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Architecture (Latin architectura, from the Greek ἀρχιτέκτων – arkhitekton, from ἀρχι "chief" and τέκτων "builder, carpenter, mason") is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art. Historical civilizations are often identified with their surviving architectural achievements.
HistoryArchitecture has long been a part of every culture, both modern and ancient. Examples of ancient architecture include the Great Stonehenge and the Roman Colosseum.
Most famous architects and their works display a nationalist feeling and are often regarded as symbols of their home nation. Examples of this include America's Statue of Liberty, France Eiffel Tower, and Japan's Imperial Spire.
The Eras and Styles of ArchitectureArchitecture has gone through several different phases and has changed throughout different time periods.
Revolutionary Time PeriodStarting in around the late 18th and early 19th century, revolutionary movements sprung up across the world, including in America and in France. Memorials to America's brave Founding Fathers and Revolutionaries were being constructed, while after the French Revolution, nearly the same occurred.
Napoleonic Base Era
After the Napoleonic Wars and Napoleon's Defeat, monuments and memorials to the Coalition were erected in Coalition countries, while statues of Napoleon came about in France and Italy.
Early Nationalist EraLater in the 19th century, more nationalist architecture sprang in countries across the globe. In France, for example, the great architect Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower, which was built in Paris, France, and remains to this day a symbol of France and one that is often associated with the names "Paris," "France," and "Eiffel."
Art Deco of the Late 20's and Early 30'sStarting in the 20th century, America's "Art Deco" style became popular as skyscrapers became more prevalent. New York's Chrysler Building, constructed in 1930, surpassed the Eiffel Tower as the tallest man-made structure in the world.
However, following the onset of the Great Depression, architecture slowed, just like everything else. The only place with a real national feeling demostarted by its architecture was the Republic of Ireland, which had recently gained independence from the UK.
In America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected. He was not one to let America become truly depressed. It was during his presidency that America's great Empire State Building was built in New York City, becoming the tallest building in the world upon completion. It remained so until the construction of the World Trade Center in 1973.
Post-World War II ArchitectureSince the ending if World War II in 1946, buildings, memorials, and monuments commemorating war and its brave participants sprang up across the World. The most famous of these was the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Park, in Virginia. It symbolized the American struggle against the evil powers of World War II and the final victory over the Japanese in early 1946.
Cold War ArchitectureThe architectural style of the Cold War was, in fact, rather cold. Several buildings, statues, and monuments in Russia and America demonstrated hatred for the opposing country. However, the most famous architectural symbol of the Cold War was actually built for political purposes. This was the infamous Berlin Wall, which separated East Berlin from North and West Berlin after the division of Germany following World War II.
Original Russian plans had also intended to use the wall to separate Spanish South Berlin and Polish "Corner" Berlin. However, Poland gave up its Germany/Berlin area during the Red Revolution, thus eliminating one threat when the Russians took it. Then Spain and America united their territories into the Bizone, which later became West Germany and Berlin. The Berlin Wall is one of the few to survive from the end of the Cold War and still stands today, with a similar counterpart in Warsaw known as the Warsaw Wall.
Today, architecture has taken on many different styles and appearances. Every country has its own nationalized style of architecture, whether it is tall, short, long, thin, unicolor, tricolor, or simply to demonstrate wealth and might.
- Land of the Skyscrapers. Home of Liberty. America touches the sky.
J. Edgar Ferrier, World's Greatest Architectural Reviewer
America has some of the greatest skyscrapers in the world, especially in New York City, Toronto, and Chicago.
New York ArchitectureNew York City is both house and home to some the world's tallest skyscrapers, some of which were actually the world's tallest upon construction.
New York's Empire State Building is the second-tallest in America, falling behind only to the Sears Tower. Although the Sears Tower was hit in the 9/11 attacks, it recovered and once again put down the Empire State Building. The TN Tower is nearly as tall as the Empire State Building, falling short by 17-and-a-half feet. It is the third tallest structure in America, followed by the John Hancock Tower. However, these were all defeated by the Twin Tower of the World Trade Center, also of New York. These famous "twins," as they were called in Europe, were the world's tallest following completion in 1973 until their collapse in the 9/11 Attacks of 2001.
New York is also home to several other skyscrapers, thus earning it the name "World Hub of Skyscrapers."
Washington ArchitectureBeing the national capital, Washington, D.C. has several of America's most notable monuments and memorials. Even the government buildings represent a unique American style of building, as demonstrated in the White House, US Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court. America's governmental architecture, and thus Washington's architecture, has several of its roots in Ancient Rome.
For example, the Supreme Court is modeled after the Parthenon of Ancient Greece, which was a temple. The Capitol Building is also reminiscent of Ancient Greek and Roman styles. The main reason for this is that America was a republic, one of the first in recent times, and had to model itself after Rome, the last republic before the several empires and monarchies of the day. Thus several government buildings are modeled after Ancient buildings. In fact, this can be reflected in state level and country level government buildings.
Other Notable Architectural FormsSeveral other cities have notable skyscrapers, statues, memorials, and monuments. Chicago and Toronto both have several tall skyscrapers located within them. The most notable are some of the tallest in America and thusly in the Western Hemisphere.
- The great home of the tall, thin, towering spires of the Far East. Quite reminiscent of the French.
J. Edgar Ferrier, World's Greatest Architectural Reviewer
Japan has some notable architectural features. The Japanese also seemed to be obsessed with lattice-style buildings and spires. The best examples of this are the Tokyo Sky Tree and the Tokyo Imperial Spire..
Indian ArchitectureThe Indians have long had their own amazing style of architecture, which even surprised the British when they reached the area. Famous examples of the Indian styles include the Taj Mahal, which was used as basis for the House of the Senate and the Presidential Residence, both in New Delhi. Indian architecture can also be seen in the streets of Bombay, the film capital of the east and one of India's biggest metropolitan areas. With the largest population in the world, India certainly has both the manpower to build such structures and the ability to fill them with people!
Architecture Around the World
Several nations have great architectural designs and features. Here is a gallery of architecture from around the world.
"Architecture is an important part of any culture and any nation. Architecture is symbolic and a form of demonstrating patriotism. Some of the 20th century's greatest minds came from architects. Some of history's most famous objects are architecture. No matter which country, which culture, which people, architecture is there."
- J Edgar Ferrier, World's Foremost Architectural Reviewer