Great names in architecture of all times

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Architecture has evolved along with man since the first civilizations. Great architectural projects taking place today would not have been possible without the existence of many exceptional architects who were before and after in the world of architecture. For that reason not only any technical architect (in spanish: arquitecto técnico), but anyone with a minimum of interest in their environment, should know the names and achievements of the architects listed below. Without a doubt, if we could bring together these great architects today, we could constitute the greatest and best architectural platform (plataforma de arquitectura) that has ever existed, since with their genius each and every one of them helped create the great works of architecture and engineering (arquitectura e ingeniería) that have amazed generations.

MARK VITRUVIUS POLLIO

Roman architect and engineer. He was probably born as a free Roman citizen in Campania (administrative region of Italy). During the civil war, under the leadership of Julius Caesar, he participated in the construction of military vehicles. Later, as a military engineer, he independently devoted himself to the development and creation of crossbows and other siege weapons. Among Vitruvius' executed projects, the most significant are the Basilica of Fano and the structures of the Roman aqueduct. 

The treatise "Ten books of architecture" is attributed to Vitruvius himself. The book is dedicated to the Emperor Augustus as a sign of gratitude for the help he gave. Vitruvius was the first theorist of architecture to raise the hypothesis of the origin of architecture. He raised the problem of the middle ground between theory and practice, described the basic concepts of aesthetics, the proportionality of a building and a person, and for the first time in history studied the problem of musical acoustics of the premises. 

Vitruvius described six fundamental principles of architecture: 

1) Ordinatio (systematic, order, sequence): describes the general principles of architecture, the foundations of volume formation (quantities), the basis of proportions, the basis of the relation of sizes (module). Here is Vitruvius' famous triad: three qualities that architecture must have: firmitas (structural resistance), utilitas (benefit), venustas (beauty). 

2) Dispositio (location, base): it describes the basic concepts of space organization, the basic concepts of the project and its visualization in three main drawings: iconography (plan), spelling (drawing) and scenography (perspective view). 

3) Eurythmy: defines beautiful proportions, composition is studied. 

4) Symmetry: strong anthropomorphism is hidden in this category. A module based on parts of the human body (nose, head) is emphasized. 

5) Decoration: this category is not limited only to decoration and describes the systemic nature of order. 

6) Distributio: the category describes the economical use of the object.

IMHOTEP

Imhotep is an outstanding Egyptian architect of the Ancient Empire period. The builder of the pyramid Djoser, the first of the Egyptian pyramids. From the First Period of Transition, he was also considered a poet and thinker. He was later deified and revered as the god of healing. Imhotep is considered the inventor of the pyramidal architectural form: he proposed to build three smaller mastabas on top of the pharaoh's stone mastaba (rectangular tomb), turning the mastaba into a four-stage pyramid (later the number of steps in the pyramid was increased to six and reached 61 m in height). Thus, Imhotep acts as the founder of the architectural tradition of the entire Ancient Kingdom, which was based on the use of a pyramidal shape in the design of royal burials.

LEONARDO DA VINCI

Leonardo da Vinci is an Italian artist (painter, sculptor, architect) and scientist (anatomist, naturalist), inventor, writer, musician, one of the greatest representatives of the art of the High Renaissance. Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in the village of Anchiano near the small town of Vinci, near Florence. Much of what Leonardo designed was never implemented, and what was built did not reach us. And yet, based on separate documentary information, records and sketches by Leonardo himself, one can see his versatile architectural and construction activities, learn about his plans. Even in his youth, the young painter developed an interest in architecture and construction. He made plans and drawings of various buildings, studied the buildings of Brunelleschi, a famous architect and engineer. 

 

Leonardo supervised important fortification and irrigation works, participated, among other artisans, in the competition for the design of the vaulted ceiling of the Milan cathedral under construction at that time, liked the plans for the construction of grandiose canals, cleaning of ports and reconstruction of cities. In 1490, Leonardo built a large round domed pavilion in the ducal garden of Milan. 

