Cathedral of St. Mary of La Sue Vella, Catalonia, Spain 1203
The design of this cathedral is a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Notice how the square corners of the crossing are filled to alter the geometry and spring an octagonal dome. These corner constructions are called squinches.
Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany Paul Wallot 1882, reconstructed Norman Foster 1999
This meeting place of German parliament shares its intense history with that of its homeland. Designed in the Neo-Baroque style, the original facade expressed formality and pride. The building was seriously damaged during WWII (lower photo) and was unused for decades.
After Germany was reunified, the Reichstag underwent an ingenious reconstruction led by English architect Norman Foster. A tinted glazing surface is now superimposed behind the outer masonry facade, and a glass dome that offers 360 degree views of the city replaces the original ruined roof. The new Reichstag is a wonderful synthesis of historical preservation and current “high-tech” architecture.
Bibury Cottages, England 1380
This old wool and weaving village is known for being one of the most picturesque in England. Rows of charming light-tan colored stone cottages with slate roofs reminisce a nostalgic era in the middle ages. Masons of the time were highly respected members of the working class and for good reason; their work has out lived their lives by hundreds of years.
Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire, England 1600
This country house was built in the Elizabethan era, the early Renaissance in England during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I. Built of coursed ashlar stone, it is modeled after fortresses built along the border of England and Scotland before they were unified. The corners are built with quoins, or large, alternating corner stones, and the walls between them are infilled with lesser quality stone.
Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, England 1220
The Salisbury Cathedral was built entirely in the English Gothic style, a rarity for large buildings of the time, and represents every aspect of the style in a sublime fashion. Notable to the English Gothic is the use of the lancet window, which evolved through time and is shown here the early phase.
This cathedral emphasized horizontal lines, counteracting many other European cathedrals’ sometimes ostentatious use of verticality. Long unbroken string courses appear above and below the triforium and are represented on the external facade as well. Following this directive, column bundles terminate at each level, and the vault ribs spring from corbels rather than from a continuous connection at the floor. The great spire, however, neutralizes this grounded-ness and balances the composition as a whole.
Overall, the Salisbury Cathedral is an example of unified harmony and style. It is a masterpiece building of the English Gothic family.
Tewkesbury Abbey, England, UK 1102
This Romanesque cathedral has an English character, specifically in the appearance of the crossing tower as well as the window tracery. Inside, compare the smoothness of these massive columns to the “bundled” columns common in Gothic interiors.
Top image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saffron_blaze/
Saint Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, Italy, 532
A similar but larger contemporary to Saint Apollinare Nuevo, this Byzantine basilica characteristically fits the style of having a subdued exterior relative to a decorated interior. In plan, the basilica has no transepts, and the nave terminates at an elaborate apse under a semi-dome.
Trevi Fountain, Nicola Salvi, Rome, Italy 1762
This famous fountain and popular tourist attraction marks the spot where an aqueduct supplied water to ancient Rome. The scene depicted in its sculpture is of the legend of how the pure water source was located some 8 miles from the city. The Baroque facade features a central triumphal arch with engaged Corinthian columns and flanking Corinthian pilasters. The smaller scale columns framing the central sculpture are free-standing for maximum light and shadow effects.
Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain 1st century CE
This Roman aqueduct is made of granite blocks laid with out mortar. The double layer of arches along with the diminishing size of the piers as they get taller displays the logic in this structure. The projecting stones atop each pier originally supported temporary formwork used to build the arches.
Illinois Institute of Technology campus buildings:
Main Building, Patton & Fisher 1891
Machinery Hall, Patton & Fisher 1901
These finely detailed facades defined the early image of IIT (then the Armor Institute of Technology) before its expansion and involvement with Mies van Der Rohe in the ’40s. They are both comprised of sandstone bases with bright red brick upper sections detailed richly and in style with prominent Roman arching. Note the architectural terra-cotta in the upper photo, as well as the subtle inward and outward panels and the masterfully built cornice in the second photo.