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architecture, the art of building in which human requirements and construction materials are related so as to furnish practical use as well as an aesthetic solution, thus differing from the pure utility of engineering construction. As an art, architecture is essentially abstract and nonrepresentational and involves the manipulation of the relationships of spaces, volumes, planes, masses, and voids. Time is also an important factor in architecture, since a building is usually comprehended in a succession of experiences rather than all at once. In most architecture there is no one vantage point from which the whole structure can be understood. The use of light and shadow, as well as surface decoration, can greatly enhance a structure.

The analysis of building types provides an insight into past cultures and eras. Behind each of the greater styles lies not a casual trend nor a vogue, but a period of serious and urgent experimentation directed toward answering the needs of a specific way of life. Climate, methods of labor, available materials, and economy of means all impose their dictates. Each of the greater styles has been aided by the discovery of new construction methods. Once developed, a method survives tenaciously, giving way only when social changes or new building techniques have reduced it. That evolutionary process is exemplified by the history of modern architecture, which developed from the first uses of structural iron and steel in the mid-19th cent.

Until the 20th cent. there were three great developments in architectural construction—the post-and-lintel, or trabeated, system; the arch system, either the cohesive type, employing plastic materials hardening into a homogeneous mass, or the thrust type, in which the loads are received and counterbalanced at definite points; and the modern steel-skeleton system. In the 20th cent. new forms of building were devised, with the use of reinforced concrete and the development of geodesic and stressed-skin (light material, reinforced) structures.

See also articles under countries, e.g., American architecture; styles, e.g., baroque; periods, e.g., Gothic architecture and art; individual architects, e.g., Andrea Palladio; individual stylistic and structural elements, e.g., tracery, orientation; specific building types, e.g., pagoda, apartment house.

Architecture of the Ancient World

In Egyptian architecture, to which belong some of the earliest extant structures to be called architecture (erected by the Egyptians before 3000 B.C.), the post-and-lintel system was employed exclusively and produced the earliest stone columnar buildings in history. The architecture of W Asia from the same era employed the same system; however, arched construction was also known and used. The Chaldaeans and Assyrians, dependent upon clay as their chief material, built vaulted roofs of damp mud bricks that adhered to form a solid shell.

After generations of experimentation with buildings of limited variety the Greeks gave to the simple post-and-lintel system the purest, most perfect expression it was to attain (see Parthenon; orders of architecture). Roman architecture, borrowing and combining the columns of Greece and the arches of Asia, produced a wide variety of monumental buildings throughout the Western world. Their momentous invention of concrete enabled the imperial builders to exploit successfully the vault construction of W Asia and to cover vast unbroken floor spaces with great vaults and domes, as in the rebuilt Pantheon (2d cent. A.D.; see under pantheon).

The Evolution of Styles in the Christian Era

The Romans and the early Christians also used the wooden truss for roofing the wide spans of their basilica halls. Neither Greek, Chinese, nor Japanese architecture used the vault system of construction. However, in the Asian division of the Roman Empire, vault development continued; Byzantine architects experimented with new principles and developed the pendentive, used brilliantly in the 6th cent. for the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

The Romanesque architecture of the early Middle Ages was notable for strong, simple, massive forms and vaults executed in cut stone. In Lombard Romanesque (11th cent.) the Byzantine concentration of vault thrusts was improved by the device of ribs and of piers to support them. The idea of an organic supporting and buttressing skeleton of masonry (see buttress), here appearing in embryo, became the vitalizing aim of the medieval builders. In 13th-century Gothic architecture it emerged in perfected form, as in the Amiens and Chartres cathedrals.

The birth of Renaissance architecture (15th cent.) inaugurated a period of several hundred years in Western architecture during which the multiple and complex buildings of the modern world began to emerge, while at the same time no new and compelling structural conceptions appeared. The forms and ornaments of Roman antiquity were resuscitated again and again and were ordered into numberless new combinations, and structure served chiefly as a convenient tool for attaining these effects. The complex, highly decorated baroque style was the chief manifestation of the 17th-century architectural aesthetic. The Georgian style was among architecture's notable 18th-century expressions (see Georgian architecture). The first half of the 19th cent. was given over to the classic revival and the Gothic revival.

New World, New Architectures

The architects of the later 19th cent. found themselves in a world being reshaped by science, industry, and speed. A new eclecticism arose, such as the architecture based on the École des Beaux-Arts, and what is commonly called Victorian architecture in Britain and the United States. The needs of a new society pressed them, while steel, reinforced concrete, and electricity were among the many new technical means at their disposal.

After more than a half-century of assimilation and experimentation, modern architecture, often called the International style, produced an astonishing variety of daring and original buildings, often steel substructures sheathed in glass. The Bauhaus was a strong influence on modern architecture. As the line between architecture and engineering became a shadow, 20th-century architecture often approached engineering, and modern works of engineering—airplane hangars, for example—often aimed at and achieved an undeniable beauty. More recently, postmodern architecture (see postmodernism), which exploits and expands the technical innovations of modernism while often incorporating stylistic elements from other architectural styles or periods, has become an international movement.


