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Eastern Europe hunts 40,000 BCE: huts of circular plants, huts from 44,000 and 12,000 years ago.

Neolithic Period (8,000-4,000) BCE: Agriculture stablished and sedentary lifestyle made the construction of permanent housing. More complex social organisation and different types of building appeared. The first Neolithic city was Çatal Hüyük.
Çatal Hüyük: Commercial network and transport of minerals. Set up as a large number of rectanfular buildings clustered together. No front door. Population: 10,000.



Large cities that were permanently inhabited. Writing is developed 3,000BCE. Urban architecture was made by adobe or brick. Ziggurats: Sumerian Ziggurats had a ore of raw, sun dried adobe brick and a covering of fired brick with a thick mortar of bituminous material that give high resistance. They are temples built on top of natural or artificial platforms. The structure resembles the Pyramids of Egipts but they are more similars to pyramids o Central America.

EGYPT (3,500 BCE)

Is necessary to consider the Nile River in order to understand the egipcian culture. Egypt developed a civilisation that survived almost 3000 years. Lifestyle was paceful and of high quality. The river and the sun are the two most important axes for egiptians.

City of Lahum (1895 BCE)

A rectangle with the acropolis, temple zones, administrative zones, palaces, medium zones…

Temples: Most important public places, place of veneration and center of learning and training for the administration of the country. House of gods. It represents the architecture of permanence and immutability. Its purpose was continuity and order. Large masses and monotonous regularity expressed solidity as a symbol of durability, guarantee of safety and unbreakability.

Pyramids: Egiptians were obsessed with life, too good to end, hence the cult of dead, reflected in pyramids, eternal constructions. The architect Imhotep (27th century BCE) chnges funerary architecture by inventing the stepped pyramid.


Learned from Egyptian Architecture and sculpture by the exaltation of human capabilities. Greek architecture expresses the equilibrium between vertical (columns) and horizontal (beams of the entablature). Each element was carefully worked for satisfying gods. Greeks sought to ensure inmortality for human race seenn from the intelectual point of view.

The Polis: the cities grew up around fortifications perched on high ground (acropolis). It is a grid-based plot in which buildings are organised by zones and functions. The main streets inlcueded an open meeting space (agora). Was first configurated by private hohsed and shops.

Temples: Dedicated to a divinity. It was placed on a base (stylobate). Inside the nucleus was a cella, a very simple closed space, where the divine image was kept. At first, they were made of wood 1,050 BCE. The interior space is hardly treated. The façade deserved maximum artistic attention (public rites were clebrated in the altar in front of the twmple). The partenon dedicated to Athena is a doric temple , octasyle 8 columns in the front.

Theatre and Stadiums

The largests open air buildings. They were very important for the culture.

Stadiums were not only for entertainment but for sportive events.

Theatres were usually located on the slopes of a hill. The scene of the greeks was lower than roman ones. They were of harmoniuous proportions and the surrounding landscape serves as theatrical frame. They had excelent acoustics and capacity.


The greek architecture was that of the sculptural volumes organized in balance contrast with the landscape. Greek houses were simple . they had central courtyard, peristyle around which the rooms were located. There are no Greek houses left in good conditions.

ROMANS (1,100-476 BCE)

Roman architecture was universal, embodying the essence of the romanitas. with the discovery of concrete the romans ceated new forms and were able to experiment with interior space, lights and shadows. The most singular technical advance was the covareage of large public spaces with arches, vaults and domes (except for temples). They didnt follow constructive ideals but stability, functionality amd magnificence.

Temples: The romans used the greek clasical order. Romans are more related to naturalism, vitality and energy of the Etruscans than to greek rationality. To the greek orders (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) two orders were added: Tuscan and Composite. Romans also experimented with other typle plants (circular, cruciform) They took elements from other Etruscan villages; arch and vault. they developed domes to cover buildings solving the technical problems of Greece. The Pantheon of Rome (118-128 CE) is the religious building that best represents the achievements of Rome. Temple is dedicated to all gods. incluiding the deified Emperor Augustus.

