic temples in Melita are in fact the oldest remaining structures on Earth, dating to more than 5500 years ago. The very fact that they still remain standing is a testament both to the ingenuity of early man and the innate desire for later cultures, the Romans in this case, to preserve the grand works of man. This became a common trend within the Empire, particularly in the IInd Millennium, and several other ancient works were repaired almost completely as well, notably the Great Pyramids of Aegyptus and the Temple of the Acropolis near Athens. In general these projects were meant to celebrate the ancient cultures which were integrated with the Empire by displaying their civilization's greatest structures, courtesy of the Emperor of Rome.

Danish Architecture

In the age of the Viking, Scandinavian architecture was at a stage which many would describe as being rather primitive. Nearly everything was made of wood, even their fortresses and as there was no central government, no distinctly large works were built in those days. The Anglian epic Beowulf, though written by a poet in the Federations, describes the great "mead halls" that were all too common in Norse lands of the time period. As well, the later Protector Erik the Wise wrote his own epic, detailing his founding of the Groenland colony, which provides a great deal of insight into the Danish process of building construction, as well what is practically a cross-section of the mind of a Danish architect.

Palace of Stakholm

The Palace as seen from the waterfront

Over several centuries of Roman influence however, the Danes started to grow accustomed to large stone and marble buildings and began trying to build some of their own. Though it took them some time to get the hang of the arch, and cement evaded them for a few centuries, they learned how to built large columns and how to more easily carve stone blocks. Many Danish structures exist from this time period, particularly those used in the settlement of the current capital of Stakholm.

The modern style of Danish architecture can be described as a functional neo-classicist style, taking a few things from Graeco-Roman influence but warping it to a more militaristic, sharpened more modern look. A fine example of this style is the Palace of Stakholm built in 1589 for the Protector and his court. Although after the fall of the monarchy it now serves as a parliament building, most of the original style of construction still remains. Other cities though, who had felt less influence from the government continued to create building with a classical design, never adopting the modernist style of other Danish architects.

As well, in the north and east, a Neo-Gothic style also became popular from the 1000's to 1500's. The architects there were of course emulating the famed Gothic style in use within the Federations since the nation's cultural rebirth during the reign of Karl the Great. The main cause for the lasting popularity of these kind of designs was twofold. Firstly, access to the Federations was far easier to get than access to the Empire, and so many of the rich Danes could see Federations architecture firsthand. Secondly, the public held a great deal of resentment for the Romans, particularly after their near Genocide of their people in the 820's. So any foreign style which was not Roman was instantly more popular among the majority. Once the memories faded however, the Neo-Classic/modernist style took over as the dominant one in Danish society.

Mayan Architecture

As the only major nation completely independent of Roman influence, Mayan and Mexican architecture evolved in its own unique ways. Pre-Conglomerate architecture was especially considered to be one of the finest ones by later architects, giving birth to the Pyramids of the Sun and of the Moon, as well creating the original Mayan city design. When Quichen Ch'onle Mayapan came to power his focus on ensuring that every single person and thing in his empire had a purpose started the gradual emergence of a new, very functionality focused style. Originally however, none of the Mayan's characteristic aestheticism was lost, it was only adapted to the new style. On Mayapan's death however, later monarchs continued to emphasize the functionality more and more and soon all semblance of aesthetic beauty ceased to be added to new buildings.

Ahau Tower

Ahau Tower, most of its golden shine gone, though the camera filter also had something to do with that

It was in this cultural climate of the 800's that the Kukulkanan architectural style emerged. Kukulkanan was a style focusing on geometric perfection, so pefectly symmetrical buildings and doorways, and the construction of structures which were easily identifiable with a geometric shape, usually squares for housing with other buildings adding half-hexagons and octagons and the like. Conversely to its embodiment of raw structuralism, the new style did bring back a resurgence of stylistic carvings and drawings that were put on entrance ways and the outside façades of important buildings.

In 1094 however, the Federal King Palenk'ua V revived the old Mayan architectural spirit in the reconstruction and upgrades to Teotihuacan's city center. Known as the Revivalist style, Palenk'ua's designs embodied a combination of impressive and intimidating stone and metal structures fused with the beauty of nature and the three colors which the Mayans considered as the most natural, blue, green and gold. Most major buildings since that point have had gardens and waterways built into their very structure, whilst gold would usually be applied generously to the outside.

Few buildings embody this extravagance as nicely as the Grand Tower of Ahau, a structure dedicated to the Mayan's one and only god. Constructed between 1106 and 1145, the Ahau Tower was internally built from Wootz steel, but with a several inches thick layer of gold added to its entire surface. In its prime it shone with a blinding brilliance which dazzled and fascinated entire generations of the Mayan people. Some architects even attribute the continued prominence of Ahauism to the beauty of the tower itself. Whilst this is debatable, there is no doubt that its construction had an effect on the Conglomerate's culture. Even before it was completed it was the subject of the first public photograph and still managed to attract crowds in their millions.

In modern times the tower has become a global icon for the Mayan Conglomerate and is recognizable to almost anyone around the world. When the Convivalis Universalissimus came to the Conglomerate for the first time in 1832, Teotihuacan was of course chosen as the city of display with nearly the entire exposition being centered around the Ahau Tower and the main square of the city.

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