See S. F. Kimball and G. H. Edgell, A History of Architecture (1946, repr. 2002); T. Hamlin, Architecture through the Ages (rev. ed. 1953); S. Kostof, A History of Architecture: Settings & Rituals (1985); M. Trachtenberg and I. Hyman, Architecture: From Pre-History to Post-Modernism (1986); H. A. Millon, Key Monuments of the History of Architecture (1964); A. E. Richardson and H. O. Corfiato, The Art of Architecture (3d ed. 1972); K. Frampton, Studies in Tectonic Culture: The Poetics of Construction in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Architecture (1996); J. Fleming et al., The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (5th ed. 1999); N. Pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture (1st rev. ed., intro. by M. Forsyth, 2009); C. Harris, Dictionary of Architecture and Construction (4th ed. 2006); P. Goldberger, Why Architecture Matters (2011).

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The art and science of designing and building structures, or groups of structures, in keeping with aesthetic and functional criteria.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the system of buildings and structures forming the spatial environment for people’s lives and activities, and also the art of creating these buildings and structures in conformity with the rules of beauty. Architecture is a necessary part of the means of production (industrial architecture, such as plant buildings, factories, and electric power stations) and the material means of the existence of human society (civil architecture, including residential houses, public buildings, and others). Its artistic forms play an important role in the spiritual life of society. The functional, structural, and aesthetic qualities of architecture (usefulness, strength, beauty) are interrelated.

Architectural works consist of buildings enclosing an organized interior space, ensembles of buildings, and structures that give form to open areas (monuments, terraces, esplanades, and so on).

The object of purposeful organization is the space of the inhabited area as a whole. The construction of cities and settlements and the regulation of the entire system of habitation has developed into a special field that is an integral part of architecture—urban construction.

Architecture is created in conformity with the requirements and possibilities of society, which determine the functional purpose and artistic form of architectural works. Architecture not only provides the material conditions necessary for living processes but is also a factor in directing these processes. Being an objective reality, architecture helps society to perform various vital functions—that is, it influences society in its turn. Architecture’s organization of life processes is an important factor in the creation of its forms, the necessary basis of its graphic system, and a function that it ultimately cannot ignore if it is to fulfill its ideological and aesthetic tasks successfully.

As a rule, in a class society architectural works were created to meet the economic, ideological, social, and everyday needs of the ruling class. Under socialism, architecture seeks to effect the maximum satisfaction of the material and spiritual needs of the entire society. The new problems of architecture in many ways are determined by the high rate of social and technical progress. To prevent the buildings from becoming obsolete before the end of their structural lives, scientific predictions and the likelihood of functional alterations must be considered in the construction of architectural objects.

The most important means for the practical solution of the functional, ideological, and artistic problems of architecture is construction technology. It determines the possibility and economic advisability of the various spatial systems. In many ways the aesthetic properties of industrial architecture depend on the design. The building must not only be strong but must appear strong. An excess of material creates an impression of excessive weight; a visible (seeming) insufficiency of material is associated with instability and undependability and has an adverse emotional effect. As construction technology develops, new principles of architectural composition, conforming to the properties of the new materials and structures, may well conflict with traditional aesthetic views. But as the construction technology becomes more widespread and is assimilated, the forms determined by it not only cease to be apprehended as something unusual but become a source of emotional and aesthetic satisfaction to the masses. As for the traditional forms, under changing construction methods they may be retained as decorative details or as a symbolic expression of a definite aesthetic ideal, having lost their direct bearing on construetion (for instance, the order that originated in ancient Greece as an aesthetically apprehended trabeated stone structure is sometimes used in baroque and classic architecture as an artistic element, although not required for construction purposes).

The qualitative changes in construction technology and the creation of new structures and materials have had a significant impact on modern architecture. Of particular importance is the replacement of manual construction methods with industrial methods, resulting from overall industrial development and the need to accelerate the rates of mass construction; this change has required the introduction of standardization and of uniform structures and accessories. Standardization is bound to ensure that a great number of forms can be made from standard elements, conforming to the diversity of functional needs and helping to achieve the expressiveness of structures and their ensembles. Industrialization creates the necessary prerequisites for the broad development of mass construction. In the architecture of socialism, the quantitative possibilities which it provides are used to create conditions for the qualitative transformation of everyday life and its social forms and to ensure the growth of industrial production. The development of mass construction is part of the creation and development of the material and technical basis of communism. In keeping with social needs, architecture changes the environment by creating new purposefully designed structures. These become a new material phenomenon, a part of life, contributing to its enrichment; and they are the bearers of architectural and artistic images that reflect reality. The principles of realistic art are given a distinct expression in architecture, because of its nature. As distinct from painting or sculpture, architecture does not represent anything existing outside of itself. The artistic truth of architecture flows out of the completeness of the solution of social problems and the appropriateness of the material means employed. An evaluation of the aesthetic qualities of architecture always includes the concept of the functional use of the building, of its capacity to serve those vital needs for which it was designed.

