The history of architecture follows what cultures, traditions, religions, and trends that existed through the time that man has existed on earth. From the very first stone-age cave to modern skyscrapers every building has laid its mark on world architecture. As developments in build design and different materials came available, different architecture became possible and evolved. The changes have been immense and dwellings and civic building that were once built purely for functionality now are built to create a statement, that man is capable of such an achievement. There are certain periods of time that are recognized as changing periods for architecture, when there was a dramatic alteration of how building was constructed or designed. These periods are roughly broken down into Neolithic, Antiquity, Islamic, African, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania, East Asia, Pre-Columbian, Europe, Europe and the Colonies, and the 21st Century.
Neolithic architecture is probably better known as the Stone-Age period when man was a simple hunter gatherer. Eventually man started to settle in certain areas, this was all a prehistoric period which ended around two thousand BC. During this period animals were starting to begin to be domesticated, and as man settled in one place then crops began to be sown. Basic stone tools were fashioned and rudimentary dwellings such as caves and natural shelters, these are all that there was available at the time.
Also known as the Ancient Era, the Antiquity period spanned from around three thousand BC to about the mid 400’s. The two most popular cultures on the planet at the time were the Sumerians and the Egyptians, sometimes this period is called the Bronze-Age. At the time architecture was built mainly to reflect the omnipotence of various different gods. The most important building were temples. The Greeks and Romans started to build urban settlements with arches, domes and vaults, which were seldom used before then. Roman concrete was a big factor in the type of structures that were built, and it was strong enough to build huge civic buildings, these included baths, bridges, aqueducts, amphitheatres and mausoleums.
The Islamic Architecture consisted of both religious and secular designs, very common buildings during this period were mosques, palaces, tombs and forts. There are many varied styles of Islamic Architecture that included, Persian, Moorish, Abbasid and Ottoman.
African, or as it first started Ethiopian architecture incorporated new ideas and traditions of the Aksumite style. There was a bigger use of wood and rounder structures for common dwellings.
India’s architecture was to say the least mixed, it was a hotch potch of design and build depending on where in the vast country the buildings were erected. The urban civilization is mainly traceable back to Harappa and Mohenjodaro which today are in modern Pakistan. From these ancient cities civil engineering continued to develop, which can be seen in the beautiful palaces, temples and forts. These designs and build techniques began spreading all over the subcontinent.
We continue to delve into the history of architecture in part two of how architecture has changed over time when we look as Southeast Asia and Khmer architecture.