Civil works: Romans were specialists in the design of infreastructures.

Sewage networks





Commemorative Buildings:
Triumphal Arches: Ceremonial works and a spurce of architectural and sculptural details. The Arch of Constantine is a rectangular structure with 3 openings. There are columns on pedestals that rise up ton an entablature.

Commemorative Columns: Made up to commemorate an important event such a military victory.

Thermal Baths: Played an important social role. Places to exersice the body, a library, a school, a place for commercial relations… They contained: Apodyterium, Tepidarium, Caldarium…

Theatre: Roman thetre derive from the greek model but are of greater proportions. They were not embedded in slopes. Their steps where built on radial systems of inclined concrete vaults raised on stone pillars. Thery were perfectly semicircular and not horseshoe like the Greeks. Its function was different. They were to perform Roman and Greek plays, without relitgios purposes. The scene was closed behind and decorated. The main parts were: Scenae, Orchestra, Cavea.

Amphitheater :

The amphitheatres are the main Roman architecture’s innovation.They present a double theatre with elliptical scene and a continuous grandstand. They were dedicated to fights between gladiators with beasts, or between them, and other similar mass spectacles (45,000-55,000 spectators). The most known amphitheatre is the Colosseum in Rome.


The basilicæ were conceived as courts of justice for legal proceedings. They were usually rectangular, with central nave and aisles with a stage and apse at each of the two ends.


The Roman circus was destined for races. The Circus Maximus of Rome, the oldest and most imposing, had a capacity of more than 385,000 spectators.




(tabernæoms )










The insulæ were the dwellings of the plebeians who constituted the most numerous part of the population.They were built with low quality materials and wood.


Romans structured the city with an orthogonal planning, derived from the camps (castrum).

The two main orthogonal streets were drawn from the forum:

  • Cardus (North-South)
  • Decumanus (East – West)

Roman cities had a system of walls and fortified gates.


From the 5th century due to the Barbarians.
In 395 CE, after the death of Theodosius, the empire was divided into Eastern and Western Roman Empire.

Finally in 476 CE the Western Roman Empire disappears, while in the east it is maintained and developed, with its center in Constantinople (until 1453).

Roman legacy:

What was left of the Roman Empire became Christianized. Churches and other religious buildings became the only important architecture

High Middle Ages (6th century, Bizantines)

Byzantine architecture is preeminently religious with an emphasis on the interior

As a result of charitable activities, there was also a demand to construct buildings for such purposes, such as hospices, hospitals and orphanages.


Hagia Sophia was built over the rule of Justiniano. Hagia Sophia represents the union between the Empire and the Church. Byzantine architecture is the architecture of heaven, full of symbolism.

Military Architecture

A defensive lifestyle is acquired, especially in the peripheries of the empire. The Byzantines brought different novelties to the military architecture: killers.



In medieval PRE-ROMANESQUE architecture, in addition to churches and monasteries that followed the Christian tradition from the Roman Empire, castles were developed.

The Lombards (6-8th century)

Converted to Christianity since the 5th century. No architectural tradition and no familiarity with stone constructions due to their nomadic character. Based on the ideological and conscious use of the plundered elements of Roman buildings, which are reused with a greater symbolic use.

Between the middle of the 7th century and the beginning of the 8th century, an ecclesiastical architecture was developed that takes up the model of the traditional Roman basilica and delineates a central floor typology.

Carolingian Empire (9th century)

They are characterized by the desire to reaffirm classical art in order to emulate the Roman Empire. (renovatio). Fundamental for the construction of monasteries throughout Europe. Monumental buildings such as palaces, cathedrals and monasteries were built again. A significant contribution to Western architecture was the introduction of the Westwerk, a very high building attached in front of the entrance of the most important churches, in an attempt to create a monumental façade.