The main means of creating an artistic image in architecture are spatial organization and architectonics. The design of a spatial composition with volume (including the internal organization of the structures) uses the principles of symmetry or asymmetry, nuances or contrasts achieved by juxtaposing the elements, their various rhythmic relations, and so forth. The relationship of the whole to its parts (the system of proportions) and the proportionality of the construction and its various forms to man (the scale) are very important. Also among the artistic tools of architecture are texture and color, in which diversity is achieved by various ways of treating the building’s surface. Architecture can solve artistic problems in combination with other forms of art (painting, sculpture, decorative applied art, artistic design), creating an integrated artistic image. The artistically integrated system of architectural forms that meets the functional and construction requirements is called architectural composition. Sometimes it encompasses a group of buildings and the space formed by them.

The concept of spatial forms of works of architecture consists in the comparison of visual impressions received from various points outside and inside the building. The necessity for a gradual viewing, unfolding in time, testifies to the kinship of architecture, which is a spatial art, with temporal arts (for example, music).

The architecture of various countries and peoples, while influenced by national and local peculiarities, develops also on the basis of mutual influence, which leads to the development of common methods and forms for groups of peoples.

The firm and distinctive common characteristics of an artistic form of architecture and its ideological content constitute its style. The most important style traits are expressed in the system of the functional and spatial organization of structures, in their architectonics, proportions, plastic qualities, and decor. An important place in modern architecture is occupied by the exchange of technical achievements. The principal differences in modern architecture derive from the existence of two social systems—capitalism and socialism. In socialist countries the identity of social aims and material and technical means and the unity of the ideological and artistic principles of architecture have helped to form its international substance, consisting of a fusion of the most progressive national traits. The architecture of socialism as a whole is enriched by the distinctive contribution of every nation, based on specific national architectural traditions, natural and climatic conditions, and a number of other factors.

History of the development of architecture. The birth of architecture goes back to the time of the primitive communal system, when the first artificially constructed dwellings and settlements came into being. The simplest methods of organizing space on a rectangular or circular base were then mastered, and the development of construction systems with supporting walls or posts and a conical, double sloping, or flat beam roof took place. Natural materials were used (wood, stone), and raw bricks were made. The end of the primitive society was marked by the construction of forts with walls or earthen banks and moats. In megalithic structures (menhirs, dolmens, cromlechs), the combination of vertical and horizontal blocks of stone is evidence of the further mastery of the laws of architectonics (the cromlech in Stonehenge, Great Britain).

With the rise of states, a new form of settlement came into being—the city as the seat of government, crafts, and trade. The diversity of structures increased, the difference between them being determined not only by their function but by whether they were designed for the ruling class or the exploited masses. In a class society, social relations and not man’s relations with nature are the determining factors in architecture. In the large, slaveholding tyrannies, the concentration of power and material resources in the hands of a small number of leaders, the exploitation of an immense number of slaves, and scientific and technical advances gave rise to the construction of large irrigation systems and monumental palaces and temples, all intended to uphold the permanence and power of the deity and the deified rulers. These developments are exemplified in such structures as the pyramids in Giza and the temples in Karnak and Luxor—all of them in Egypt; the ziggurats of Assyria and Babylonia; the palaces of ancient Iran; the stupas of India; and the temples and palaces in Central and South America. During the slaveholding era the construction of the greatest fortifications in the world began—the Great Wall of China. The construction of monumental buildings that overwhelm by the massiveness of their design was based on enormous expenditures of primitive physical labor. The creation of such structures bears witness to the accumulation of construction experience and the development of principles of buildings and ensembles.

Under the conditions of a slaveholding democracy in ancient Greece, an integral system of city-states (poleis) was created. A regular system of city planning evolved, consisting of a rectangular pattern of streets and a square—the center of commerce and public life. A residential house was developed whose buildings faced the internal spatial nucleus—a small court. The cultic center of the city as well as the center of the architectural plan was the temple that was erected atop the acropolis. The classically perfect type of temple was the peripteros (for example, the Parthenon in Athens). The developed social life of the polis engendered such types of buildings as the theater, the stadium, and others. The system of classical orders evolved.

In ancient Rome, an immense Mediterranean state and inheritor of the traditions of Greek architecture, structures that expressed the might of the republic (later the empire) and met the needs of a slaveholding state became important. The range of engineering constructions expanded, and the construction of bridges and aqueducts becáme very expert. The introduction of new construction materials (concrete) was an incentive to erecting large structures. Efficient construction methods, whose scope became gigantic, were developed. Large ensembles (centers of public life—the forums) and public buildings designed to accommodate huge masses of people were created: the amphitheaters (the Colosseum in Rome), theaters, baths, covered markets, and basilicas. A type of apartment house was developed and perfected. It opened onto an inner secluded space (atrium, peristyle). In the overpopulated cities, five- and six-story apartment houses for the poor came into being—the insulae. Arched and vaulted construction became very common (the Pantheon in Rome, roofed by a huge dome), which also developed in the architecture of Hellenistic Parthia. The architecture of the Roman Empire changed from classical and functional to heavy, magnificent, and at times exaggerated forms and complicated plans; the decorative elements were emphasized. The order, which became inseparable from the concept of beauty in architecture, was often superimposed on the concrete wall or arch as part of its facing.

