It is only when a building entirely fulfils the purpose for which it is intended and bears the impress of a genuine style that it takes rank as a work of architecture.
This definition, exclusive though it at first sight appears, brings within the province of the art every structure which combines with practical utility beauty of design and execution, from the humblest cottage to the most dignified temple or palace. Suitability of material and harmony with its surroundings are among the minor factors that give to a building vitality of character and contribute to its enduring value, a value enhanced by its reflection of the needs and aspirations of those by whom and for whom it was erected.
Wood appears to have been the earliest material used for the building of a home when out-of-door dwellings took the place of the caves that were the first shelters of primitive man.
Limestone, granite, and sandstone were used for building at a very remote period in much the same way as wood, large blocks, fresh from the quarry, of all manner of different shapes, being piled up horizontally or stood on edge, no cement being employed, though in certain cases crushed stone was used to fill up the spaces between the blocks.
Bricks, that is to say, dried blocks of clay, were used at a very early date as a supplement to or substitute for wood and stone for building purposes. The most ancient bricks were not subjected to artificial heat but were simply exposed to the sun, and even when kiln-baked bricks were introduced they were often employed merely to face the older variety.
The main features of a building are determined by the shape of the walls or the mode of arrangement of the pillars that take the place of walls, the way in which the roof is constructed, and that in which the openings of the doors and windows are spanned.
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Over 20 antique architecture books digitized on a low-priced cd. All antique books are in easy readable Adobe Acrobat reader PDF format. You can zoom in and zoom out on the text and the images. No shipping costs worldwide.
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