The Saxons (Otonians) Holy Roman Empire (9-10th Century)

They dedicated themselves to the construction of religious buildings such as abbeys and cathedrals. Among the innovations of this architecture is the use of galleries or tribunes, as well as the alternation of supports (pillars and columns).

Islamic (Al Andalus) 8-15th Century

Islamic culture and architecture developed in most of the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and 15th centuries.
A common feature of Islamic architecture is the use of towers and water:

Towers are defensive elements but also viewpoints over the landscape.

In the gardens they design water routes and introduce different aromatic plants.

Islamic architecture produces new architectural types such as mosques and baths for religious and hygienic purposes.

Techniques such as ceramics and plaster (yeso) are used.

Romanesque 10th-12th Century

Due to the political instability, the feudal lords usually fortify the cities and the palaces that become castles (residences and military squares).
Due to the evangelization of religious orders, crusades and pilgrimages, the Romanesque is spread throughout Europe, giving rise to a multitude of variants, with a large presence of monasteries, abbeys, hospitals …

Education and mass evangelization, to such an extent that architecture and art are loaded with symbolism.

It is based on the use of the semicircular arch and the Roman vaults

The order of Cluny contributed to the spread of Romanesque architecture among its new foundations.

The last of these, Cluny III, became the largest temple in Christendom.

GOTHIC (12th-15th (16th) Century)

Gothic spread mainly in the territories furthest from the classical context and therefore more distant from their culture, considered as well as the art of the barbarians (Goths). The emergence of an artisan and commercial middle class made a new type of city flourish: the burgs.


The cathedral was the house of God. Habitual plan follows the basilica tradition with parallel naves. The transept moves towards the centre, increasing the development of the ambulatory, radial chapels and apses. Decorations are usually very fine frescoes directly on the stone or on altarpieces. Sculpture returns again to naturalistic realism.

Civil buildings:

There is a multitude of civil buildings, an expression of the new bourgeois social class and its new demands. At this moment, town halls, stately palaces, universities, fortresses, bastions, bridges, bell towers, shipyard… were built. Lonja de la seda (1482-1548) built by Pere Compte in Valencia.

RENAISSANCE (15th-16th Century)

The Church suffers a great crisis that leads to the schism of the West (1378-1417). In the 15th century in Italy and mainly in Florence, an important urban culture emerged, so merchants and bankers became protectors of art (patronage) and ordered buildings for themselves (palaces).
The Renaissance man trusts in his intellectual capacities, thinks that history is no longer a whole ordered by the hand of God and exalts the human being and his capacity to dominate Nature.

Humanism was a philosophy that emphasized the importance of human values.

The new architecture had to be rationally understandable, formed by planes and spaces organized according to clear and decipherable numerical proportions.

Filippo Brunelleschi 1377-1446

He rediscovered the laws of perspective by formulating the bases of mathematical perspective and applying it to architecture. His best-known work is the dome of Florence’s cathedral which, for its size and design, is a landmark in the city, symbol of a new civic value. He won a competition in 1418 to solve the dome so that it could be made without shoring. It was completed in only 16 years. It was the largest dome of this type built since antiquity.
Hospital of the Innocents, Florence (1419-1424), project supported by Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici.It is the first Renaissance building in which the system of proportions was put into practice: separation between columns is equal to their height, at the same time equal to the depth of the gallery, creating cubic spaces.

Leon Battista Alberti 1404-1472

Alberti is one of the great architects in both theory and practice.

He composes several treatises: De Pictura (3 books), De Statua and De Re Ædificatoria.
«Beauty is the harmony between all the parts of the whole according to a certain norm so that it is not possible to remove, put, or change anything without the whole becoming more imperfect.»

Alberti remodels the Rucellai palace in Florence. Alberti also designed the façade of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

The Malatestian Temple is the remodeling of a Gothic church. The façade is reminiscent of a triumphal arch and provided for the construction of a dome, larger than that of Brunelleschi, similar to that of the Pantheon in Rome.