During the feudal era, architecture developed through a more differentiated division of labor. The labor of slaves gave way to the activity of professional artisans. Under feudalism the distribution range of monumental architecture expanded considerably, extending to Europe, Asia, a large part of Africa, and part of America. However, nonuniform development and the influence of local conditions and traditions had a greater influence on feudal architecture than they had exerted on the architecture of slaveholding civilizations. Feudal wars compelled the broad development of fortifications, which protected the cities and the residences of the feudal lords (the castles and palaces of France, Germany, Spain, and other European countries and of Middle Asia and Transcaucasia; Russian kremlins and monastery-fortresses). The ideological domination of religion was the impetus for a widespread construction of cultic edifices. A new problem, which Byzantine architecture was solving, was the designing of the internal spaces of Christian churches with room for crowds of thousands and the creation within them of a special, unworldly atmosphere. In addition to basilicas and central domed buildings, domed basilicas and domed and cross-vaulted churches appeared. Spherical domes were combined with a right-angled plane system of supports (Hagia Sophia in Constantinople). The design was clearly expressed in the architectural form of cross-vaulted churches. Byzantine architecture had a wide influence on the architecture of Slavic states in the Balkans (Bulgaria, Serbia), Transcaucasia (Armenia, Georgia), and ancient Rus’. The specific character of the architecture of the ancient regional Russian school, which developed after the collapse of the Kievan state, was determined by local social conditions and construction traditions and by the materials used. The architecture of the Vladimir-Suzdal’ principality is characterized by the richly sculptured decorations on the white stone structures (the palace ensemble in Bogoliubov, the Uspenskii and Dimi-trievskii cathedrals in Vladimir). The Novgorod buildings are marked by a severe laconism of stately forms (Georgievskii Cathedral in the Iur’ev Monastery). The asymmetrical buildings of Pskov, built of flagstones, have a natural picturesque-ness. The architecture of ancient Rus’ is remarkable for its honesty, the clearly articulated design, and the spatial organization of the building. After a half-century hiatus in architectural development (1240–90), caused by the Mongol-Tatar invasion, Novgorod, Pskov, and Moscow became the main architectural centers, where ancient Russian traditions were developed in a distinctive manner. With the reunification of the Russian lands under Moscow rule, a uniform, Russian architectural school developed. The Moscow Kremlin ensemble was the prototype for the kremlins of other cities and served as the nucleus of the radial-circular structure of growing Moscow. The type of tentlike church towers which developed in the 16th century was vividly distinctive (the Voz-nesenie church in Kolomenskoe, today within the limits of Moscow). Diversity of forms and a festive picturesqueness are typical of 17th-century Russian architecture. In addition to stone architecture, an important place was occupied by wooden buildings, which achieved a high degree of perfection in the 17th and 18th centuries (the Preobrazhenskaia church in the Kizhi churchyard, the Uspenskii Church in Kondopoga, and others).

In the countries of Western and Central Europe, with the rebirth of cities at the end of the tenth century, there began the development of the stone residential house, two and three stories high with workshops and stores below. Architecture of the Romanesque style developed. Cultic architecture was marked by the appearance of monastery complexes with enclosed courts surrounded by arcades (cloisters) and with massive, heavy, basilican churches. In the second half of the 12th century in France, Gothic architecture began to develop, a reflection of the highest stage of the development of the productive forces of feudal society and the strengthening of cities, giving rise to new kinds of public building (town halls and the houses of craft associations and guilds). Massive construction was replaced by timber frames in which the material was used with the utmost efficiency; the interior space was freed by being developed vertically (cathedrals: in Paris, Rheims, and Amiens in France; in Freiburg and Cologne in Germany; in Canterbury, Great Britain; in Burgos, Spain; in Prague; and in Krakow). In residential construction, in addition to stone buildings, half-timber construction was now used—a timber-framed building filled with brick or stone.

A great contribution to the development of feudal architecture was made by the peoples of the Arabic East. The cities of Middle Asia—Bukhara, Merv, Termez, Khiva, Samarkand—were major centers of feudal culture. Their monumental buildings—covered markets, caravansaries, madrasahs, and domed mosques and mausoleums were built from fired bricks with extensive use of ceramic, that is, cut mosaic on the outer walls (ensembles of Shah Zindeh and Rigistan square, and the Gur Amir mausoleum in Samarkand). A strict symmetry of composition marked the large trade and cultic buildings rising among the picturesque residential quarters consisting of low structures of clay or adobe.

The architecture of feudal India is distinguished by diversity. The striving to achieve concrete artistic images expressing awe and admiration for the tempestuous nature of the tropics engendered an extraordinary plasticity of monumental construction, approaching the plastic qualities of sculpture. The architecture of Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Ceylon, the countries of the Indochinese peninsula) developed under the influence of Indian architecture. In Chinese architecture, the regularity of city planning was complemented by a strict symmetry in the organization of the space of buildings, whose axes were oriented according to the points of the compass. Geometric precision was subtly combined with regard for the natural peculiarities of the locality. Residential buildings were constructed of trabeated wooden frames, sometimes filled with brick and divided by light wooden partitions with latticed windows. The lightness of the dwelling contrasted with the monumentality of palace and cultic structures and fortifications (the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven in Peking). Japanese architecture was long under the influence of Chinese architecture. In Japan, wooden framework buildings were brought to a point of lofty artistic perfection. Characteristically, both the Chinese and the Japanese architects were adept at utilizing the natural landscape and in developing an artificial landscape.