Leonardo paid great attention to issues of building technology. He studied the individual elements of the architectural structure: foundations, arches, walls, beamed ceilings and calculated their strength. He was interested in the distribution of loads in different parts of the building and the correct placement of the foundations, since "the first and most important thing is stability". Leonardo's brilliant knowledge of construction techniques and the laws of mechanics allowed him to present the unusually daring task of raising buildings to the required height. Leonardo's ideas had a great impact on his contemporaries. It is no coincidence that many of the great master's ideas were put into practice by other Renaissance architects, who passed on Leonardo's legacy to subsequent generations.

MIGUEL ANGEL BUONARROTI

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on March 6, 1475 in the Tuscan town of Caprese, near Arezzo. Michelangelo, a brilliant sculptor, painter and architect, was one of the last "universal people" of the Renaissance, with all the passion of his temperament dedicated to the advanced ideals of Italian humanism, not only aesthetic, but also social. Both were magnificently expressed in the giant statue of the young David, which brought fame to the twenty-six year old master, symbolizing the free spirit of democratic Florence and a proud faith in man's limitless possibilities. 

However, Michelangelo's long life coincided with a period in which the historical ruin of the individualistic culture of bourgeois humanism became increasingly evident. In March 1505, at the invitation of Julius II, Michelangelo arrived in Rome, where he signed a contract for the construction of the Pope's grandiose marble tomb, on which he worked intermittently throughout his life. In Florence, Michelangelo built a new sacristy in the Church of San Lorenzo, commissioned by the Medici, with the famous groups of tombstone sculptures on the walls. 

The Capitol Ensemble is the first major architectural commission Michelangelo received from Pope Paul III. Once the most famous site in ancient Rome, the Capitol fell into disrepair during the Middle Ages. The buildings located here were either in ruins or completely destroyed and required cleanliness and order. The main building of the complex, located along the axis of the square and closing its rear, is the three-storey Palace of the Senators, decorated with a large double-sided staircase and crowned by a tower. 

All of Michelangelo's buildings are marked by a number of related features and vividly reflect his inherent desire for majestic monumentality and, at the same time, dynamic architecture.

BARTOLOMEO FRANCESCO RASTRELLI

A Russian architect of Italian origin, a member of the Imperial Academy of the Arts (1771). The most outstanding representative of the so-called Elizabethan Baroque. Almost all the architect's creations were created in Russia, which became a second home for the Italian. The architect's activity falls in the 1730s-1750s, a period of growth in the power of the noble state and the strengthening of ties between Russia and Europe. These circumstances greatly influenced the appearance of the imperial palaces, park structures, city mansions and religious buildings, which were distinguished by greatness and luxury, born of the genius of Rastrelli. 

Rastrelli's most significant works were created in St. Petersburg and its surroundings. The construction of the palace of St. Petersburg by the Moldavian ruler Dmitry Cantemir, which took place from 1721 to 1727, was one of the first independent works of Rastrelli. The surviving drawings and engravings indicate that this project was a student and contained more features of Dutch or early Petersburg architecture than Italian or French. However, this work is already showing the talent of the future master in the arrangement of volumes. The architect's rapid ascent began after the ascension to the Russian throne of the Duchess of Curland, Anna Ioannovna. From 1752 to 1756 under Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Rastrelli he directed the construction of the Tsarskoye Selo residence. 

 

During this period, he rebuilt the entire Great Catherine's Palace. Rastrelli used extensively in his works the traditions of the old Russian architecture, as well as the architects of the time of Peter. Its numerous buildings are distinguished by the plastic richness of the architectural forms, color brilliance and luxury of finishing. The buildings of Tsarskoye Selo occupy the most significant place in Rastrelli's work. Preserving the basic principles of the original design of the complex, the architect, in accordance with the requirements of the royal court, created a country residence that literally amazed his contemporaries with its splendor, brilliance and inexhaustible fantasy of decorative decoration.

LE CORBUSIER

Le Corbusier is a French architect of Swiss origin, pioneer of modernism and architectural functionalism, representative of international style architecture, artist and designer. The beginning of Corbusier's creative career as an architect coincided with the technical revolution of modern times, whose main points were the emergence of technical innovations such as electricity, telephony and radio, the emergence of the automobile, the emergence of aviation, as well as the construction of giant new generation ships, etc. 