A new sensualism was introduced, which has been called MANNERISM. Maintaining the classical architectural norms and elements, variations or deviations began to be made. This change introduced by Mannerism only as an insinuation was developed in the 16th century, opening the way to space and the Baroque style

Andrea Palladio 1508-1580

Based on his music studies, he designed his villas using numerical systems of proportionality for the rooms. In the villas he adapted the central body of the house to the forms of the ancient temple topped by a pediment. The use of a dome in a private residence was a novelty of Palladio, since until then the dome was reserved for churches.
He also built two churches in Venice (basilica of San Giorgio and Il Redentore). He also designed the Olympic theatre and the Basilica of Vicenza.

Michelangelo 1475-1564
Michelangelo Buonarroti was one of the greatest artists: sculptor, painter and architect. His work was developed in Florence and Rome. He illustrates the transition between Renaissance and Mannerism. In the Laurentian Library (Biblioteca Larenziana) he alternated curves and right angles, concave and convex shapes, to create a sense of movement and tension. The staircase is the protagonist of the space with three parts.

BAROQUE PERIOD (17th-18th Century)

Baroque derives from the term barrueco (imperfect pearl) used in a derogatory sense by French critics in the 18th century. Linked to the monarchy, the aristocracy and the Church, it emerged as propaganda and glorification of power.
The baroque supposes the spatial liberation of the rules of the treatises, of conventions, of elementary geometry and of everything static… that had already begun with the mannerists.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini 1598 -1680

Italian architect, sculptor and painter. He is the heir to Michelangelo’s sculptural strength and the main model of architectural Baroque in Europe.
Its architecture pursues the emotional impact.

Bernini designed a square with a composite elliptical and trapezoidal shape surrounded by Tuscan-Doric colonnades that represent the maternal arms of the Church.

Francesco Borromini 1599-1667

His work was always based on simple geometric elements, triangles, circles and ellipses. The façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is sinuous and concave with the idea of welcoming the visitor and integrating with the exterior urban space.
In San Ivo alla Sapienza, he uses equilateral circles and triangles, organised on a single star of David to form a space with a central floor plan and integrated side chapels.

ROCOCO (18th century)

More than a current, Rococo is an artistic fashion born in the French courtly environments.
It is distinguished by the frivolity and superficiality of a decorations faithful to themselves, with the aim of surprising and ostentation.

Marqués de Dos Aguas.

Neoclassicism 18th Century – (19th)
Ihe 18th century the Neoclassicism appeared. An incipient Romanticism and the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution (2nd half of the century) coexisted with late Baroque and Rococo.

With the Enlightenment and the explosion of human inquiry, a trend towards objective knowledge of history as a scientific discipline arose. The 18th century, called the Age of Enlightenment, with the support of the academies, spread a regulated and neo-classical taste. After the excesses of the baroque and rococo, a radical change towards a rational architecture was experienced. Neoclassicism was the formal expression that reflects in the arts the intellectual principles of the Enlightenment.

Neoclassical style Theoretical Neoclassicism was linked to the idea of public service and educational functions. In this context, museums were born with a didactic function.

Some French architects reinvented an architecture of pure geometric forms to express the interior function. Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux were the representatives of this new “talking architecture”. Utopian Architecture.

19th century

The industrialization of the Western world produced an increase in population and a migratory phenomenon towards the cities, which were left insufficient: the walls were demolished, the expansion began with industrial and worker neighbourhoods.

New construction materials provided by industry appeared: cast iron and glass.


Cities began to be overcrowded due to industrialisation, with abundant labour from the rural world, and factories generated a noisy, polluting atmosphere. Anti-Machinism was a critical current linked to Romantic picturesqueness that rejected the dreariness of the real world.

Art Nouveau, Modernism, Liberty, Jugendstyl

An aesthetic taste was developed that broke with historicism to follow new and modern ideas.