An important stage in the development of architecture came with Renaissance culture, which began in the 15th century in the cities of Tuscany (Italy) and developed during the 15th and 16th centuries in many countries of Western and Central Europe. The socioeconomic process of a disintegrating feudal system and the development of bourgeois relations gave rise to a powerful cultural movement. Medieval religious ideology was opposed by humanism, which sought support in its antique heritage; this heritage found a vivid reflection in the architecture of public buildings, palaces, and country estates. The master builder was replaced by the widely educated architect, a specialist conversant with all the achievements of contemporary culture. The spontaneous asymmetry of gradually developing ensembles gave way to clear, perfect geometric systems expressive of the conscious organizing principle (a new approach to architecture was expressed in the palazzo—a kind of house-palace in which the relevance of every element is seen in the concentration of the building around a closed symmetrical court and in the strict symmetry of the facade). The Italian architects turned to the clear system of orders of Roman antiquity (the works of F. Brunelleschi, L. B. Alberti, Michelozzo, Luciano Laurana, Bramante, Michelangelo). During the Renaissance, architectural theory developed (tracts by L. B. Alberti, Vignola, Palladio). Renaissance architecture beyond the frontiers of Italy was less consistent in overcoming medieval traditions and experienced a complicated and lengthy evolution.

The Counter Reformation and return to feudalism in Italy in the second half of the 16th century drastically altered the character of that country’s architectural development. From the late 16th to the 18th century the main patrons of architecture were the church and the nobility, who demanded a brilliantly emotional setting for magnificent theatrical ceremonies—both cultic and social. The logical nature of architectural compositions of the Renaissance and the finished quality of its component parts were replaced by baroque architecture, with its complicated systems of merging spaces, rich plastic forms, abundant use of decorative sculpture, and the illusion-creating effects of painting, which had a visually destructive effect on the material qualities of walls and ceilings. In baroque architecture, the building is closely bound up with the space surrounding it (the cathedral in the colonnade-enclosed St. Peter’s Square in Rome). In addition to Italy (the works of L. Bernini, F. Borromini, and G. Guarini), baroque architecture became widespread in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. The influence of Spanish and Portuguese baroque, in combination with the traditions of the precolonial period, gave rise to the baroque architecture of Latin American countries, which is marked by extreme decorative extravagance.

In 17th-century France, the triumph of absolutism, the development of industry and trade, and the growth of cities led to the rise of architectural classicism. The rationalistic philosophy underlying it was reflected in the strictness of geometric compositions; the system of architectural orders was widely used as a decorative motif. The principle of regular composition extended to the organization of gardens, parks, and city squares (the works of L. Le Vau, J. Hardouin Mansart, A. Lenôtre). Open vistas through the suites of halls revealed the town estates and the parks of suburban mansions (Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles, and others in France). The development of architectural classicism continued in France (J.-A. Gabriel, C. N. Ledoux) and other European countries in the second half of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century after a short-lived burst of the decorative and fanciful rococo style. The consolidated bourgeoisie supported classicism. During the rule of Napoleon, classicism developed into the cold splendor of Empire style. In England, picturesque parks, which imitated nature, were created in contrast to the classicist style of architectural structures.

The transitional period in the history of Russian architecture was between the 17th and 18th centuries. The reorganization brought about by Peter I was an incentive for strengthening secular principles and, hence, for expanding civil construction. New types of public and administrative buildings, industrial structures, and ports sprang up; suburban palaces were constructed, and regular parks laid out. The main task of Russian architecture at the beginning of the 18th century was the development of the newly founded St. Petersburg. The city was so designed that the regularity of its plan was flexibly coordinated with the natural landscape. Simplicity and rationality distinguish the structures of the times of Peter I. In the middle of the 18th century, baroque tendencies became manifest in Russian architecture (the works of B. Rastrelli and S. I. Chevakinskii in St. Petersburg and D. V. Ukhtomskii in Moscow). Typical of the Russian baroque is the rich plastic and color treatment of facades combined with clarity of planes and volume composition. In the last third of the 18th century the baroque yielded to classicism, whose founders in Russia were A. F. Kokorinov, V. I. Bazhenov, M. F. Kazakov, and I. E. Starov. The end of the 18th century and the first third of the 19th century were marked by the creation of the largest monumental city ensembles in the centers of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Yaroslavl’, Kostroma, Poltava, and other cities (A. D. Zakharov, A. N. Voronikhin, J. Thomas de Thomon, K. Rossi, V. P. Stasov, O. Beauvais, D. Gilardi). This period of architecture is marked by the wide scope of spatial compositions and the stately splendor of artistic images, which reflected the patriotic ideas of the times. Through “model plans,” which were prescribed as the basis for construction, classicism extended to ordinary urban construction.

