Copy Imitation in Architecture Essay

Published: 2021-09-11 21:15:11
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Modern Architecture has been greatly influenced by the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Evolving from simple structures to extravagant edifices, the religiously driven Greek and Roman architects have strived to create the most best temples they could, to please their gods and deities; hoping to be blessed with prosperity and good fortune, in return. The Temple of Hera and the Parthenon have been inspirations in architecture centuries after their construction in the form of architectural Copy, Imitation, and Pastiche.
Imitation is the creation of a new structure, based on principles of the original, like the Parthenon is of the Temple of Hera. An architectural copy is an exact reconstruction of an existing structure, thus it is only concerned with the visual and possible material likeness as in the Greek Parthenon with its replica in Nashville, Tennessee. A Pastiche would refer to the simplification of the original, an inspiration as is the case of the Pantheon roused by the Temple of Hera. Dedicated to the wife of Zeus, The Temple of Hera lies in the ancient Greek sanctuary of Olympia.
Residing north of the sacred Atlantis, The Temple of Hera, is believed to have been originally built to honor Zeus, “the Father of gods and men,” 1 (Theogony, 700BC), but was later rededicated to Hera, 2 (Arafat). It is believed to have been erected in 590 B. C. The temple was one of the the oldest Doric temples in Greece, and the oldest temple on the sacred precinct of Olympia, 3 (Willy Clarysse). In accordance with the typical early Doric style, the temple was long and narrow, with 6 by 16 meter high columns, on a 50 by 19 meter land.
The interior also included the use of columns, with 2 columns on each of the porches and the opisthodomos, and 4 pairs of columns lining the cella walls. Shell lime was used for the lower part of the temple, while unbaked bricks filled the walls above. The original columns were made of wood, but as rot set in they were eventually replaced with stone. Since the restoration took centuries, columns from periods differing from the Archaic to Roman have been installed, resulting in an array of different columns, 4 (Clarysse).
The temple was however destroyed by an earthquake in 4th century A. D leaving behind a site of ruins. Although newer than, “the first Heraion, built as early as 650 B. C which comprised of only a cella and pronaos,” the Temple of Hera was much grander in comparison, 5 (Inwatkins reference). The Temple of Hera can be considered an original model, paving the way to the constructions of grander, more functional architectural creations. Learning and discovering more efficient methods and materials to tend to the developing architecture, needs of a constantly evolving culture.
Many of the Archaic Greek, and eventually Roman temples were principally based on the Mycenaean Megaron prototype. The simple structure consisted of a 2 column porch, a vestibule, and a hall. The hall consisted of a built in hearth that ventilated via an oculus in the roof, an environmental necessity of the colder weather, as they moved inland, 6 (BALDWIN SMITH). It was supported by 4 wooden columns. The Megaron was mainly used as the core in the early Mycenaean palace structure, and was supported by 6 wooden columns. The Mycenaeans themselves were influenced by the ancient Minoan civilization (2000-1450 B. C) and their Palace Knossos in Crete, “sung of by Homer in his Odyssey:
‘Among their cities is the great city of Cnosus, where Minos reigned when nine years old, he that held converse with great Zeus,’” 78. Will Durant and Homer The reception hall in King Tiryns palace, is a well known Megaron. Influenced by Cretan architecture, the main room of the Megaron included a raised throne at the far end of the right wall, a centred hearth surrounded by wooden columns, and a Minoan signature. 9[ Muller) In the Athenian Acropolis of Greece, lies The Parthenon, a stellar temple dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena.
Standing at 13. 72 meters, on a base of 23,028 square feet, the temple’s construction began in 447 B. C. and continued through to 438 B. C. An imitation of the Temple of Hera, The Parthenon, incorporates some of its Doric features whilst featuring components of the Ionic Order. The Ionic Order is the second of the 3 organisational systems of classical Greek architecture. Maintaining the peripteral style, akin to its preceder, it is bordered by eight thirty-four foot columns at the front and back, and 17 on either side.
Within that frame, is another layer of 6 columns on the widths of the structure. The Doric elements are visible in the columns. Baseless with simple capitals, triglyphs separating carved metopes in the 525 foot frieze. The frieze around the cella runs bas relief corresponding to the ionic style, (10). An outward bulge at the centre of the column may have been utilised by architects Iktinos and Kallikrates, to keep out rainwater and as to equip the building with technical strength against earthquakes, 11(Smithsonian magi).
This swelling was termed entasis, or tension, by Greek writers, perhaps because it makes the columns seems if they are clenching, like a human muscle, under the weight of their load. While such artistic interpretations may have influenced such decisions, it is impossible to know for sure. In an attempt to preserve and share the grandeur of Greek architecture, The Nashville Board of Park Commissioners approached architect Russell E. Hart to, “research and recommend,” 12 (Replication Nashville paper), and bring together a team to realise an exact, full scale replica of the Greek Parthenon.
Headlining Nashville’s Centennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee, the copy was built in 6 years since beginning construction work in 1925. The reconstruction took place over an earlier temporary replica of the same Greek temple, which was built in 1896 of tinted plaster, over a substrate of wood and brick. It was eventually declared unsafe, and closed off to the public, 13 (replicating Nash). Unlike the Parthenon in Athens, the replica serves only the purpose of posing in its likeness, which is the basis of an architectural copy.
Nashville’s dubbed, “The Athens of the South,” (14), may have provoked the recreation of a Greek monument; allowing the experience of the full phenomena to a wider audience. A Roman masterpiece, the Pantheon was a tribute to the roman gods. Commissioned by Emperor Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 B. C – 14 A. D). The building was destroyed in a fire in 80 A. D. and Reconstructed by Domitian. There was a second fire in 110 A. D. and claimed The Pantheon, (15 ). Hadrian ordered a second rebuilding of the Pantheon in 126 A. D. 16 (MacDonald Pg9).
Scholars believe different parts of the Pantheon have been built at different points of time (Paul David). Like the Parthenon, the entrance which is led to via short flight of stairs, is adorned with a row of eight columns with the inscription meaning, “Marcus Agrippa, son of Lucius, made when consul for the third time,” (17). The columns are in Corinthian style, the third of the Greek architectural systems. The initial layer is followed by 2 groups of 4 columns. A beehive like coffered dome of concrete enwraps the rotunda, while the oculus illuminates the entirety of the dome. 42 feet to the oculus, same measurement as the diameter of the inner circle, and a varying thickness of 4 feet at the bottom to 21 feet at the top, the Pantheon is the largest unsupported dome in the world, to date. Although domes were not uncommon during this period, this temple was still an innovative creation. A pastiche of the Temple of Hera, the Greek influence on the Pantheon could be the result of emperor Agrippa’s Greek education in Appllonia Greece. It is especially apparent in the portico of the Pantheon, (18). The Pantheon has been used constantly throughout its existence.
Although its initial purpose is yet a mystery, it has served as a tomb during the renaissance for many an artists including Rachael and Annibale Carracci, (19). The Pantheon was later gifted to Pope Boniface VIII of the Catholic Church, by Byzantine emperor Phocas in 609. It was also dedicated to St. Mary and the Martyrs, 20 (MACDONALD 139, 18). The catholic church was able to preserve the Pantheon well, and it still functions as an active church. Despite this, the architect still unknown. The Pantheon has gone on to inspire many other buildings including the Panthéon in Paris.

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