It is characterized by clean lines, curves and undulating inspired by nature and oriental art, with geometric formal simplification towards two-dimensionality. in spite of the rupture with the past, the formal expression is nourished by Japanism and romantic symbolism.


The openness to other cultures and civilizations leads to a reflection on the conventionality of artistic expressions in history in order to propose new points of view

After the First World War, the avant-garde movement moved further away from the crude reality of the world and nature, seeking the provocation and ridicule of Western culture

Art Nouveau – Modernisme

It is a “new art” that in Paris and Brussels is called Art Nouveau. Around 1910 it was extinguished due to the excessive cost of handcrafted products.
In Valencia, the modernist works of more interest are the Estación del Norte, the Colon market, the Central Market, the Casa Ferrer…

Modernism developed in Catalonia at the end of the 19th century. Antoni Gaudí went through a modernist period, but later he produced an original architecture, typical of Catalonia, based on the Mudejar tradition and the medieval past. He used the trencadís technique, a kind of mosaic made from fragments of ceramic tiles joined with mortar.

Expressionism 1910 – 1924

The diffusion of photography, which well represents reality, demystifies realistic art by rethinking plastic art. As in painting, expressionist architecture is built with expression, distorting the rational form to express the spirit. by 1920’s dissapeared.

Cubism, Futurism Early 20th century

The idea of simultaneous vision of CUBISM will be translated with Gropius in the glass surfaces that eliminate the separations between interior and exterior.

FUTURISM in architecture translates into the “movement” and mutation of an architectural space in time, where the technology of machines, and oblique lines that express speed and movement play a great role.

Constructivism 1917 – 1930

Constructivism is characterised by rejecting the excess of bourgeois decorative charge and ornamentation, and by adopting an abstract geometrization. The result was an architecture based on simplicity.

Neoplasticism (De Stijl) 1917 – 1942

Neoplasticism, both in art and architecture, translates into an orthogonal composition that can be extended to infinity, using planes, straight lines and pure colours

Modernism 1919 – 1933

Abstract aesthetics in Germany translated into rationalism that pursued functionality, industrialisation…

Staatliches Bauhaus (1919-1933)

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Le Corbusier

Mies van der Rohe

Contemporary Architecture 1950 – 2022

One of the predominant aspects of the 1950s and 1960s is the need to measure oneself against the change. Continuity or revision.

Beyond this duality, the great complexity of proposals that existed in the architecture of the first decades of the century, at the same time as the Modern Movement, is being revealed.

Architecture in the 50s and 60s
While some architects are interested in formal and structural solutions, there are others who seek to explore the challenge of adapting architecture to the needs of human beings.
Latest trends

These are times of revolutions, utopias and proposals, with much theoretical and practical experimentation (deconstrutivism, high-tech, neo-brutalism, biomorphism, postmodernism, minimalism …)

This part of the unit is very intersting for me, I have been atracted from Architecture thanks to its history specially those in the Middle Ages. I started to appreciate Architecture thanks to the Cathedrals, specially the Cathedral from Valencia. Different architectonic styles: gothic, baroque… During the class I started to think about this. What made me interested in architecture? Yes. Its history. And during the class, I took the notes seen above but for me was like a trip through the history of architecture. I would like to make a trip like this with the university some day. For example, visiting romanic buildings and explaining, the visiting gothic ones and explaining the evolution and its reasons… Arriving to the current architecture. It would be nice.

But then during the flipped class was proposed a project by teams about how architecture could be seen by us in the future. It is true that it will be different, not only its designs and forms, which I don´t know, but I am sure there will be new facilities that they are not now available and will make more easy our life. For example I think, there will be healthy facilities. There are air conditioning so I think there will be an special air coinditioning which eliminates viruses. Of course this will be nice in order to avoid another pandemic. But there could be another such as mechanical stairs in skyscrppers… I don´t know how it will be but as a future architect I will try to make the things in such a way that people in the future coild be atracted to Architecture such I did a few years ago.