Architecture is called the stone chronicle of the world.
Indeed, architecture is a huge book, on the pages of which the epochs of human life are depicted. Any architectural structure bears the stamp of its time.
By the end of the XVI – beginning of the XVII century, the strict symmetry and harmony of the Renaissance were replaced by a new architectural style – Baroque (from the Italian barocco – pretentious, whimsical). It seemed that the new style sought only to surprise and overwhelm the viewer with bizarre shapes. Previously existing canons of architecture were revised and destroyed. Structures were created with an abundance of complex curved shapes and lush decorative ornaments that distort the classical proportions. The movement of the Baroque buildings gave the effect of optical illusion, as well as the continuous bizarre play of light and shadow.
The most significant changes occurred in the design of the facades of buildings. dissonance and asymmetry have become the hallmarks of architectural structures. The richly decorated wall, the main support of the building, has ceased to serve as a supporting structure. Portals, doors, and windows have reached unimaginable sizes. Whimsical scrolls, cartouches, garlands of leaves and herbs, and human figures covered the surfaces of the walls, gables, and architraves. The calm clarity of the Renaissance was gone.
In different European countries, the formation and flourishing of the Baroque architecture had its own characteristic features. Extremely contradictory opinions about this style (from enthusiastic to sharply negative) still do not prevent you from appreciating the works of Baroque architecture, many of which belong to the masterpieces of world culture. In Russia, these are primarily the architectural creations of V. V. Rastrelli: the Winter Palace, the Smolny Monastery ensemble, the Anichkov, Vorontsov and Stroganov Palaces (all in St. Petersburg).
At the end of the XVII – beginning of the XVIII century. pretentious Baroque style gave way to classicism (from Lat. classicus-exemplary). Taking the ancient art and traditions of the Renaissance as a model and carefully studying them, the representatives of the new artistic style created unsurpassed architectural monuments. Clarity and restraint, calmness and dignity, observance of correctness and order -this is how you can define the essence of classicist architecture. preference was given to simple and strict forms, calm harmony of proportions, unobtrusive decor, repeating the outlines of objects. Practicality and expediency, clarity of volumes and nobility of finishing, balance of composition and regularity of planning were all affected.
In Europe, classicism lasted for quite a long time, until the beginning of the XIX century., and then, changing, it was revived in the new, neoclassical trends of the XIX-XX centuries. One of the stages in the development of the classical style was the Empire style, which developed at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries and reached its peak during the Napoleonic Empire (1804-1814). Empire architecture is characterized by grand palaces and mausoleums, as well as memorial structures: triumphal arches and columns.
Russian classicism is one of the brightest pages in the development of world architecture. During the reign of Catherine II (1762-1796), Russia, which had only recently adopted the European artistic language, turned out to be a country especially rich in talented architects.
Despite the fact that in the architecture of the second half of the XIX century there was a style crisis, new artistic styles and trends were still born in its depths. Among them, eclecticism and modernism should be singled out.
Eclecticism, or eclecticism (from the Greek eklektikos – able to choose, choosing), is the combination of heterogeneous artistic elements into one whole. It is unlikely that eclecticism should be considered as one of the artistic styles, since in works of art, including architecture, there was a mixture, a bizarre combination of already known styles. Eclecticism is most likely an inevitable consequence of the mutual influence and interaction of different cultures, which has become a characteristic feature of the development of art since the beginning of the XIX century.
An example is the Grand Opera building in Paris, designed by the architect Charles Garnier (1825-1898). It has become a kind of symbol of eclecticism. The architectural appearance of the Grand Opera combines the features of the Italian Renaissance, Baroque and Empire.
A bright trace in the history of world architecture was left by the modern (from the French moderne-modern). Compared to a certain lull in the nineteenth century. it was a genuine revival of architecture, a new qualitative step in its development. Asymmetric spatial compositions that combined volumes of different scales and shapes into one whole were made in a single stylistic key.
The expressiveness of the flowing rhythms, the color and texture of the building materials were given special importance in the Art Nouveau architecture. Virtual ownership of various means of decorative design of facades and interiors has become a sign of the times. In the decoration of homes and public buildings, stained glass windows, panels, decorative sculpture, wrought bent iron, patterned ceramic tiles, and fabrics were used. The idea of the organic unity of architecture with the environment has become very important. Plants, shells, fish scales, the play of water flows have become favorite motifs of architectural structures. Art Nouveau in architecture has manifested itself in almost all countries of Europe, as well as in America.
Having completed its creative search at the beginning of the XX century, Art Nouveau became the starting point for the development of modern architecture.
The ideas of rationalism and constructivism resulted in a powerful new direction – functionalism, which became an international style. Functional (that is, useful for humans) tasks have brought to life a new type of construction: train stations, factories, factories, bridges, public institutions and residential buildings. Having mastered new materials and technologies, the architects got a unique opportunity to experiment and creatively develop the best traditions of architectural styles of the past.
By the 60-70 years of the XX century. functionalism gave way to postmodernism, combining the latest construction technologies and the achievements of previous eras. One of the trends of postmodernism in architecture has become high-tech (from the English high technology – high technology). It is represented by industrial buildings, the elements of which resemble the moving parts of working machines, cranes, scaffolding, escalators or heating pipes. The elements that were previously hidden inside the structures are now stylized and defiantly brought out.
One example of high-tech architecture is the Georges Pompidou National Center for Arts and Culture in Paris, where architects Renzo Piano (born in 1937) and Richard Rogers (born in 1933) embodied an original idea. The escalators, curving in glass tubes dangerously suspended from consoles on the outside of the glass-fronted facade between huge steel trusses, offer a unique opportunity to experience the works of art from a bird’s-eye view. The interior space of the center is easily released for the organization of changing expositions and exhibitions.
Modern architecture generates fierce disputes and at the same time continues to surprise with its stylistic diversity and original solutions.