In construction, a turning point was the use of materials such as metal, glass and the recently invented reinforced concrete; they opened up opportunities for builders and architects that seemed dazzling, on the verge of fantasy. Le Corbusier became famous for his buildings, which were always exceptionally original, as well as the talented pen of a writer-advertiser. Buildings based on his designs can be found in different countries: Switzerland, France, United States, Argentina, Japan and even Russia. 

The characteristic features of Le Corbusier's architecture are the blocks of volume raised above the ground; independent columns underneath them; flat roof terraces used; facades seen from the beginning to the end; rough surfaces of unfinished concrete; free spaces on the floor. Once part of his personal architectural program, all these techniques have now become common features of modern construction. The extraordinary popularity of Le Corbusier's work is explained by the universality of his approach, the social content of his proposals. One cannot fail to notice his merits in the fact that he opened the eyes of architects to free forms.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. In 1885, Wright joined the engineering department at the University of Wisconsin. Without finishing it, he went to Chicago and got a job in the firm of Adler and Sullivan. The director of the firm, one of the ideologues of the "Chicago school" Louis Sullivan, deeply influenced all of Wright's later work. In 1893, Wright left the firm and established an office in Chicago. Wright created a new trend: "organic architecture," whose main motto was that a building should develop from its nature. 

From the beginning, his architecture differed from the neoclassical and Victorian buildings prevailing at that time. A distinctive feature of Wright's architecture was the use of building materials in natural colors and textures. Wright used new technologies in his projects; he was one of the first to use precast concrete blocks with steel rods, and with his introduction began the massive introduction of indoor air conditioning, diffuse lighting, and panel heating. Air conditioning was first used during the construction of the Larkin building in Buffalo in 1904, with double-glazed windows, glass doors and metal hardware.

ANTONI GAUDÍ

Antonio Gaudi is an outstanding Spanish architect, a striking and original representative of organic architecture in European modernity. Gaudí developed new ideas about architecture, taking inspiration from the forms of living nature, he developed original means of spatial geometry. Gaudí created many of Barcelona's architectural objects. 

Few architects in the world have had such a significant impact on the appearance of their city or have created something so iconic for their culture. Gaudí's work marked the height of Spanish Art Nouveau. A distinctive feature of Gaudí's style is that organic and natural forms (clouds, trees, rocks, animals) became the source of his architectural fantasies. Gaudí's natural world has become the main source of inspiration for solving both artistic design and constructive tasks. Gaudí hated closed, geometrically correct spaces, and walls drove him completely mad; he avoided straight lines, believing that a straight line is a product of man and a circle is a product of God. The Park Güell project stands out in his work, where he located his house.

In 1870-1882. He executed applied orders (sketches of fences, lanterns, etc.) in the studio of the architects E. Sala and F. Villar. Gaudí's first independent work (the fountain in Plaza Catalunya, 1877) reveals the living whim of the author's decorative fantasy. In 1880-83. a building was built according to his project - Casa Vicens, where Gaudí used the polychrome effects of ceramic coverings, so characteristic of his mature things. The house, built for the owner of the ceramic factory M. Vicens - Casa Vicens (1878-80), looked like a fairy tale palace. In accordance with the owner's desire to see the "kingdom of ceramics" in his country residence, Gaudí covered the walls of the house with multicolored iridescent majolica tiles, decorated the ceilings with hanging stucco stalactites and filled the patio with elegant pavilions and lanterns. In 1887-1900 Gaudí carried out several projects outside Barcelona (Palacio Episcopal de Astorga, 1887-1893; Casa Botines de León, 1891-1894; and others), giving his neo-Gothic stylizations an increasingly free character. 

Antonio Gaudi also acted as a restorer. In 1891, the architect received an order for the construction of a new cathedral in Barcelona: the Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia became the maximum fruit of the master's imagination. This building stands out as a monumental symbol of the national and social renaissance of Catalonia. The style in which the cathedral is made vaguely resembles Gothic, but at the same time, it is something completely new, modern. According to Gaudí's plan, the Sagrada Familia Church would become a symbolic building, a great allegory of the Nativity of Christ, represented by three facades. Gaudí died before seeing this work completed.







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