In the 1830’s to the 1850’s, classicism began to decline everywhere. The strengthening of the capitalist social order in Europe and the USA in the second half of the 19th century and the development of industry led to the rapid growth of cities and the construction of new types of industrial, trade, transport, and other structures: workshops, multistory factory buildings, stations, covered markets, department stores, exhibition pavilions, office buildings, banks, and stock exchanges. In addition to private houses, multistory “income” apartment houses and, for the workers, barracks and huts were constructed. The growth of construction and the demands of profitability led to the search for time-shortening work methods and labor and materials savings. These purposes were served by the achievements of industrial technology. The use of metal, glass, and, at the end of the century, ferroconcrete became widespread. Standardization of construction parts developed. New construction systems for spanning large openings and skeleton frames for multistory buildings were devised. It became possible for architecture to improve functional, technical, and artistic qualities and to create new designing systems and principles of architectonics. Spacious buildings of metal and glass (the Crystal Palace in London, 1851; engineer J. Paxton) and tall buildings with a metal framework (Eiffel Tower in Paris, 1889; engineer G. Eiffel) were constructed. A group of architects of the Chicago school in the USA created the first skyscrapers, based on principles of logical construction and functional design. However, the influence of the tastes of the new client (the bourgeoisie), the division of labor in construction work, and the separation of architectural work from engineering and technical decisions relegated architects to decorating buildings; innovative design was concealed under a treatment that imitated the styles of past eras. The forms of one or another historical style (classicism, baroque, Gothic) were adapted to the rhythm and the system of proportions established by the engineer who designed the building, and sometimes the decorations were of mixed forms borrowed from various styles (eclecticism). Attempts were made to resolve the contradictions between architecture and new techniques and between archaic forms and the functions of buildings, through the so-called modern style, which originated in the 1890’s. Rejecting the importance of traditions and taking advantage of the freedom of design afforded by the metal structures, the followers of this trend concentrated their attention on problems of form which at times was representational in character. The individualistic tendencies of the modern style were brought to an extreme in the works of A. Gaudi (Spain), while his rationalistic aspirations were reflected in the work of C. R. Mackintosh (Great Britain), H. van de Velde and V. Horta (Belgium), F. O. Shekhtel’ (Russia), and others. At the beginning of the 20th century there was a search for new architectural forms, and by combining the achievements of technology with classical principles of composition (A. Perret of France, O. Wagner and A. Loos of Austria, and P. Behrens of Germany), a direct revival of classicism was attempted (I. A. Fomin, V. A. Shchuko, and I. V. Zholtovski of Russia, E. Lutyens of Great Britain, H. Bacon of the USA, and others). After 1917 the development of architecture in capitalist society was more and more beset by contradictions, reflecting on the one hand the egotistic interests of the ruling class and its reactionary ideology and, on the other, the continuing development of productive forces, the social nature of production, and the growing strength of the working masses (construction of so-called low-cost housing which was intended to ameliorate the political urgency of the housing crisis; cooperative construction; construction carried out by communist municipalities in France). Architecture also experienced the direct influence of Soviet architecture. Rationalism was born, the moving force of which is the building’s strict structural conformity to the organization of industrial and everyday life processes that occur within it. With the aid of technological achievements, the rationalists (Le Corbusier in France; the group of Bauhaus architects— W. Gropius, H. Meyer, the early L. Mies van der Rohe in Germany; and J. J. Oud in the Netherlands) sought the means of expression in laconism and the contrasting qualities of forms, attaching prime importance to the design and the technical foundation of a building and to its functional organization. In the 1930’s functionalism, spreading to all capitalist countries, in many cases became indifferent to the specific nature of local conditions, serving as a glorification of bourgeois pragmatism. It was introduced in undeveloped and dependent countries as a symbol of political and cultural domination by the West, at times combining oddly with the deliberately exotic “colonial” style. Before World War II, neoclassicism gained headway in a number of countries; its exaggerated monumental forms, devoid of the humanistic principles inherent in classicism, were used to express reactionary ideologies (fascist architecture in Germany and Italy). The endeavors of functionalists to develop an international language of forms, based on modern technology, was opposed by organic architecture (its founder was F. L. Wright, USA), which sought to incorporate in its constructions the distinctive characteristics of a specific place and the individual needs of people for whom the building was being erected; the extrasocial nature of the humanistic tendencies of organic architecture gave rise to its individualistic extremes.

During the postwar years the principles of functionalism were interpreted in keeping with local conditions and cultural traditions: the architecture of Finland (A. Aalto), Japan (K. Tange), and Brazil (O. Niemeyer) combined innovations with brilliantly expressed national traits. This tendency was in opposition to the claims to international leadership by architects in the USA, where L. Mies van der Rohe put forward a universal concept reducing architecture to the simplicity of elementary geometric bodies and unbroken spaces. The idea of the universality of form—its independence of local conditions and the purpose of the buildings—underlies American neoclassicism of the 1960’s, which combines modern technical means with symmetrical compositions and the salon-like beauty of details (the works of E. Stone). In contrast, a style known as brutalism was developed, which combines the clean-cut functional organization of structures with the deliberate massiveness and rough surfaces of bare constructions (the works of L. Kahn and P. Rudolph). Many large designing firms, eschewing a definite direction, seek only to follow the mode.

In European architecture of the late 1950’s and the 1960’s, irrational, subjectively arbitrary forms originated as a protest against bourgeois smugness and as a reflection of the conflict between the individual and society (the late works of Le Corbusier). Their unusualness, however, was used by the bourgeoisie for self-advertisement. Then came brutalism (A. Smithson and P. Smithson, Great Britain). The modern possibilities of construction technology, which creates complicated spatial forms of ferroconcrete exteriors and shrouding, were given artistic meaning in the constructions of P. L. Nervi in Italy, F. Candela in Mexico, and A. E. Reidy in Brazil, and in a number of buildings at the latest world expositions. The bourgeois politicians allot more and more attention to the ideological influence of architecture on the masses. Democratic architectural and artistic tendencies are forced out by capitalist competition and the pressure of official ideology.

The nature of the architectural process in the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa is complicated by the frequent clashing between the wish to create original architecture responsive to modern demands and the tendency to accept purely nationalistic leanings, along with the influence of architectural works produced by large capitalist countries. Soviet architects are rendering extensive help to a number of countries (UAR, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Burma).

In socialist society, architecture, for the first time in history, is in the service of all the people, seeking to meet their growing material and spiritual needs. The architectural problems of the USSR and other socialist countries are dealt with on the basis of a planned development of popular art forms. The regular formation of a system of population distribution as a whole, and of the settled areas within it, has become feasible. The needs of socialist society have determined the main exploratory directions of Soviet architecture. As early as the 1920’s, residential houses and public buildings of a new type, suited to the new social functions (palaces of culture, workers’ clubs, factory kitchens, kindergartens, and nurseries) were being constructed. Residential houses with communal socialized domestic services (known as house-communes) were built. The functional layout of the interior space of the building was the determining factor in grouping its volumes. The principle of a clearly expressed social role of the structure and its composition acquired artistic significance. Various creative groups participated in the creation of Soviet architecture of the 1920’s and the beginning of the 1930’s: the constructivists headed by the Vesnin brothers and M. Ia. Ginzburg, the rationalists (K. S. Mel’nikov, N. A. Ladovskii and others), architects of the older generation (A. V. Shchusev, I. V. Zholtovskii, I. A. Fomin, and others). These groups followed different professional paths but were unanimous in their aspiration to find the solution of the new social problems faced by architecture. The country’s industrialization during the first five-year plans was accompanied by the mass construction of large industrial complexes, housing developments, and entire cities (Magnitogorsk, Komsomol’sk-na-Amure, Zaporozh’e, and others). In the amalgamated quarters of Kharkov, Zaporozh’e, and Leningrad (architects P. A. Aleshin, A. A. Ol’, G. A. Simonov, and B. R. Rubanenko), the foundations of a modern microraion with a developed system of services for the people were being laid. In the second half of the 1930’s, the use of traditional structures in mass construction led to a temporary abandonment of modern methods and forms and a return to the architectural traditions of the past. Leanings toward splendor appeared in architecture, which at times were contrary to the solution of modern social problems.

Nevertheless, this period was marked by the development of essential ideas of urban construction, such as the concept of the city as an integral spatial system. Achievements of the period included general plans for the reconstruction of Moscow (1935) and Leningrad (1935–1940). Broad gains were achieved in the construction of administrative, transport, cultural, and public service buildings, sanatoriums, spas, and other public buildings; also constructed were the Moscow subway (architects A. N. Dush-kin, I. A. Fomin, and others), the Moscow-Volga Canal, the All-Union Agricultural Exposition in Moscow, and large buildings and complexes. During the postwar years, immense problems for the restoration and reconstruction of wrecked cities were resolved. Orderliness and good organization were introduced into the structure of many cities. Ensembles of centers in Volgograd, Kiev, Minsk, and other cities were erected. The profound creative restructuring of Soviet architecture in the second half of the 1950’s, which aimed at overcoming false splendor and archaic forms, opened up broad new possibilities for dealing with the social, ideological, and artistic tasks of architecture. The development of industrial construction involved the introduction of standardization and classification by type. The monotony and uniformity of the first large housing developments are being overcome by perfected construction methods (increasing the number of house types and their diversity) and a new approach to spatial composition. Mixed construction of buildings of various heights is common; it enhances the silhouettes of the new districts and their spatial organization, making possible the use of the landscape’s distinctive qualities (sections in the Khimki-Khovrino Raion in Moscow, architects K. S. Alabian, N. N. Selivanov, and others; in Zhirmunai Raion in Vilnius, architects B. B. Kaspera-vichene and others). In constructing public buildings, advanced technical methods are in general use, enabling the development of systems of majestic spaces and the creation of simple structures, laconic in design, with a free volume and plan construction harmonizing with the surroundings (Palace of Congresses in Moscow, architects M. V. Posokhin and others; Pioneers’ Palace in Kiev, architects A. M. Miletskii, E. M. Bil’skii; Palace of Arts in Tashkent, architects V. V. Berezin and others; and Moscow Airport in Sheremet’evo, architects G. A. El’kin and others). Prefabricated construction materials have been used to build recreation complexes that harmonize well with nature, outstanding among which are the Pioneer camps of Artek (architects A. T. Polianskii and others). Great gains have been made in the field of industrial construction and in the architecture of hydrotechnical structures. Among the greatest urban construction projects connected with the development of existing cities are the Kalinin Prospect in Moscow (architect M. V. Posokhin), the building construction along the shore regions of Vasil’evskii Island in Leningrad (architects N. V. Baranov, V. A. Kamenskii, S. G. Evdokimov, and others), and the memorial center development in Ul’ianovsk (architects B. S. Mezentsev and others).

The problem of infusing architecture with a new social content related to the national welfare is also being dealt with by architects of other socialist countries, by whose efforts cities that have suffered during World War II have been restored (Warsaw, Berlin, and others), old cities are being reconstructed (Sofia, Bucharest, Bratislava, and others), new cities have been created (Dunaujvaros, Eisenhutten-stadt, and others), and numerous housing developments for workers are being built. An architecture of socialist society, unique in its social content and yet diversified, is developing. The growing role of the artificial environment created by architecture makes its artistic tasks ever more complicated and challenging, while the development and perfecting of construction techniques open up new material possibilities for the embodiment of diverse and daring concepts.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


The art and science of designing buildings.
The product of this art and science.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. The art and science of designing and building structures, communities, or open areas, in keeping with aesthetic and functional criteria.
2. Structures built in accordance with such principles.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. the art and science of designing and superintending the erection of buildings and similar structures
2. a style of building or structure
3. buildings or structures collectively
4. the internal organization of a computer's components with particular reference to the way in which data is transmitted
5. the arrangement of the various devices in a complete computer system or network
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Design, the way components fit together. The term is used particularly of processors, both individual and in general. "The ARM has a really clean architecture". It may also be used of any complex system, e.g. "software architecture", "network architecture".
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


To design a hardware or software structure. See architecture.

architecture police

The individuals in an organization responsible for enforcing hardware and software standards during the development of systems. The more creative the employees, the more friction between them and the architecture police. See logo police.

computer architecture

The design of a computer system. It sets the standard for all devices that connect to it and all the software that runs on it. It is based on the type of programs that will run (business, scientific) and the number of programs that run concurrently.

Space and Time
All components in a computer are based on space (how much) and time (how fast). One example is the amount of memory a computer can access and how fast it can access it. Another is the width of the channels (16-bit, 32-bit, etc.) between the CPU and memory and between the CPU and peripheral devices and how fast they transfer data.

The way a computer's instructions are designed is a fundamental architectural component. The trend toward large, complicated instruction sets was reversed with RISC computers, which use simpler instructions. The result is a leaner, faster computer, but requires that the compilers generate more code for complex functions that used to be handled in hardware. Both CISC and RISC architectures are widely used. See RISC.

Special Purposes
Computers designed for single purposes, such as vector processors and database machines, require special architectures. In addition, computers designed from the ground up for fault tolerance also require unique designs.

network architecture

(1) The design of a communications system, which includes the backbones, routers, switches, wireless access points, access methods and protocols used. See communications protocol, LAN and enterprise networking.

(2) May refer only to the access method in a LAN, such as Ethernet or Token Ring. See access method.

software architecture

An umbrella term for the design of software. All software interacts with other software, and there are rules for creating those interfaces. Operating systems set a standard that applications must follow, and applications may be designed to conform to other standards. There is a design, or architecture, in pretty much everything in the information field from feasibility study, through development to the final installation.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants, holding, first, that Oravec could not prove that the designs of the Trump buildings, though similar, were so substantially similar at the level of protected expression as to infringe his architectural works, and, next, that the construction of a building could not, as a matter of law, infringe the copyright in a PGS work, and, thus, that Oravec could not prevail on this claim against the defendants--even if there had been substantial similarities between the designs depicted in Oravec's PGS work and the Trump buildings.
In the former case, the architectural refabrication emerges as an unauthentic copy or replica; in the latter case, it emerges as an authentic re-instantiation (or 'resurrection') of the architectural work.
In the United States, in contrast, the Act provides that the owner of a building may, without the consent of the author or copyright owner of the architectural work, make alterations to, and even destroy, that building.
Mohamed Timbely, Senior Director, Architecture and MEP at Qatar Rail, briefed attendees on the Doha Metro's architectural works - materials and finishes, on Qatar Rail's architectural branding guidelines as well as on the status and opportunities for materials and FF&E (Furniture, fixtures, and equipment).
The first phase for the project's architectural works, covering 37 stations, is slated for completion by 2018 while the second, extending to 60 stations, by 2030.
Scholars in various art disciplines, but also from such fields as mathematics and mechanical engineering consider such topics as visual and semantic ambiguity in art, the morphology of the amorphous, the tonal structure of music and controlling chaos in the brain, complexity in the Mesoamerican artistic and architectural works, and pseudo-urban automatic pattern generation.
"Architectural Works for Doha Metro - Phase One" was organised to shed light on Qatar Rail's procurement strategy, the packages and prequalification process, and the projects including the interior fit-out for the stations, the structure for the elevated stations as well as the landscaping plans.
Like the stories of Poe, Eisenman's architectural works are serial by nature; they anagrammatize each other in describing their own construction to the exclusion of all else'.

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